LAHORE  - Although most of the political parties are opposed to the invocation of Article 245 of the Constitution because of its likely negative impact in the days ahead, the government “so far” is not inclined to review its decision on the subject, highly placed official sources said.

“The issue of Article 245 has nothing to do with the present situation. It has been invoked for the security of the county. Therefore, opposition parties have no justification to raise the matter in talks with the government”, the sources said.

The government is also not in favour of calling an all-party conference, as proposed by the MQM to discuss the prevailing situation and work out a solution.

“The prime minister held consultations with many parties, but except for the MQM no other party raised such a demand”, said the sources.

The real issue was to persuade the PTI to call off its march on Islamabad, the sources said, implying that the APC idea was irrelevant at this juncture.

As for PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s demand for fresh elections, the government is not willing even to listen to it after just one year of coming to power, the sources said.

Some leaders, they said, had held meetings with PTI Chairman Imran Khan and then come up with some new proposals for the government.

Without disclosing these proposals, the sources said Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirjaul Haq would discuss these with the prime minister at a meeting with him on Friday (today).

However, some TV channels reported that the PTI chairman wants elections on 10 seats.

As for the policy about the long marches planned by the PTI and the Pakistan Awami Tehrik, the sources said since talks were being held with various parties to defuse the situation, it was premature at this stage to say anything on the subject.

Abrar Saeed adds from Islamabad: Offering to play the role of a mediator between the government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Muttahida Qoumi Movement (MQM) advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to call an all parties conference (APC) to help resolve the political standoff.

An MQM delegation, comprising Governor Dr Ishratul Ibaad, Convener Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Dr Farooq Sattar and other senior party leaders, discussed the volatile political situation in the country arising out of the proposed protest plans by Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri with the prime minister and his political team, including federal ministers Ch Nisar Ali Khan, Ishaq Dar, Pervaiz Rashid and Kh Saad Rafique.

Meanwhile, the prime minister continued his consultative meetings the whole day with the leaders of other political parties and briefed them on the initiative the government has so far taken to persuade PTI and PAT for settlement of the dispute.

Besides the MQM delegation, those who held meetings with Premier Sharif on Thursday were Awami National Party leaders, Amir Haider Hoti, Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour and Senator Haji Adeel, PPP Senator Mian Raza Rabbani and National Party chief Mir Hasil Bazenjo.

The leaders of all these political parties put their weight behind the ruling PML-N and pledged that they would stand united and resist derailment of the political system.

They, however, said that holding of protest rallies remaining within the constitutional limits should not be hampered as it is the democratic and constitutional right of political parties to highlight their political agenda through peaceful demonstrations.

The MQM leaders, during the meeting with the prime minister, appreciated the restraint shown by the government and the efforts the government was making to bring Imran Khan to the table. The MQM leaders offered the role of a mediator among the government, PTI and PAT in the dialogue process, sources informed The Nation.

The MQM leaders expressed concern over the use of force against the PAT activists. Taking to media persons after the meeting, Dr Farooq Sattar said holding protest demonstrations is the democratic right of political parties and, before taking any extreme step, all the options of negotiations must be exercised.

Sources in the Prime Minister’s House revealed that in their meeting with the PM, the ANP and NP leaders supported the efforts to resolve the political standoff through negotiations and hoped sanity would prevail and PTI and PAT leaders a would talk to the government to sort out their concerns regarding the electoral reforms or the vote audit in some constituencies.

The leadership of both these parties termed the demand of Imran Khan for resignation of Premier Sharif unconstitutional. However, they supported their right to hold demonstrations remaining within the constitutional limits.

PPP Senator Raza Rabbani also called on the prime minister. The sources close to PPP and ANP revealed both Raza Rabbani and Haji Adeel termed the invocation of Article 245 unwarranted.

In a media chat after the meeting, Haji Adeel said they have advised the premier to avoid use of force.

To a question, Senator Raza Rabbani said they had advised the PM to reverse the decision as it would leave a negative impact on the government’s image.