Taimur Shaique Hussain Stating that all political parties had acceded to his request, the Prime Minister invited the Chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI), Imran Khan, to join the All Parties Conference (APC). Gathering advice, consensus and after pondering over the invitation, Imran Khan, Dr Shireen Mazari and Dr Arif Alvi, ultimately attended it. They met at the party office with the Chairman and refined a draft, which reflected the partys policy. During the proceedings of the APC, Imran occasionally came out and made his team members present there aware of the speeches and briefings done. The inclination of the government throughout the APC had been to continue to do what they were presently doing, and they had expected that all the political parties should support them and bow down to US pressure. As opposed, the PTI thought that the time to alter direction has now come. Senior party members were urging Imran - and he too - was of the opinion that if a no-change policy would be insisted upon, he would walk out of the conference. The governments draft was circulated, which was typically bland, verbose and devoid of substance. Imran came to the side room and Sheikh Rashid brought the government draft asking him just to add a few paragraphs. The people present were Imran, Chaudhry Nisar, Asfandyar Wali, Munawar Hasan, Kaira, Baber Awan, Aftab Sherpao, Foreign Secretary, Dr Arif Alvi, Dr Shireen Mazari and a few others. The discussion started with PTIs draft. Dr Arif contributed on some points. The Chairman insisted that the government must alter course, otherwise the whole exercise would be futile. All the points were incorporated, including revisiting the now failing government policy and altering direction towards peace and negotiations. With some resistance and minor changes the PTIs draft was modified and a final document was agreed upon. Chaudhry Nisar was quite receptive to our suggestions and so were others. While no party had any documented policy paper, as has always been the case, only the PTI team went prepared with a visionary roadmap (documented, agreed upon, almost and nearly ready for on-the ground implementation). As the party negotiated its way through, the government now, at least on paper, is bound to alter course from military action and focus more towards peace and negotiation, and also to lay down a mechanism for it. PTI is not very confident on its implementation. However, that is not PTIs responsibility as of yet. Additionally, the unanimous National Assembly resolution was reinforced, as regards drone attacks. Please remember, the US has consistently been targeting our people and our soil with no regard to a resolution to halt drone strikes. It was also decided that a parliamentary committee shall be formed that shall oversee implementation of the APC resolution and NA unanimous resolution, regarding killings through drone hits. For PTI, this not only appears, but also may be a major victory of skills on the negotiation front. While many consider Imran as an angry politician criticising the present regime all the time, they may well be advised on the fact that Imran and the PTI members are the only people who can possibly bring the country together that was practically illustrated at the APC. Their skills of leadership in changing direction of the countrys thinking may, perhaps, safely be regarded as a good start at least on paper, which by itself is not a minor victory As a matter of fact, it may be quite widely regarded as a brilliant coup that could not have happened without the grace of Allah, where 52 parties many of whom till yesterday talked against this line of action went along with the point of view of senior PTI leadership. The victory is not what came on paper, but how the partys Chairman managed to do it. It is a credit to his partys diplomatic skills that almost all what we wanted was incorporated, and, moreover, agreed upon by all. The final draft was approved unanimously by 52 political parties within one hour of presentation, not an unremarkable feat. Imran Khan and PTI: Yesterday leading 11 men; today 52 political parties.. n The writer was former editor of Aitchisonian - Centenary Anthology, and ex-senior editor of Wharton Journal. Email: taimurtsh@gmail.com