ISLAMABAD - Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq and Pakistan People’s Party Senator Rehman Malik, both members of political jirga, on Saturday held meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and discussed with him ways and means to break impasse between government and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on formation of judicial commission to probe alleged rigging in 2013 general elections.

A few days ago Rehman Malik had written a letter to both PTI and government’s negotiating teams giving proposals for breaking deadlock between the two sides over the formation of judicial commission.  On Saturday, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar gave a written reply to the letter of political jirga explaining government’s point of view.

After receiving the reply, Malik along with JI chief Sirajul Haq met Ishaq Dar and discussed way forward on formation of judicial commission as well as return of PTI parliamentarians back to the assemblies. Sources said that upcoming Senate elections and bringing consensus candidates from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to block the way of horse-trading also figured in the meeting and all the three agreed to the point that all political forces should join hands to discourage this ugly tendency in the national politics.

The sources informed that PTI leadership had conceded more ground on the terms of reference of the proposed high-powered judicial commission and agreed that the matter should be left on the discretion of Supreme Court of Pakistan.

However, there are still irritants on the definition of rigging but sources in political jirga said that keeping in view the flexibility shown by both sides these minor irritants would also be removed as well. The sources said that both sides would likely meet in next few days. Most probably, soon after the Senate elections a formal meeting between the government and PTI teams would be held to enter into a formal agreement on the probe of 2013 general elections through a high-powered judicial commission on mutually agreed terms and conditions.

POLL MISMANAGEMENT NO RIGGING: AHSAN

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has said that no hurdle stays to the way of setting up Judicial Commission to probe the last election. However the problem lies with PTI chief Imran Khan who counts election mismanagement as election rigging, he has added.

“The government is in touch with the political parties for legislation against horse trading in the senate election and it would address reservations of the political leaders to evolve consensus on this matter,” Ahsan Iqbal said while talking to the media after addressing the workshop on ‘uplifting public sector and civil services performance-vision 2025’ here on Saturday.

To a question, the minister said that whole nation was united against terrorism, adding that the government would not rest until this scourge was eliminated completely from the country. He also said that measures were being taken to bring transparency at every level to ensure good governance in the country.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the country’s exports would have to be increased from the present $25 billion to $150 billion by 2025.

In his address, the minister underlined the need for improving performance of government departments and institutions to ensure sustained development. He also invited all segments of the society to present proposals for enhancing efficacy of the government departments.

Informing the media that strenuous efforts were underway to create conducive environment for attracting local and foreign investment, Ahsan said that the massive growth in population was badly marring the increase in exports.

“We need to take our exports up to $150b by the year 2025, if we have to neutralise effects of the population growth rate on our economy and take the country forward,” he said while terming population growth rate a bombshell. He also regretted while admitting that Pakistan and Afghanistan still couldn’t root out polio malady out of the country. He was also seen gloomy while stating that tuberculosis (TB) was bouncing back on Pakistan when it was wiping off in the world. “This indicates that we have to do a lot to get into the race of developing countries,” he added.