PTI’s Qaiser, Baloch agree to thrash out ‘misunderstandings’ amid bickering over merger claims

LAHORE: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf agreed on moving forward by removing “misunderstandings” between the two political parties.

The development came during a telephonic conversation between JI leader Liaquat Baloch and PTI’s Asad Qaiser, a JI’s spokesperson said in a statement.

During his call to Baloch, Qaiser said: “[We] want to move forward by removing the misunderstandings.”

Differences further deepened between the two former allies after PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar Khan claimed that they had approached the JI following the February 8 general elections but the party backtracked on holding talks with the PTI under “pressure”.

After the polls, the PTI-backed winning independent candidates looking to join other parties in a bid to get reserved seats. However, the JI had turned down the PTI’s offer to form a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Gohar, however, claimed that the JI was “under pressure” not to talk to PTI on the said matter and the party’s leadership was avoiding meetings with him.

The PTI leader comments came during his appearance on Geo News programme ‘Capital Talk’ in which he said that the JI leaders did not attend a meeting that was decided to take place between him, Liaquat Baloch, and other leaders of both parties.

However, in a video released by JI on March 29, Baloch said: “There was no pressure on us and JI doesn’t take decisions under pressure.”

On the PTI’s offer to only form a coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the JI veteran maintained that his party’s central majlis-e-shura considered it right to welcome whatever decision the PTI made, as there was divisiveness amongst its leadership on matters.

The politician added that JI unconditionally wanted to facilitate PTI across the country and that the party would again hold consultations on the new proposal shared by PTI.

Despite Gohar’s claim, the senior politico has shared his willingness to still meet with the PTI chief. “Insha’Allah, I would meet Barrister Gohar myself and we want contact to increase between Opposition parties.”

He added that there is no room for any misunderstanding among Opposition parties, which could benefit the “establishment and anti-Opposition” powers.

Following the fresh telephonic conversation today, both parties, however, agreed to continue consultations and contacts in the backdrop of the prevailing political scenario in the country. “Confusion arose regarding contacts in the past,” Qaiser told Baloch.

While the JI leader lauded the struggle of PTI workers for democracy and said: “Jamaat-e-Islami is struggling for the rule of law and the Constitution in the country.” He underscored the need for brushing aside political differences and making joint efforts for political and economic stability in the country.

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