PTI announces protests on Feb 17,

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Imran seems ready to bury the hatchet

“Reports of [PTI] forming government with PPP are misleading. The PTI founder said to sit in opposition but not to forge alliance with PPP and PML-N,” Gohar said

Mehtab Pirzada

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Thursday announced staging “peaceful protests” across the country after rebutting reports of forming an alliance with the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in the Centre and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-Parliamentarians (PTI-P) in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The announcements came after sources-based reports of PTI founder Imran Khan softening his stance against political rivals and consenting to hold talks with the PPP and the party’s breakaway faction led by Parvez Khattak.

A private news channel reported citing party sources that Khan, who remains incarcerated at Adiala jail, is “ready” to talk to the PPP, which has already announced supporting Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate for prime minister — Shehbaz Sharif.

However, PTI leader Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif denied the reports of contacting PPP for government formation. Speaking to journalists, the lawyer said that the PTI founder had “strictly” advised against holding talks with PPP and PML-N.

“Reports of [PTI] forming government with PPP are misleading. The PTI founder said to sit in opposition but not to forge alliance with PPP and PML-N,” he added.

Later, while talking to journalists after meeting with Khan in Rawalpindi, Barrister Gohar Khan and Sher Afzal Marwat also ruled out a coalition with the Bilawal-led party.

“We informed Khan sahib about PPP’s messages. In response, Khan sahib flatly rejected the idea of power-sharing with either the PPP or the PML-N,” Marwat told journalists.

Moreover, Gohar categorically rejected media reports claiming a proposed political alliance between PTI and PTI-P in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “We will not be joining hands with the PTI-P.”

The PTI leader also invited those political parties who believe that the recent elections were rigged — including Jamaat-e-Islami, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), and others — to join them in their protest on Saturday.

While, a private news channel citing the sources reported about a decision taken by Khan to form a committee for negotiations with political parties under Asad Qaiser’s leadership.

According to the sources, the PTI founder told Qaiser that all decisions would be taken in consultation with the political leadership and that they should prepare for government formation.

Khan was also consulted about an alliance with a new political party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the task of which has also been given to Qaiser, the sources added.

The political committee will make decisions regarding negotiations with political parties, the party sources said, adding that the PTI founder is ready to discuss serious issues with them.