Pakistan deadlock broken as PTI agrees to meet government team
The opposition negotiating team was able to break the political deadlock between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the government Wednesday after the former agreed to meet a government team to negotiate its demands, a media report said.
"PTI has agreed to move forward in a democratic manner. PTI will meet the government's delegation at 8 p.m. today," Dawn online quoted PTI vice-chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi as saying after a meeting with the opposition negotiating team at Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Rehman Malik's residence in the capital.
In a joint media briefing, leader of the opposition negotiating team, Jamat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj-ul Haq, said the meeting was productive. "It has been a productive meeting. There is still a deadlock, but 70 percent of the work has been done. We believe there will a concrete solution soon."
He, however, cautioned the government to refrain from issuing statements to stop the spread of "negativity".
"If both sides show patience, then we are not far from ending this crisis," he said.
Malik said the opposition team has also asked the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to resolve the issue through dialogue.
"Everyone wants a peaceful solution. I believe that in the next 24-48 hours, things will normalise. The perception that politicians have completely failed, I don't think so this is true. It is the politicians (who are) trying for a long time for solutions to end the ongoing crisis," he said.
The anti-government protests led by PTI chairman Imran Khan and PAT chief Tahir-ul-Qadri began Aug 15 in an attempt to topple Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who they accuse of rigging the 2013 general elections.
While Khan and Qadri continue to demand that Sharif must resign, a joint session of parliament Tuesday saw all parties put aside their differences and come out overwhelmingly in the support of the prime minister.
The protests turned violent late Saturday and Sunday and as a result, at least three people were killed with over 450 protestors injured.
(Posted on 03-09-2014)