Achakzai insists TTAP not against military, willing to talk with Nawaz, Zardari

  • We have raised banner for supremacy of democracy and Constitution: PkMAP chief
  • Asserts Pakistan needs a strong army, highlights growing public frustration over cost of living

ISLAMABAD: Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai, who was mandated to lead the negotiations, expressed willingness to talk with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Earlier this week, the former ruling party picked Achakzai to lead the negotiations via the opposition alliance’s platform Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Ayeen (TTAP).

“Pakistan needs a strong army,” Achakzai said, speaking to a private TV channel, clarifying that his movement is not against the military.

“We have raised the banner for the supremacy of democracy and the Constitution.”

Achakzai warned: “If Zardari and Nawaz Sharif do not join us, a time will come when they will not be able to step out of their homes.”

He highlighted the growing public frustration over the unbridled cost of living, noting, “People are angry. They are facing trouble to make both ends meet.”

PkMAP chief Achakzai enjoys the full authority from the PTI to lead the talks with the government that will centre upon matters about the release of incarcerated leaders and workers, electoral transparency, and the constitutional boundaries of the judiciary, parliament and other state institutions.

The PTI’s political leadership will also be part of the negotiations with the government, sources said.

PTI chairman Barrister Gohar Ali Khan told the media persons this week that the former prime minister wanted avenues of dialogue to be opened. He told journalists that Khan was ready to forgive what has happened to him for the sake of reconciliation.

“PTI founder has said many times that ‘I am ready to forgive what happened to me’,” said the PTI chairman.

When asked if the negotiations will take place at the behest of the Supreme Court’s advice, Barrister Gohar said: “The option given by the SC is also under consideration.”

However, he emphasised that it was PTI’s “own decision” to negotiate.

“PTI founder did not write any letter to the SC for negotiation. PTI will also respond to its negotiation option.”

The PTI chief’s comment came days after Khan decided to “step back” from his rigid stance, ordering his party leaders to establish contacts both inside and outside the Parliament to ease the ongoing political tension, sources had told Geo News.

The sources had said that the party’s leadership was directed to hold talks with various political parties outside the Parliament, while its lawmakers were also asked to enhance its relations with parties in the ruling coalition government.

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