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Govt reschedules APC to Feb 9

ISLAMABAD, FEB 6: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb announced on Monday that the all-parties conference (APC) convened by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will take place on February 9 instead of 7.

In a tweet, Marriyum said that the national leadership will formulate a joint strategy to combat terrorism and other challenges being faced by the country. The minister said that the National Action Plan would also be reviewed in the APC.

Following last week’s deadly bombing in a Peshawar mosque, PM Shehbaz Sharif summoned an APC to find solutions on “important national challenges”.

The prime minister seeks to bring heads of all political parties on the table so they can join heads and figure out ways to address “important national challenges”, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb had said in a statement back then.

In a bid to develop consensus on the issue, the PM also extended an invite to his rival Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan.

Federal Minister Ayaz Sadiq had contacted top PTI leaders — including former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and ex-defence minister Pervez Khattak — and asked them to participate in the moot.

The invitation was a major development as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government and the PTI have always been at loggerheads over almost all national issues, not only since Khan’s ouster from the PM Office, but even when the tables were turned.

However, PTI Secretary General Asad Umar said that party chief Imran Khan would not attend the federal government’s APC.

The PTI leader Umar had said: “How can we sit with them [PDM-led government] while cases are being registered against us?”

The APC holds importance as the government faces an uphill task when it comes to terrorism. The terror attacks have witnessed a spike after the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended its ceasefire with Islamabad in November last year.

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