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Defence Minister Offers PTM To Hold Dialogue With Govt

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Defence Minister Pervez Khattak on Sunday offered the leaders of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) to hold dialogue with the government for the ‘development’ of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. PTM leader and MNA Mohsin Dawar has welcomed the minister’s dialogue offer.

DAWN reported that Pervez Khattak said, “We Pakhtoons belong to the same province thus we should collectively work for the development of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.” He said that the people of erstwhile FATA are deprived of basic educational facilities, healthcare and basic communications infrastructure, adding that, “It is the time to collectively work for their uplift rather than indulge in confrontation.”

The minister invited the PTM leadership to the negotiating table to “jot down issues of their concerns and discuss their resolution”.

PTM leader Mohsin Dawar took to Twitter to welcome the minister’s dialogue offer. He said, “We welcome government’s dialogue offer. PTM strongly believes that dialogue is the only way out and we are always open to it.” While talking about the previous dialogues with the government officials, he said: “We are also aware of the failures of such efforts in the past. The need is for the government to be represented by those who have the power to implement agreements.”

In September last year, after a heated debate on the floor of the National Assembly between Ali Wazir and Mohsin Dawar, and federal ministers, the government had offered talks to the organisation, but with certain conditions.

Last year in May, a PTM delegation headed by Manzoor Pashteen had appeared before a Senate special committee headed by Barrister Mohammad Ali Saif. This was the first interaction between the PTM and the parliamentarians after the May 26, 2019 incident, at the Kharqamar check-post in North Waziristan in which three people were killed and 10 others were injured.

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