In a bid to thaw the icy political atmosphere in the country, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has taken a significant step by involving their political arch-rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), in the electoral process and political discussions, insiders disclosed on Monday.
The former prime minister has assigned party leaders to initiate dialogue with other political parties and has entrusted Senator Ishaq Dar with the responsibility of establishing contacts.
The committee, comprising key figures like Rana Sanaullah, Khawaja Saad Rafiq, and Ayaz Sadiq, will engage with various political entities, including the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), and Istehkaam-e-Pakistan Party.
The PML-N will also extend its outreach to parties in Sindh, Balochistan, and the Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Insiders disclosed that party leaders suggested Nawaz Sharif take on the role of a statesman, recognizing his senior leadership not only within the country but also across the region. This proposal, with Nawaz Sharif’s endorsement, also entails communication and negotiations with the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), with the aim of involving all political parties in the election process and political discussions.
To kick-start cross-party election dialogues, the PML-N has established a committee aimed at establishing communication channels with other contenders for the upcoming general elections.
The party’s leaders conferred with PML-N’s leader, Nawaz Sharif, to create a favorable environment for the general elections and deliberated on taking affirmative actions to mitigate the political tensions engulfing the landscape.
A comprehensive discussion also revolved around convening an all-party conference-style consultation with all political parties.
According to insider sources, the PML-N has made the decision to unite all political parties on a common platform to establish equitable election rules. As part of this endeavor, Nawaz Sharif himself will reach out to all political parties.
Party leaders are scheduled to meet with various political factions to develop a mutually agreed-upon strategy for election day, with the goal of avoiding controversies like the Real-Time System (RTS) issues that marred the 2018 elections.
This proposal will subsequently be presented to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Nawaz Sharif, who recently returned to the country after an absence of almost four and a half years, reiterated the party’s commitment to addressing Pakistan’s challenges, including inflation, unemployment, and terrorism, while expressing the vision of making Pakistan the “Asian Tiger” in the near future. He encouraged party workers to prepare vigorously for the upcoming elections.
Former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, speaking to the media following the consultative meeting, highlighted the Sharif family’s legal challenges and stressed the importance of a level playing field for all candidates in the elections. He condemned any restrictive actions, emphasizing that decisions regarding imprisoned politicians should be made by the courts and not by external parties.