Imran Khan major hurdle in political reconciliation in Pakistan, says Nawaz Sharif

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Imran Khan Nawaz Sharif

Imran Khan (L); Nawaz Sharif (R)

Islamabad: Pakistan's former prime minister Nawaz Sharif has said his successor Imran Khan was the main hurdle in political reconciliation in the country and underscored the ruling PML-N party's commitment to dialogue and not indulging in vengeance, according to media reports.

Sharif's remarks came during a meeting with party senators on Friday evening, where the issue of negotiations with Khan's Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) party was extensively discussed.

Sharif, the President of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, said that Khan, also a former prime minister, himself was not displaying seriousness in the negotiation process, which posed a significant challenge to fruitful discussions.

He questioned the feasibility of negotiations when one party involved was not committed to the process.

"How can one negotiate when he is not serious?" Nawaz responded to the party lawmakers.

Sharif, 74, referenced past instances where Khan had rejected offers of friendship, indicating a pattern of reluctance to engage in constructive dialogue.

"I travelled to Bani Gala (Imran Khan's house) myself. Our sincerity is considered our weakness," the former premier stressed.

To underscore the importance of dialogue despite political differences, Nawaz cited the example of his meeting with the late premier Benazir Bhutto, despite facing staunch opposition.

Since he did not believe in political vengeance, he and ex-premier Benazir Bhutto had signed the Charter of Democracy, the PML-N president added.

Sharif said he had no political vengeance or grudge against anyone, even those who had attempted to keep him out of power in the past.

“I am not the person who takes political revenge,” Nawaz Sharif said.

The PML-N president said that during Khan’s tenure, he was threatened to get his prison cell’s AC removed. However, he said he did not believe in political vengeance.

In fact, the three-time prime minister said that he did not even think about it as Khan is serving his jail sentence now.

Khan has repeatedly said he would hold talks with the “real stakeholders” only.

Khan has accused the PML-N of stealing his party's mandate to form the government with the Pakistan Peoples Party.