ABRAR SAEED

ISLAMABAD - With complete silence over the negotiations with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf after final exchange of notes on Monday, it appeared that the government was hell-bent on resolving the issues with the Pakistan Awami Tehreek negotiators in the presence of Political Jirga here on Tuesday.

After the meeting, the government team head, Ahsan Iqbal, looked optimistic, terming a next session to be held today (Wednesday) as decisive with some tangible outcome of the parleys on the cards.

Ahsan Iqbal was accompanied by Lt-Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch while the Pakistan Awami Tehreek team comprised Raheeq Abbasi and Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali. The negotiations were held in the presence of the Political Jirga members.

The Pakistan Awami Tehreek team members did not take questions from media persons while Political Jirga head Sirajul Haq who is also Jamaat-e-Islami Amir said they were optimistic about the positive outcome of the government, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Tehreek-e-negotiations despite the fact that a lot of hiccups are on the way.

Ahsan Iqbal said that they had constructive and meaningful interaction with the Pakistan Awami Tehreek leaders and hoped the next round of talks scheduled for today (Wednesday) would be decisive and they would come up with some mutually acceptable solution to the problem.

He refused to share details of the deliberations of Tuesday’s meeting and simply said the talks were held in cordial and friendly atmosphere and both the sides had given their point of view on the contentious issues.

The sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed The Nation that though there was no deadlock-like situation, but both the sides were not ready to change their declared stand on the contentious matters, including the resignation of the Punjab chief minister, till the time the investigation into the Model Town carnage was completed by a judicial commission, comprising the judges not belonging to the Punjab.

The government was ready to give credence to other demands of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, including the implementation on the articles in the 1973 Constitution relating to human rights and some other demands aimed at reforming the electoral system in the country, which are more or less similar to those of PTI’s about the electoral system.

A source in Political Jirga denied break-up of parleys between the government and PTI, adding both the sides were in contact with each other and even today (Tuesday) some contact between them was made. “The jirga is also playing the role of a bridge between them,” he added.

In a brief media chat, Political Jirga head Sirajul Haq said he was still hopeful that the impasse between the government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf negotiators would be resolved through negotiations.

Sirajul Haq, who is also the Jamaat-e-Islami chief, said Political Jirga had successfully accomplished its task of breaking the deadlock in negotiations and managing the parties to sit across the table to resume the dialogue.

Admitting enormous difficulties, Haq was optimistic about the positive outcome of the negotiations, saying the parties would resolve the issue in a peaceful fashion through dialogue.

Senator Rehman Malik, one of the members of the jirga, said the whole nation was looking toward them, adding they would not disappoint the people and definitely come up with some solution to the problem.

Nationalist Party Acting President Senator Hasil Bizenjo said that it was their national obligation to help resolve the issue between the government, PTI and PAT in a peaceful manner. He further said that, by bringing the stakeholders to the negotiating table, they had accomplished their main responsibility, adding that they would be very much there to play the role of facilitators where and when it was needed.