PTI agrees for talks with Pakistani government


PAKISTAN-UNREST-POLITICS-JUSTICE-KHANIslamabad:  The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has agreed to talks with the government over alleged rigging of the 2013 general elections, a media report said.

Senior PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi told Dawn newspaper on the telephone that his party had agreed to negotiate with the government.

“We wish the government had taken our demands seriously,” the PTI leader said.

“Our strategy is clear, we want to strengthen democracy and not derail it as opposed to the impression that is being given,” he added.

Qureshi said the PTI had a six-point agenda which would be put forth on the negotiating table. He, however, refused to discuss it with the media.

“Our line is clear… we want to remain peaceful,” he said.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief and an anti-government protest leader Tahirul Qadri earlier Wednesday ordered his party legislators to lay siege to parliament, even as he called for “the sanctity of the national assembly to be maintained”.

The PAT chief said earlier in the day that any person found guilty of attacking army personnel would have no association with him or his party.

“Shout pro-army slogans when you come face to face with army personnel,” Qadri instructed his supporters.

Earlier, thousands of activists of Imran Khan-led PTI and PAT forced their way to reach the parliament building demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Khan claims that the 2013 elections were rigged and that Sharif has a “fake mandate”. He has demanded that fresh elections be held.

The protesters removed all hurdles to reach the “Red Zone” in the capital city that houses diplomatic missions and other important buildings including the prime minister’s house.

The Pakistani Army has called for dialogue to resolve the political crisis.

The current “situation requires patience, wisdom and sagacity from all stakeholders”, Xinhua quoted military spokesperson Asim Bajwa as saying Wednesday. He called for “meaningful dialogue in larger national and public interest to resolve the prevailing impasse”.

Bajwa said the buildings in the “Red Zone” are symbols of the state and are being protected by the army and “therefore sanctity of these national symbols must be respected”.

The army has been entrusted with the responsibility of securing Islamabad’s sensitive Red Zone area.


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