ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has once again offered to mediate between the government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) in an effort to lower the rising political temperature in the country.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, the president, who is an ally of former prime minister and party chairman Imran Khan, urged the political leadership to hold talks to cool down the simmering tension.
He alleged the central government is using delaying tactics with regard to PTI and that “there’s no communication between the two parties in the last month”. He added that the government has indicated its willingness to hold talks with the PTI but no results were coming out of it.
On the matter of the economy, the President stated that there is a chance of improvement and dismissed reports of Pakistan defaulting on its international obligations. He urged all parties to come together and work for the betterment of the economy and welfare projects.
President Alvi also addressed the speculation surrounding ties between deposed prime minister Khan and ex-army chief retired Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. He said he was not privy to any specific information on the matter and that some misunderstandings have been coming out in public.
He added that as the president, it is his responsibility to keep the federation together and that cooperation is better than discords for Pakistan.
Furthermore, he blamed social media for the differences between Khan and Bajwa, adding that if social media is given more importance over such issues, it leads to problems. He urged all parties to set aside differences and ignore social media.
When asked about the former army chief’s extension in service, President Alvi said he was not aware of such offers and stressed the importance of dialogue to remove misunderstandings. He emphasized that he is ready to bring people together and that it is his choice to seek advice from anyone.
He also mentioned that his decision to seek the PTI chief’s advice on the appointment of army chief Gen. Syed Asim Munir was based on the last couple of surveys which showed who is the most popular leader in the country.