Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday said he was willing to talk with political rival PTI for the “sake of national interest”. Addressing the launch ceremony of “Youth Development Initiatives” in Islamabad, the prime minister said: “You didn’t shake [my] hand for four years and now you’re saying to ‘come to talk with us’? Till when will this two-facedness continue? But, we will be ready for it for the sake of national interest.” Declining to give any details, the prime minister said he was ready to give “any sacrifice” for keeping the national interest as the primary concern. However, he stressed that the Opposition had “double standards” as it was not willing to talk with the coalition parties in the past. Since his ouster, former prime minister and PTI chief Imran Khan has at various points expressed willingness to hold a dialogue with the incumbent government if it was ready to hold fresh elections. It has already been reported in the media that President Arif Alvi was making backchannel efforts to defuse the current political tension. However, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Sunday said the government would not accept any pre-condition for going into talks with the PTI. He had said the government would not budge from any pressure and would hold talks only without any pre-conditions, though the next general election may be on the agenda of the talks.