Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has invited Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to an all-party conference (APC) set to take place in Islamabad on February 7, reported Geo News.
The APC is aimed at finding solutions to surmount the daunting economic and political crises in Pakistan. The prime minister seeks to bring heads of all political parties on the table so they can figure out ways to address "important national challenges", Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement.
The prime minister, according to the statement, has also invited two representatives from the PTI to participate in the Apex committee meeting -- scheduled for today (Friday) in Peshawar, reported The News International.
In this regard, she said, Federal Minister Ayaz Sadiq has begun contacting top PTI leaders -- including former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser and ex-defence minister Pervez Khattak -- and asked them to participate in the upcoming meetingt.
During the committee's meeting, all stakeholders -- police, Rangers, officials from intelligence agencies, and others -- will participate, according to the minister.
The invitation is a major development as the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government and the PTI have always been at loggerheads over almost all national issues, since Khan's ouster from the PM Office, reported Geo News.
The meeting will discuss Monday's Peshawar suicide bombing, ways to root out terrorism, and the upgradation of the police and counter-terrorism department (CTD).
On January 30, a suicide bombing at a mosque in the Peshawar Police Lines area claimed the lives of at least 101 people, mostly police officials.
The meeting holds importance as the government faces an uphill task when it comes to terrorism. The terror attacks have witnessed a spike after the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) ended its ceasefire with Islamabad in November last year.
Meanwhile, a breakthrough on the political front would bring much-needed stability to the country, as investors need assurance that the nation of 220 million people is a viable place despite all the challenges, reported Geo News.
At the same time, the country is also facing trouble on the economic front. Foreign exchange reserves have gone down to USD 3.09 billion, which analysts say covers less than three weeks of imports, reported Dawn.
Moreover, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)-held foreign exchange reserves have also plunged to precarious levels as the cash-strapped nation desperately seeks to revive the stalled bailout programme of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The country is locked in negotiations with the IMF to release much-needed money under a stalled bailout programme.
Due to foreign debt payments, the central bank said its reserves fell USD 592 million to USD 3,086.2 million during the week ended on January 27, their lowest since February 2014, and are barely enough to provide import cover for 18.5 days (0.61 months).