ISLAMABAD - Not deterred by zero trust-level and ongoing police-protesters skirmishes in the Red Zone, the ruling PML-N has launched a fresh initiative to bring back the hostile PAT and PTI leadership on the negotiation table to resolve the volatile imbroglio, which has virtually crippled the life in the federal capital for the last couple of weeks.
Sources in the government privy to these developments, which were accelerated following the caution coming from the Corps Commanders Conference Sunday night not to use force against the protesters and expeditiously resolve the issue through negotiations, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif tasked his trusted aides including Senator Ishaq Dar to engage the political forces to restart the stalled talks with PTI and PAT leaders.
Some of the MPs who were in the parliamentary parties meeting informed that a PPP Senator had proposed constitution of a grand jirga (assembly of notables) comprising political leaders belonging to different political parties to engage the PTI and PAT leadership in negotiations.
Premier Sharif accepted the proposal and asked him to head this Jirga but he politely declined and the consensus of the participants was that JI Amir Sirajul Haq should head it as the PTI and PAT leadership has a soft corner for him.
The sources in PML-N informed that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had sent messages to the PTI and PAT leadership through some common friends for reopening of dialogue but the response was in negative as the leadership of both the protesting parties wanted immediate cessation of operation against their people, release of their arrested workers and leaders, and registration of cases against those who had blatantly launched ruthless operation against the peaceful demonstrators.
The sources further informed that the option of seeking some role of an arbitrator from the apex court as referred to by the apex court judges on Monday as well as guarantees from some other powerful players could help resolve the issue but so far the protesting parties as well as the government was not ready to budge an inch from their declared stances, and the positions of both sides on the resignation of Prime Minister further hardened.
A member of opposition party in the National Assembly, who attended the parliamentary parties heads meeting with Prime Minister, said that they would not let the PM step back even an inch from the resolution of the both houses of the Parliament extending complete and unflinching support to him.
He further said that they were not averse to a negotiated settlement of the dispute but all negotiations must be within the ambit of the constitution.
To a question, Parliamentarians belonging to opposition parties, said that the Joint Sitting of the Parliament starting from today would unlikely to come up with a fresh resolution in support of the system and Prime Minister but surely it would engage the MPs from all the parties in debate on the subject and could even stretch beyond the one week time.