Finally breaking the ice amid efforts by the SC to hold Punjab elections on time, the PTI and the government

On Thursday, the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) government and the PTI met at the Senate Secretariat to resolve the political impasse that has plagued the country for months.

The Supreme Court (SC) had already invited the relevant political parties to debate the Constitution. Thus, this development is timely.

Senator Ali Zafar, Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, and Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi make up the PTI delegation. At the same time, Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar, Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Ayaz Sadiq, Yusuf Raza Gilani, Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qamar, Kishwar Zahra, and Muhammad Abubakr represent the government.

Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif agreed to begin election-related negotiations with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) at 6 p.m.

According to sources, Attorney General Mansoor Awan reportedly phoned the PM to update him on the case. According to the sources, the JUI-F will not participate in the talks.

Senator Ali Zafar and federal law minister Azam Nazir Tarar eventually met.

Earlier, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani had addressed a letter to House Leader Ishaq Dar and Opposition Leader Shehzad Wasim, asking for four names each to form a special committee for negotiations in the Senate.

He wrote, “In this context, it has been proposed that a committee be formed consisting of senators from both parties.”

Senatorial duties include “protecting the national and political harmony vis-à-vis the national and public interest,” as Mr Sanjarani pointed out. Accordingly, he explained, Dar and Shahzad would be co-convening a 10-person committee to hold a political conversation. It will have eight people total, with four from the government and four from the opposition.

For the sake of “preserving the political system and for the betterment of the state,” he wrote, “my office and the Senate Secretariat will remain available to assist/facilitate the committee in performing its functions.”

Within two days, he ordered the administration and the opposition to propose candidates for their respective groups.

To discuss the PDM-led government’s plan to hold simultaneous elections, PTI Chairman Imran Khan formed a three-member committee yesterday.

Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, and Senator Ali Zafar comprise the PTI Committee. This action follows a Supreme Court decision for political parties to overcome their impasse and present their findings by April 27.

Federal Law Minister Azam Nazir Tarar and Railway Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique answered favourably. They requested that Chairman Senate Sadiq Sanjrani appoint a committee of ten senators, five from each party.

The government delegates also requested the chairman provide a meeting room in the parliament.