ISLAMABAD: The deadlock between government and Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) persists, as the former will not budge an inch to accept the demands of latter regarding lifting of ban on Altaf Hussain’s live speech and allowing its workers to collect hides during Eid-ul-Azha.

However, the government side was not expecting a sudden change in MQM’s stance to call off talks till meeting its demands. “MQM suddenly called off negotiations with the government on resignations issue, as all of their demands cannot be accepted,” Finance Minister Ishaq Dar exclusively told The Nation. The minister said that the government was ready to hold talks with MQM as it has a number of arguments against their demands. “MQM after holding initial rounds of talks with the government, all of a sudden held a press conference and presented their demands,” Dar said. The government was ready to form ‘Grievances Redressal Committee’ to address MQM’s grievances but they were showing inflexible attitude, he added.

MQM, a couple of days before, had announced to stop further negotiations with the government on resignations’ issue. It blamed the government for pushing them against the wall on the pretext of Karachi operation and criticised restrictions on the party in different matters.

MQM members, a day after holding talks with the government, put forth demands, including lifting of undeclared ban on welfare activities (collecting hides), political offices and Altaf Hussian’s speech on electronic media. The MQM and the government held three rounds of talks to resolve the issue of resignations but it remained inconclusive.

When contacted, MQM lawmaker Ali Raza Abidi said that Muttahida wants government to fulfill its demands immediately. “Our demands are logical with all points of view,” said Abidi.

He said MQM after thorough deliberation have reached a consensus to call off talks, as the government seems unwilling to accept demands. “Our party members have resigned from parliament on August 12 after showing its grievances on certain issues, including different aspects of Karachi operation,” he added.

Sources said that MQM Chief Altaf Hussain has asked main party leaders to put more pressure on government and even repeatedly ask THE government to accept resignations. The government side had earlier assured MQM to form “Grievances Redressal Committee (GRC)” to resolve their issues. This offer was conditionally agreed by MQM to reconsider its decision of quitting the legislatures. The three meetings between government and MQM could not resolve the matter as even “Grievances Redressal Committee (GRC)” could not be formed.

Both sides had also exchange drafts in initial meetings but it also did not prove fruitful to bring back MQM in parliament. Sources said that the government would make another attempt after Eid-ul-Azha, as it was not in a position to hold bye-elections in nearly 50 constituencies. Sources said that Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) has also almost refused to further play its active role to convince MQM to rejoin parliamentary politics.