- Fawad says PTI wants negotiations to succeed.
- Rallies to take place in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar tomorrow.
- Says PTI has formulated strategy if talks fail.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry on Sunday announced that the party will hold rallies starting from May 1 if the negotiations with the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government fail.
Taking to Twitter, Chaudhry said that the PTI wants the negotiations to succeed, however, it has formulated a strategy in case the talks with the ruling coalition do not bear fruit.
He said that the rallies will begin in Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar under the leadership of party chairman Imran Khan, asking the supporters to get ready for the “major movement”.
“The PTI will not sit quietly if the [government] treats the Constitution as garbage and the people as insects,” said the senior leader.
The government and the PTI have been engaging in dialogue to decide on a date for elections following Supreme Court’s orders. Both sides have held two rounds of talks and are scheduled to meet for the “final” round of talks on May 2 (Tuesday).
The talks are crucial to end an impasse over the elections, which has fuelled political tensions in the country, leading to an economic crisis, with the Supreme Court also urging the political forces to negotiate and find out a solution to the prevailing turmoil.
The court had directed the political parties to decide on the election date by April 26, but no progress was made till the deadline.
Moreover, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman decided to stay away from the talks as his party believes that the negotiations with Imran Khan’s PTI would not succeed.
In the last round of talks, the ruling coalition ruled out the possibility of a deadlock between the sides. The opposition and the government decided to consult with their top leadership and allies over the proposals presented during the meeting.
Both delegations were hopeful of concluding on Tuesday, but PTI warned that the talks could “derail” at any point if the law enforcers keep arresting its workers.
The call for demonstrations comes after the Punjab police Friday night raided former Punjab chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi‘s residence to arrest him, drawing strong criticism from the PTI.
Sources familiar with the talks had told Geo News that the government suggested holding polls in September this year.
However, the sources had said the PTI did not agree to this at first and proposed that polls be held in July.
At this, the sources had said, the government representatives told the opposition that they have to present the budget in June and elections in July would be too early.
The PTI delegation had then agreed to put forward the government’s proposal before Khan.
The sources had added that Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan’s (MQM-P) lawmaker Kishwer Zehra told the members of the meeting that it would be better if both sides reach a consensus, otherwise, it would be a setback for them if an external force gets involved.
Meanwhile, Khan said had put forward his condition saying that the talks with the government will only proceed if they are willing to dissolve the National Assembly.
“I am telling these two (Fawad Chaudhry and Shah Mahmood Qureshi) if the government is ready to dissolve the National Assembly at once and hold elections then talk. If they (the government) repeat the same talk of holding elections in September or October, then there is no need,” said the PTI chief.
Khan also stated that the “ball” was now in the government’s court on the matter of elections.