ISLAMABAD- Talks between the ruling PML-N and PTI remained inconclusive over question of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation while no session of dialogue was held with PAT on Friday.

A team led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met senior leaders of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and categorically rejected their demand of PM’s resignation saying it has no legal, factual or moral basis.

Dar added, this demand is unfortunate as it also casts serious doubts on the independence of the Supreme Court judges who will be members of the Judicial Commission, which would investigate allegations of rigging in the past general elections.

Talking to media persons shortly after the talks, both sides however claimed substantive progress without any explanation. “There has been tangible progress in talks between the government and PTI negotiating teams,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters. They said both sides proactively discussed the drafts exchanged by the two sides for resolution of the political crisis.

Dar said PTI had given a written proposal and the PML-N gave its response yesterday. “Today our talks were focused on these drafts and we are trying to forge consensus.” He said the two sides would again meet Saturday and expressed the hope to conclude the dialogue process at the earliest.

Senator Dar said that his party has submitted its written response to PTI about its proposals. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz wants that proposed judicial commission should be constituted through the Act of Parliament after consensus with other political parties in both Houses, and not through an ordinance, he added.

In its para-wise written response the PML-N said that proposed the judicial commission should comprise three judges of the Supreme Court to be nominated by the chief justice. As the JC would have all powers of a Civil and Criminal Court, therefore the PML-N cannot agree that the proceedings of the commission should be summary in nature, it said, adding that issues before the commission are very serious, important and complicated and evidence of witnesses in respect of such issues requires to be properly recorded and examined.

The PML-N has agreed in principle to constitution of joint investigation team (JIT) as proposed by PTI. It has also agreed in principle to the proposals regarding the balanced composition of the JIT and that the head of the JIT may be appointed after consultation with all concerned.

The ruling party has also agreed, without casting any aspersions on present incumbents, that non-controversial, non-partisan professionals shall be appointed as heads of Nadra, FIA and Election Commission of Pakistan after consultation with all concerned.

The response said, the Judicial Commission may be required to submit its report in 30 days (as demanded by PTI) or within such time as it may determine. The report shall be a public document. Its findings shall be binding and enforceable.

Citing several reasons and arguments, the response of PML -N says the proposed “Test” for determining occurrence of “Rigging” is unacceptable. It says if the final report of the judicial commission affirms allegations of rigging then the national assembly would be dissolved and a caretaker cabinet appointed in accordance with the constitution and in consultations with the all concerned including PTI. (However) members of the election commission can only be removed in the manner prescribed in Article 209 of the constitution.

PML-N has pointed out that Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reforms has been given three months to complete its work and the committee may be asked to expedite its work. The party is agreeable to the suggestion that an experts’ sub-committee may be constituted to assist the parliamentary committee in preparation of drafts.

It further said there is no need for establishing Supreme Monitoring Council, as the judicial commission would be fully empowered to pass necessary directions regarding all issues relating to determination of its Terms of Reference. Regarding proposal for Code of Conduct during interim period, PML-N has opined that the code may be formulated in consultation with all political parties and implemented immediately.