Javed Latif, a prominent member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and a close ally of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has criticized the ongoing negotiations between the government and the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, stating that talks should never be held with individuals or groups who are affiliated with terrorism and aim to dismantle national institutions.
The statement from Latif comes at a critical time as the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) coalition and the opposition party of former Prime Minister Imran Khan are holding formal dialogue to break the months-long deadlock over the timing of elections in the country.
PTI’s demands during successive sessions include the speedy dissolution of all parliaments and elections no later than August. The party also seeks legal cover through a constitutional amendment for the delay in the election in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the return of its resigned MPs to the National Assembly.
The government, in turn, has proposed conducting polls in September to allow for the presentation of the upcoming fiscal year’s budget in June.
Latif questioned the rationality of holding talks with those who he accused of referring to the government as “Mir Jafar and Mir Sadiq,” notorious 18th-century Indian courtiers who betrayed Muslim rulers of the subcontinent to British imperialists. He further alleged that negotiations with terrorists and those who benefit from global powers could not be conducted.
The PML-N leader also criticized those causing unrest in the country, arguing that conducting such talks would put Pakistan’s security and growth at risk. He urged individuals in positions of power to take responsibility for their actions and for the consequences that follow.
Latif warned that if the trend continues, the future of Pakistan would remain uncertain. He added that the PML-N party would not allow the upcoming elections to be held without the participation of its leader, Nawaz Sharif, and that Khan could be challenged in the political field only after justice has been served.