ISLAMABAD - Although positive signals are coming from both ruling PML-N and PTI on breakthrough in negotiations, insiders say that still both sides need to remove irritants on the terms of reference of the proposed judicial commission and the definition of rigging.

Sources in the government informed The Nation that they have no objection on constitution of the vote probe commission through presidential ordinance, but admitted there were wide differences with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on terms of reference and mandate of the proposed commission as well as the definition of rigging and its mode of examination.

The sources further said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s negotiation team had proposed that the matters like acquiring the services of any department or constitution of joint investigation team (JIT) for assistance in probing the rigging charges in 2013 general elections should be left at the discretion of judicial commission. But PTI team had been demanding a joint investigation team comprising the officers of repute from ISI, IB, FIA, Nadra and other relevant departments.

On the issue of deadline of 30 or 45 days to be given to the commission to complete the task as insisted by PTI, again PML-N negotiators wanted to leave the matter at the discretion of the commission whose members themselves should decide how much time they would be requiring for completion of the tedious task assigned to them.

Sources further said that ruling PML-N would not oppose if the PTI would share the agreement reached with government with other political parties, as this time main opposition parties in the parliament including Awami National Party and Pakistan People’s Party had give tacit assurance to PTI Chairman Imran Khan on constitution of the judicial commission after which he (Imran) decided to call off his 120 days long sit-in from D-Chowk.

PTI sources also said that trust deficit between the two sides was very much there and despite assurances from various quarters, PTI wanted backing of mainstream political parties on any eventual agreement reached with the government.

On the other hand it was decided in the inner core meetings of the ruling PML-N before resumption of the negotiations that Political Jirga should not be engaged in the negotiations as observer. Sources in government informed that both sides could meet in a day or so but in their informal meetings and interaction both sides seemed satisfied with the progress of negotiations.

Sources aware of the last couple of interaction between the two sides said that now PTI had conceded a lot in their demands during the course of negotiations with ruling PML-N including the withdrawal from the resignation of prime minister to take the matter to its logical conclusion.

Previously too, before the breakup of the negotiations, the main difference between the two sides was on the definition of the rigging; whereas, on the constitution of commission, there was procedural difference between them. PTI wanted its constitution through an ordinance while PML-N side insisted it should be made through an act of parliament in consultation with other parliamentary parties.

On the definition of rigging, PTI wanted sample audit of 30 constituencies of its choice while PML-N wanted the judicial commission to examine whether there was some planned and systematic rigging to steal the mandate of some particular party and was there any planned role of any particular party in doing so in connivance with superior judiciary and Election Commission of Pakistan. PML-N team argued that the audit of just 30 national assembly constituencies could not be reflective of the results of 272 constituencies.

Sources informed The Nation that now main opposition parties had given tacit understanding to PTI Chairman Imran Khan that Judicial Commission would be constituted, so it became immaterial if it would come through presidential ordinance or act of parliament. This backing of parliamentary parties has removed apprehension of the PTI that government would delay the matter by putting it to unending debate in parliament. Sources further said that now the thorny issue between the two sides is definition of rigging on which both sides needed more deliberations and to show more flexibility to make these parleys a success.