LAHORE - The PPP has taken government’s unconditional offer of talks to the PTI with a pinch of salt as it has welcomed the development with a note of caution in its reaction.

“We welcome the development as the first necessary step towards resolution of the conflict; but we have fears as the PML-N has a track record of reneging on its commitments.”

PPP’s Secretary General Sardar Latif Khan Khosa told The Nation.

Asked if the PTI should now call off its protest movement following the government’s offer of talks, the PPP Secretary General said that Imran Khan was less likely to do so due to the trust deficit between the two parties and given the government’s history of breaking its promises.

The former Punjab Governor was of the view that government should have immediately resumed the process of stalled negotiations when the PTI stepped back from its demand of Prime Minister’s resignation.

“Instead of showing flexibility at that time, the government did not take the PTI seriously thinking that the sit-in would fizzle out automatically with Dr Qadri out of the arena”, he observed, adding, that it was only after the PTI showed its muscles that government agreed to come to the negotiating table.

Hinting at the presence of hawkish elements within the PML-N, the PPP leader urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take the issue seriously and control the hawks in his team who believed in politics of violence. “The present fragile political system cannot sustain“Gullu Butt” style of politics”, Khosa said laughingly.

He said that it had been a consistent stance of the PPP that the two sides should sit on the negotiating table to find a solution.

He called for an immediate resolution of the conflict so that government could focus its attention on the multiple problems facing the people of Pakistan. “The ultimate sufferers of this unending stalemate have been the people of Pakistan who are bearing the brunt of energy crisis, soaring inflation and lack of health and education facilities”, he remarked, adding, that government did not pay heed to these problems in the last four months.