ISLAMABAD      -    Top Pakistan People’s Party leadership does not want to topple the government through sit-ins, close aides said yesterday.

Senior PPP leaders who remain regularly in contact with PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari, told The Nation that the top duo wants to keep the pressure on the government but “they want a constitutional way out.”

“They believe that a mob should not be allowed to remove the government but are also convinced that this government (led by the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf) should go home as soon as possible. They want to achieve this through a constitutional way not through sit-ins,” said a close aide of the Bhutto family.

Zardari and Bilawal, he said, want Prime Minister Imran Khan to call mid-term elections to make way for a free and fair election.

Another PPP leader said it was due to this policy that Bilawal announced not to participate in any sit-in by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl). “Zardari agrees with Bilawal. This is a party policy for now,” he added.

Yesterday, the first round of talks between government’s negotiation committee and opposition’s Rehbar Committee ended as deadlock persisted.

Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said the talks would continue till the deadlock remains. He said Rehbar committee must talk to its leaders as we are always ready for dialogues.

Head of Rehbar Committee Akram Durrani on the occasion said, “We are firmly sticking to our demands. He said our demands are same from day one.”

Bilawal’s spokesperson Senator Mustfa Nawaz Khokhar said the PPP chief had never proposed ‘national government.’ “Chairman Bilawal has never given this statement. We will decide what we can do about the JUI-F campaign,” he added.

Yesterday, Bilawal said that the government will be responsible if anything happened to his ailing father.

“President Zardari has still not been given access to specialist doctors and personal physician. Our family is increasingly concerned about his health. If anything happens to our father this govt will be held responsible,” he tweeted.

Senior PPP leader Senator Rehman Malik said the party was against playing any card. “This protest (led by the JUI-F) started with a religious card. Let’s see if it ends on religious card or a political card. The PPP is against playing any card,” he said.

The lawmaker said the PPP had already warned against using the religious card. “I don’t see the Azadi March in the next few days. These types of sit-ins end surprisingly,” he remarked.