LAHORE – The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has decided to reach out to the opposition parties outside the Parliament for forming an alliance to mount pressure on the government regarding a consensual caretaker setup to hold free and fair elections.

The decision was made in a meeting of the PTI core group, comprising 22 party members from all the provinces, insiders told TheNation on Wednesday. They said that the top leaders had also decided to hold the intra-party polls in the third week of September from union council to central levels.

The group agreed on the idea of seat adjustment with the parties inside and outside the Parliament, the sources said, adding that this arrangement would be made on candidate’s standing in his constituency.

To a question about entertaining Sheikh Rasheed, they said the matter came under discussion during the meeting, but no serious debate went on over the issue.

Some leaders have given an advice to PTI President Imran Khan to postpone Sheikh Rasheed’s offer of a political agreement between the PTI and the Awami Muslim League till the announcement of upcoming election schedule, the insiders added.

Talking to the media after the group meeting, Imran Khan said the government instead of blaming its failure on the Supreme Court should take up the cases against PML-N President Nawaz Sharif.

He said the caretaker setup must be transparent to ensure free and fair elections. Khan proposed that people like Chief Election Commissioner Fakhruddin G Ibrahim should be included in the caretaker setup.

The PTI chief maintained that the Opposition leaders feared that cases might be open against them if the same was done in case of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

Commenting on the charter of democracy (CoD), he said that his party had nothing to do with it. “The CoD was signed between two parties - the PPP and the PML-N and PTI.”  He urged the chief justice to take action against the PPP-led government tactics to fend off writing letter to the Swiss authorities.

Expressing solidarity with the apex court, the PTI chief said his party would not let any person or government attack the judiciary as his party believed that a state could not survive without a free judiciary.

Talking about the 20th Amendment, Khan said without naming the parties that it was part of a deal between the two mainstream political parties.

He said the PTI would make public its economic roadmap on August 24 to lead the country to real progress. The PTI chief said that he would lead the peace rally to Waziristan come what may. International and national media as well as human rights organisations would accompany him during the peace rally, he added.