ISLAMABAD - The hostile and provocative statements from both the government ministers and the PTI and PAT leadership have virtually dumped the option of negotiated settlement of the dispute, and at the same time put the Political Jirga in an awkward position how to bring the estranged parties back to the negotiating table.

In case the parleys could not be restored, then it would become imperative for the members of the Jirga to place the minutes of the negotiations before the people of Pakistan so that they could decide for themselves which party had backed out from the negotiations and what were the reasons behind the break-up in talks.

The Political Jirga would also have to place before the nation the Jirga’s proposal presented to the parties for reaching some common ground.

Background interviews with some important leaders in the ruling PML-N, protesting parties and the members of Political Jirga revealed that this time it seemed extremely difficult, if not impossible, to revive the stalled negotiations between the government and protesting parties, because the provocative and venomous statements from hawks on both sides had caused an irreparable damage to the talks initiative.

A member of Political Jirga, who is away from the federal capital to attend some of his personal engagements, informed The Nation that they would again try to bring the estranged parties back to the negotiating table.

He was at loss to understand the rationale behind the recent police crackdown on PTI and PAT workers, and said that they were given the understanding by the government side that during the course of negotiations no arrests would be made, adding that such steps would definitely make their job difficult.

A PTI leader, who remained part of the initial negotiations with government, informed that the minutes of the meetings with the government team were handed over to the Political Jirga along with the government team’s replies and now it would be the responsibility of the Jirga members to tell the nation who had actually backed out from their declared stand.

Terming the claim of the government team that five and a half points out of the six demands of the PTI were accepted as totally false, he said that actually the government had not accepted even half of their demands and they were even not ready to hold vote audit in a few constituencies of their choice.

Head of Political Jirga, Sirajul Haq, in a media chat said that they wanted a win-win position for the government and the parties staging sit-ins and that he wanted to see the protestors go back to their homes with smile on their faces.

Siraj said that they had also given a proposal to resolve the imbroglio though negotiations and asked the government and the protesting parties to show flexibility in their hardened stance on certain points.

A member of Jirga, who did not want to disclose his identity, said that actually the Political Jirga was just mandated to restore the stalled negotiations, which they had successfully managed and it was not in their mandate that they should give some solution to the problem even after the break-up in the talks.

To a question, he said that actually all the stakeholders were enslaved in their egos and no one is ready to realistically look at the problem, so in his view all the three - government, PTI and PAT - were responsible for the current deadlock.

To another question, he said that it was not decided yet that the Jirga would place the whole matter before the nation in case of failure of talks adding that it would be beyond the mandate of the Political Jirga. He further said that in one of the meetings a couple of members of the Jirga had floated this idea but no final decision on it was made.

The sources in Political Jirga informed The Nation that in case the Jirga fails to bring the parties back to the negotiating table then it would place before the nation the details of the negotiation process and its own proposal to resolve the issue.

A source in PTI informed that if Jirga fails to do so then PTI will make public the minutes of their negotiations with the government team and will make the Jirga members witness to it.