Political stalemate continues as Khan, Qadri want Sharif's head
Posted on Aug 23 2014 | IANS
Lahore/Islamabad, Aug 23 : Pakistan's political stalemate continued Saturday amid political discussions by the government to find a solution and protest leaders Imran Khan and Tahir-ul-Qadri refusing to give up until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns.
The government said Saturday former president Asif Ali Zardari has denied any need for the prime minister to resign over the demand by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) led by Imran Khan and cleric Qadri.
Following the Sharif-Zardari meeting earlier in the day Finance Minister Ishaq Dar quoted Zardari, the co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), as saying that "there was no question of Prime Minister Sharif's resignation", Geo News reported.
He said the PPP expressed commitment to supremacy of law, constitution, and continued support to the democratic system.
Both the sides stressed on "the need to find a solution of the present political crisis within the purview of law and constitution", Dar said and thanked the PPP for its support.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister Abdul Qadri Baloch said dialogue with the PTI was progressing and it was now up to the PTI leadership to agree.
Sharif and Zardari met in Lahore to discuss the ongoing political stalemate induced by the protests by Imran Khan's PTI and Qadri's PAT in Islamabad.
Zardari, who was invited by Sharif, was accompanied by senior PPP leaders Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Ahsan and Khurshid Shah, who is also the opposition leader in the National Assembly.
Zardai later met Jamaat-e-Islami chief Siraj-ul-Haq and both the leaders stressed at the need to find a solution to the prevailing political crisis in Pakistan.
Zardari met the JI chief following his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif were both leaders expressed their support for the supremacy of the constitution and democratic system.
The former president was also expected to meet Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid e Azam Group) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Elahi.
Meanwhile, Imran Khan Saturday refused to discontinue his protest until prime minister resigns, adding that the meeting between the two leaders would make no difference to people as they have already made up their minds.
Talking to his supporters at the sit-in, the cricketer-turned-politician, who has claimed that the 2013 elections were rigged and that Sharif enjoys a a fake mandate, said: "I will play till the last ball."