PM invites Imran to an APC amid crises

-Shehbaz wants to take stakeholders on board for strategy to overcome challenges 
-Scheduled to attend Apex committee meeting today in Peshawar
-Huddle to discuss ways to root out terrorism, strengthen Police, CTD

By Anzal Amin

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Thursday invited Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan to an All Parties Conference (APC) aimed at finding solutions to surmount the daunting economic and political crises.
The prime minister seeks to bring heads of all political parties on the table so they can join heads and figure out ways to address “important national challenges”, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said in a statement. The conference is set to take place in Islamabad on February 7.
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 moot.
The invitation is a major development as the PDM-led government and the PTI have always been at loggerheads over almost all national issues, not only since Khan’s ouster from the PM Office, but even when the tables were turned.
The move comes as Pakistan faces a severe threat of terrorism and distressing economic and political situations, with no signs of respite soon.
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.
During the committee’s meeting, all stakeholders — police, Rangers, officials from intelligence agencies, and others — will participate, according to the minister.
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).
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, if there is a breakthrough on the political front, then it would bring much-needed stability to the country, which needs to assure investors it is a viable place despite all the challenges.

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).

Due to foreign debt payments, the central bank said its reserves fell $592 million to $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).