Talks progress between Pakistan government, PAT
Islamabad, Sep 10 (IANS) Deliberations between the Pakistan government and protesting Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) party continued here Wednesday with the two sides set to resume their talks Friday, a media report said.
The government’s delegation comprised Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal and Federal Minister for States and Frontier Regions Abdul Qadir Baloch, while PAT was represented by its president Raheeq Abbasi and Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Dawn online reported.
Iqbal said their team would meet PAT negotiators again Friday, and that the government wants the political deadlock to be resolved at the earliest.
The planning and development minister said they were deliberating upon six of PAT’s 10-point charter of demand but the party led by cleric Tahir ul-Qadri reiterated that the resignations of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif were not on agenda.
Meanwhile, Abbasi alleged that Shahbaz was the main culprit in the Model Town case, a firing incident that left 16 PAT protestors dead in Lahore.
The PAT president said talks would proceed further if the government showed flexibility.
The PAT has a 10-point charter of demands, including the resignations of Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif, and lists an elaborate set of social reforms.
Talks between the PAT and the government were revived Sep 3 through a jirga comprising members of opposition parties.
The anti-government protests led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan and Qadri began Aug 15 in an attempt to topple Nawaz Sharif, who they accuse of rigging the 2013 general elections.
While Imran Khan and Qadri continue to demand that Sharif must resign, a joint session of parliament saw all parties put aside their differences and come out overwhelmingly in the support of the prime minister.
Last month, the protests turned violent and three people were killed and over 450 protestors injured.