Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders Khawaja Saad Rafique and Rana Sanaullah have rejected Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan’s ultimatum for talks to discuss election dates, saying that talks ‘cannot be conditional’.
The rejection comes a day after Imran Khan gave the government an ultimatum to ‘talk with them about dates for new elections’ or else the PTI will dissolve the provincial assemblies of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Rejecting the PTI chief’s offer, the PML-N leaders said on Saturday in a press conference that ‘talks don’t come with conditions’.
Asking Imran Khan to be ‘serious’ if he was desirous of talks, Railway Minister Saad Rafique said, “Threats, accusations and abuses and talks cannot go hand in hand.” He said that no where in the world are talks held on the basis of prior conditions put place by parties. “If you put the demand forward first, on what basis will you talk?” he asked.
He further said, “We also told their friends that this one-way traffic cannot continue. This is not just your agenda. If the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and all our allies decide to do so, it will be their own agenda.”
Rafique revealed that their allies had ‘extreme reservations’ about negotiating with the PTI in order to grant them some sort of ‘face-saving’.
Saying that assemblies were made for legislation and governance and not for dissolution, Rafique commented that PTI’s threat of dissolving assemblies would just ‘waste the time and resources of the country’.
Rana Sanaullah commented, “He [Imran] wanted to get a date for the election by threatening and hurling abuses at the establishment. He couldn’t. If he wants to get a date from us through the same way after having talks, he cannot.”