ISLAMABAD - With the back-channel efforts of various political parties, negotiations between government and protesting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf were once again set into motion on Tuesday.
Though no shift in the declared stand of either side, the Tuesday session concluded on a positive note, with both sides agreeing to continue with the dialogue process to break the impasse.
After the fourth round of talks PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that though there was no breakthrough in the negotiations, they have decided that they would continue with the dialogue and the next session would be held on Wednesday (today).
Federal Minister for Finance Senator Ishaq Dar who had joined the government team for the first time, said that the positive note was that talks stand restored and both sides had agreed to keep the process rolling.
To a question, Dar also said that there is no shift in their respective positions, but the positive thing was that the process of dialogue had restarted and would continue.
The government’s negotiation team comprised federal ministers Senator Ishaq Dar, Pervez Rashid, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Abdul Qadri Baloch while the PTI’s side was represented by Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Jehangir Tareen, Pervez Khattak, Javed Hashmi, Assad Umer and Arif Alvi.
Meanwhile, the MQM team comprising Khalid Maqbool, Haider Abbas Rizvi, Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri visited JUI-F chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman’s residence and discussed with him the latest political developments.
Talking to media, MQM leader Babar Ghauri said that his party desired that democracy should not be derailed in the country unlike in the past.
He said that the matter could be resolved by give and take; only a win-win situation can defuse the tension.
Ghauri said Altaf Hussain has assigned them the task to use all abilities to steer the country out of the political crisis.
The MQM leader also called upon the government and the protesting parties to understand the critical condition of the country and try to resolve the political crisis through dialogue.
Meanwhile, the same team also met Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah and discussed the standoff between the government and protesting PTI and PAT leadership and opposed the use of force to handle the protesters.
They stressed the need that the government should engage the demonstrators in dialogue and show flexibility in its stand to pave the way for the negotiated settlement of the issue.
In another development Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq held a meeting with Federal Interior Minister Ch. Nisar Ali Khan and praised him for showing patience in handling the protesters in front of the Parliament.
Siraj stressed the need for engaging the demonstrators in dialogue and hoped that both the sides would show flexibility in their stand to resolve the imbroglio for the greater benefit of the system.
Sources in the government informed that the MQM leaders who had held meetings with Fazlur Rehman and Khursheed Shah and also had a detailed meeting with Qadri on Monday last, would meet Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today and discuss with him the ways and means to get the political leadership out of the prevailing political crisis.
On Tuesday, PML-Q leaders Ch. Pervaiz Elahi, Raja Basharat and others met Qadri in his container and discussed with him the current situation in the light of his ultimatum expiring today.
Showing complete solidarity with the PAT chief over the issue of registration of FIR of the Model Town tragedy, Ch. Pervaiz asked him to soften his stance and avoid clash.
Pervaiz rapped the Prime Minister and his team for pushing the things to a point of no return and warned that in case of some mishap in shape of clash the whole responsibility would rest with the government.