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Pakistan’s Political Turmoil Continues Ahead of Key Talks With Opposition

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The article reports that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders to discuss the party’s position ahead of the next round of talks with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI). Despite the recent botched raid at the PTI President’s residence, Imran Khan has announced that his party would attend the next meeting. Imran has reiterated his demand for dissolving the remaining assemblies before May 14th to send the country toward simultaneous elections. The PML-N, on the other hand, has refused to concede to one person’s demand of holding elections at his whims, claiming that doing so would erode public confidence in the electoral system.

Almost all media houses reported that PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, Senior Vice President Maryam Nawaz, and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar attended the meeting via video link. Senior party leaders, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Muhammad Ahmad Khan, and Ataullah Tarar, also attended the moot. However, Tarar denied these media reports, calling them fabricated. Special Assistant to the PM Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan confirmed that the Prime Minister met his party leaders at his residence to deliberate on the issue.

The SAPM stated that they would discuss the ongoing political situation, and the parleys between the government and the opposition would only bear fruit if sanity is allowed to prevail. He added that they would not accept Imran Khan’s demand for pushing the country into elections, which would erode public confidence in the electoral system of the country. Tarar said various options were under discussion, including holding simultaneous elections ahead of time. When asked about many parties in the alliance being not ready to consider the option of early elections, Tarar said he was not fully aware of his party’s position on the issue.

The political instability has had a damaging impact on human rights in Pakistan, according to the annual report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP). The report, titled “State of Human Rights 2022,” covers a range of issues related to human rights, but there are other dimensions to the problem. The ongoing political conflict is undermining the intellectual capacity of the country to understand and solve the nation’s problems. Pakistan is grappling with the rise of religious extremism and intolerance, which is further exacerbating the situation.

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