Election Deadlock: Imran Khan ‘Willing’ To Participate In Multi-Party Conference

Election Deadlock: Imran Khan ‘Willing’ To Participate In Multi-Party Conference
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has agreed to meet with opposition political parties in order to forge a "greater national consensus" on the upcoming elections after a group of civil society representatives visited the former premier in an effort to ease political tensions, Dawn reported on Wednesday.

The group, which identified itself as "mediators," was successful in persuading Imran Khan to take part in a multi-party debate and claimed that other parties were legitimate participants in the political and electoral process.

Subsequently, this development was also confirmed by PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry. "Imran Khan has accepted to participate in the multi-party conference (MPC) to establish a consensus on the election date and the procedures leading up to the poll," the civil society representative said.


"It was a heated discussion with Imran Khan, who began by attacking all parties involved with his well-known tone of denunciation. Before accepting the MPC plan, he even required certain confidence-building measures, according to one of the participants who wished to remain anonymous because the process was still in its infancy."

Yet, it took the representatives of civil society more than an hour of arguments to convince him that he wasn't the only party involved in the voting process. The delegates responded to the confidence-boosting measures by reminding the PTI chief that civil society was simply an "initiator and facilitator of political debate" and that such issues needed to be resolved by the political parties.

During the discussion, it was made clear that there was no chance of reconciliation if political actors were unable to communicate with one another and the military was "unwilling to intervene in the political process." Thankfully, Imran Khan concurred—at least for the time being, the participant said.

Imran Khan has declared his preparedness for the proposed moot after numerous previous failed attempts because of the suggested single-point objective of the planned MPC, which is elections.

Civil society representatives said that the Pakistan Bar Council had agreed to host the MPC provided "important political parties respond to this appeal" in a statement released following the meeting.