Political storm ebbs in Pakistan, ‘concrete solution’ in sight

ISLAMABAD (TIP): After weeks of turmoil, the political storm that has engulfed Pakistan seemed to be ebbing on Wednesday as protesters returned to talks with the government and a mediator between the two warring sides said a “concrete solution” is in sight. The positive development came after a war of words in the Parliament between lawmakers of the Imran Khanled Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf (PTI), who had quit but their resignations have not been accepted by the speaker, and progovernment leaders.

In a significant development, an opposition ‘jirga’, a committee of opposition politicians led by Jamaat-i- Islami (JI) chief Sirajul Haq, held talks with the leadership this evening. Both Khan and cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) agreed late last night to talk to the opposition ‘jirga’ that is mediating between the embattled Nawaz Sharif-led government and the protesters who have been demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation over alleged vote rigging in last year’s general election.

Speaking to reporters after meeting the jirga which included Haq and Pakistan People’s Party leader Rehman Malik, senior leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said his party is ready to move ahead and agreed to move forward in a democratic manner,” he said. In the joint media briefing, Haq said, “It has been a productive meeting. There is still a deadlock, but 70 per cent of the work has been done.

We believe there will be a concrete solution soon.” “I would like to advise the government to refrain from issuing statements, which spread negativity. If both sides show patience, then we are not far in ending this crisis,” he said. Malik said, ” showed maturity and didn’t say anything negative. I request the Prime Minister’s team not to talk about any individual. We have also requested the PAT committee to resolve the issue through dialogue.” “Everyone wants a peaceful solution.

I believe that in the next 24 yo 48 hours, things will normalize,” he said. in the day, a joint session of Parliament saw all parties except put aside their differences to stand against what they termed were attempts to derail the democratic process in the country prone to coups. Heated exchanges between opposing camps that have regularly figured in the political discourse during the threeweek impasse today moved inside the Parliament. Impassioned speeches continued to be made in the Parliament with leader Qureshi leading the party’s reply to countless accusations made by progovernment leaders.

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