Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, while extending an olive branch to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, said that all political forces will have to sit for dialogue to rid the country of the ongoing political and economic crises, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.
He said the government would hold the general election at its scheduled time as per the decision of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
The PM also said that the threat of Pakistan defaulting on its debt was now over as the staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be finalised soon.
“All political forces will have to sit together to take the country forward,” the premier said while addressing a meeting held with a delegation of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) at the PM House, Dawn reported.
Sharif lamented that he had invited PTI for talks on two occasions in the recent past, but the party did not turn up.
“Though politicians always resort to dialogue, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has a history of not responding positively in this regard,” he said.
The prime minister said the country was facing serious political and economic challenges but stressed that all component parties of the Pakistan Democratic Alliance (PDM) ruling coalition had contributed positively to improving the situation, Dawn reported.
He said that the PTI did not even attend the apex committee meeting held in Peshawar in the wake of the suicide attack inside a mosque in the Police Lines.
The meeting, on Wednesday, held an in-depth discussion on the overall situation in the country in areas of politics, economy, foreign affairs and security.
Talking about the general election in the country, the PM said: “No one should have any doubt in this regard. We will wholeheartedly participate in the election and follow whatever is decided by the ECP.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)