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Ishaq Dar seeks Arif Alvi’s help in winning over PTI on IMF programme: sources

ISLAMABAD, DEC 7: Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar held a meeting with President Dr Arif Alvi to discuss the ongoing political situation in the country including the dissolution of assemblies and implementation of International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) agreement, sources told Geo News on Wednesday.

The incumbent coalition government and the Opposition have been holding talks regarding the date of general elections and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s claim of dissolving the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assemblies.

According to the sources, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader talked about political and economic matters. Moreover, the dissolution of provincial assemblies and resignations also came under discussion, said the sources.

Both leaders also talked about the next general elections in the country, said the sources, adding that they also discussed KP and the Punjab government’s cooperation concerning the reduction in import bills.

The sources added that the finance minister asked for the Opposition’s support regarding the implementation of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) agreement.

The PML-N leader and President Alvi also held discussions regarding PTI’s cooperation in bringing political stability to the country, said the sources. They added that the president also assured Dar of talking to the PTI leadership concerning all these matters.

The leaders also considered the matter regarding the closure of markets at 6pm countrywide, as per the sources.

The talks

The incumbent government and the Opposition have been holding talks regarding the date of general elections as the PTI has been constantly putting pressure on the government to conduct snap polls.

In case the government does not decide on early elections, the PTI chief has claimed to dissolve the Punjab and KP assemblies.

On December 5, the party’s Senior Vice-President Fawad Chaudhry said if elections talks do not materialise by December 20 then the party will dissolve the provincial assemblies on December 21.

“They [coalition parties in the Centre] are afraid of holding elections as they fear the PTI will win,” Fawad said.

Assuring that the PTI had the full support of its ally, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), the PTI leader said that Chief Minister Punjab Pervez Elahi and his son Moonis Elahi also want the assembly’s dissolution and elections within 90 days after they are dissolved.

“Pervez Elahi and Monis Elahi have assured us that they will dissolve the assembly whenever we ask,” the former federal minister said amid the PML-Q leaders’ remarks which are in contrast to the PTI leadership.

Confirming that the PTI had held talks with the coalition government, Fawad said that Dar held two meetings with President Alvi.

“Ishaq Dar told the president that [the government] is ready for elections, but they first need to consult Nawaz Sharif,” the former information minister revealed.

“Ishaq Dar said he would consult Nawaz Sharif and inform President Arif Alvi. However, he hasn’t responded yet and we are still waiting,” he said.

In a press conference earlier, Fawad had confirmed that PTI and the coalition government were indeed holding talks.

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