Pakistan government ‘examining demands’ of Imran Khan, Qadri teams

Imrankhan and Qadri

After talking to Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) party of Tahir-ul-Qadri and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party of Imran Khan, reports emanating from the Pak capital suggetsed that the Nawaz Sharif government was giving their demands a serious thought and could respond by Thursday.

After the dialogue session, a member of PTI told the Pak press that the government would get back after ‘examining their demands’. 

PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that his party’s delegation met government’s delegation and presented it six conditions and discussed the logic behind them. 

The dialogue between the PTI and the government side began at a private hotel in Islamabad in which the government was represented by Federal Information Minister Pewaiz Rashid, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar, Ahsan Iqbal, Zahid Hamid, and Abdul Qadir Baloch. 

The PTI negotiators included Asad Umar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Arif Alvi Javed Hashmi and Jehangir Tareen. 

Imran Khan’s six demands comprise — Nawaz Sharif quit as prime minister, mid-term elections be held, electoral reforms be made, forming impartial interim government through political consensus, resignation of the Election Commission of Pakistan, and Article 6 of the constitution be invoked against those involved in the “rigging” of May 2013 elections and awarded punishments. 

Earlier, Pakistan government Wednesday held talks with cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, the PAT chief and an opposition leader, who is leading thousands of supporters in a sit-in in Islamabad and seeks Sharif’s resignation, Xinhua reported. 

Qadri, who launched anti-government protest Aug 14, had earlier refused to hold talks with the government like Imran Khan. 

The cleric contends that he can bring out a revolution as the present system has failed to deliver. 

He agreed to hold talks after the Sharif-led government formed a committee comprising two ministers and some political leaders to defuse the political tension.

The two sides held two rounds of dialogue, the step described as an important move to “melt the ice” at a time when the protest has disrupted life in Islamabad. 

The government negotiation team was satisfied with the opening of the dialogue, however, the Qadri team reiterated his demand for Sharif’s resignation.

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