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LAHORE:

Former information minister and senior leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Monday confirmed that the government was in “informal contact” with his party.

The development comes two days after PTI chief Imran Khan softened his stance on possible talks with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leaders and appeared to be striking a conciliatory tone as he signalled his openness to “sit and talk and give a date for the general elections”.

However, while making the offer he also threatened to dissolve the Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.

The offer for talks to the government appeared to mark a departure from the hardline stance he took during his mammoth November 26 Rawalpindi rally.

Read more: Govt peeved at PTI’s conditional talks offer

Responding to a question during a media talk in Islamabad today, Fawad confirmed that the government was in “informal contact” with PTI.

“We have made them clear that they are not capable to control the economy. The incumbent government has become irrelevant and its days have been numbered. The only solution of the current economic crisis is free and fair elections in the country,” he maintained.

He highlighted that the economic situation of the country is so bad that the federal government is in debt of Rs172 to Punjab and Rs120 billion to Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

“The current economic situation of the country has jeopardised the Sehat Card and other public welfare projects of the Punjab and K-P governments,” he added.

Read Govt ‘not keen’ to hold talks with PTI

Fawad said that PTI and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) are allies in Punjab and will continue their cooperation in the future, adding that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi have expressed their opinions but the final decision about the dissolution of the provincial assembly will be made by Imran Khan.

The former information minister said that the PML-Q leadership has given its viewpoint in the recent media interactions but it stands by Imran Khan. “Pervaiz Elahi will dissolve Punjab Assembly as soon as the PTI chief decides after deliberation with different stakeholders,” he said.

When the PTI parliamentarians resigned from the National Assembly, he highlighted, some of our members were of the view that we should not tender resignations but later everyone saw the highest number of 127 lawmakers had given their resignations, which were accepted and later rejected to avoid by-elections.

PTI leader said the consultation process among party has been initiated. “Today, MNAs and MPAs of Lahore called on Imran Khan and shared their opinions with the party chief. The senior leadership of the party is scheduled to meet on Tuesday to make the decision on the date of dissolution of the provincial assemblies.”

Right now, Fawad said, the economy is the biggest challenge as the incumbent government has failed to control inflation and depleting foreign exchange reserves.

“We fear that [Prime Minister] Shehbaz Sharif, [Finance Minister] Ishaq Dar and Asif Ali Zardari will fly away from Pakistan after defaulting the country,” he added.

‘PTI trying to decrease friction with establishment, judiciary’

Fawad said that PTI was trying to decrease friction with the establishment and the judiciary but the government is attempting to increase the rift.

“Human rights violations witnessed in the recent months should stop,” he said and added that registration of FIRs against Senator Azam Khan Swati and Shahbaz Gill is a serious concern for the PTI.

“We are hearing that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) is initiating proceedings to disqualify Imran Khan but everyone should know that there is no future of politics in Pakistan minus Imran,” Fawad underlined.



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