Real estate tycoon Malik Riaz calls for grand dialogue to end current political logjam

The Nation  |  Apr 02, 2023

ISLAMABAD     -     Malik Riaz Hussain, one of the biggest movers and shakers in Pakistani politics, has thrown his weight behind the proposal of a grand political dialogue to wrest the country out of the current political logjam.

His suggestion came on the heels of a similar plea by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Umar Ata Bandial while heading a bench to hear Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) plea against the decision of Election Commission to postpone polls to the Punjab Assembly till October 8 this year.

Property tycoon Malik Riaz, who is in Dubai these days due to his health treatment, took to Twitter to say that it was extremely distressing to see Pakistan going through the worst economic and political turmoil.

“I wish Pakistan’s entire  political and institutional  leadership should huddle  around each other to find  solutions,” he said. He added  that they should follow  a way forward like the current  ruler of Dubai Sheikh  Mohammed bin Rashid Al  Maktoum to put the country  on track towards progress  and prosperity. “We  must remember that our  existence belongs to Pakistan.  We’re nothing without  it,” he also said. The idea  of grand political dialogue  to bring the country out of  the present political and  economic crises was being  floated by many since days  before then prime minister  Imran Khan was ousted  from power through a parliamentary  vote of no-confidence.  Since last year, the  cash-strapped Pakistan is  facing an economic meltdown  and the government’s  talks with the International  Monetary Fund (IMF)  for the release of a bailout  tranche of $ 1.1 billion have  hit a stalemate for the past  few weeks. The country is  facing rising militancy amid  an on-going political chaos  while the opposition PTI  has been pushing the coalition  government for an early  election. Last week, the  CJP Bandial had also talked  about lowering the political  temperatures in the country  and asked for holding a political  dialogue by all the political  sides. Initially, the opposition  PTI had refused to  engage in a dialogue around  the vote of no-confidence  when then Chief of Army  Staff (COAS) General Qamar  Javed Bajwa had suggested  similar grand political  talks. The PTI is now open  to talks, as this a newfound  flexibility. Chairman PTI Imran  Khan during his recent  interactions with the journalists  has shown his willingness  to talk to everyone  for the sake of the country.  However, the ruling coalition  now sees this as a sign  of weakness and plans to go  tough on the former prime  minister Khan. Speaking in  the National Assembly last  week, Prime Minister Shehbaz  Sharif said the coalition  government would hold  talks with the PTI only if the  ex-premier apologizes to  the nation for his wrongdoings.  He recalled that Khan  had repeatedly rejected offers  of talks even during  COVID-19 pandemic, and  on the issue of rising terrorism  in the country. Despite  all this, all sides will have to  come to the negotiation table,  earlier or later, to find a  solution to the problems of  Pakistan that are hitting the  poor masses hard.

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