Shehbaz may appoint focal person as govt willing to talk with opposition: Fawad.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry expressed on Saturday the government's willingness to initiate negotiations with the opposition, saying that Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif may appoint a focal person for the purpose.

The minister was replying to a question about the government's stance if the opposition leader extended an invitation for negotiations.

'While he [Shehbaz] hasn't sent us a written request [for negotiations], we have sent him one,' the minister said. 'We want to improve relations with the opposition. We wanted to talk to them on reforms previously, and we want to talk to them on the matter now,' he said while speaking to the media in Lahore.

Chaudhry also stressed the significance of the PML-N and the PPP resolving differences within their respective parties.

'Maryam and Shehbaz need to settle their dispute so that they [the PML-N] have a clear policy. Similarly, Bilawal and Faryal [Talpur] need to have the same policy so that the PPP's policy becomes clear."

He went on to say that the three major players in the opposition - PPP, PML-N and Pakistan Democratic Movement chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman - had different policies, which resulted in a weak opposition that had no defined direction.

However, he added that the government acknowledged that the opposition had an important role in Pakistan, and he personally was of the opinion that the opposition needed to support measures taken by the government on important matters such as electoral reforms.

The government had invited the opposition to sit with it to resolve all controversial issues and initiate the process of much-needed electoral reforms for the larger interest of the country earlier as well.

'We are ready to sit separately with the three main opposition parties - Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl - and initiate talks on electoral reforms and also on other issues,' Chaudhry had said in March, while addressing a post-cabinet meeting press conference.

The government had extended the olive branch to the opposition a few days after Prime Minister Imran Khan had directed his media team not to criticise the opposition and focus on highlighting the government's achievements.

Chaudhry had said back then that the prime minister had already written a letter to National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaisar to involve the opposition in the process of electoral reforms.

Electonic voting machines

The minister...

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