The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Saturday stared down opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan over his conditional offer for talks, stating that threats will not help yield a date for elections.
However, if Imran fixes his threatening attitude and agrees to unconditional negotiations, then talks can be considered.
This was stated by Federal Aviation Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday while addressing a joint press conference alongside Federal Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah in Lahore on Saturday afternoon.
Rafique said that as a party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) they have considered the talks offer proposed by Imran Khan on Friday, but clarified that any talks which have been preconditioned will be a non-starter.
He added that Imran’s threat to dissolve assemblies ridicules the mandate of the public. However, he conceded that there have been informal talks with the PTI through interlocuters but a final decision on talks will be taken by the ruling coalition collectively.
“We have had informal contacts with Imran Khan and we have had them on multiple occasions through interlocutors,” the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders said.
“They (PTI) were the ones who initiated contacts but never owned them,” Rafique said.
On the talks proposed by Imran, the minister said we cannot have conditional talks.
“They then become non-starters.”
He added that at this moment in time, talks was the need of Imran Khan not the coalition government. He added that if Imran dissolves the assemblies, it would only leave the PTI chief without the crutch of supporting provincial governments.
On the dissolution of assemblies, Rafique said that it does not impact them politically.
“We will not create obstacles in his act of dissolving assemblies, but we will not be a part of this act,” he said, adding that dissolving assemblies was akin to ridiculing the public mandate.
“Make formal approach for talks, we will take the matter to the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) and take a consensus decision from all the other parties.
He urged Imran to bring a modicum of seriousness in his politics.
On seeking consensus, he said that the allied parties are not in favor of holding talks with Imran nor offer him any sort of face saving.
Watch the press conference below