ISLAMABAD - Following the deadly attack of terrorists on Army Public School in Peshawar, the political temperature in the country fell for some time as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announced to call off its December 18 countrywide shutdown under its Plan-C.

The PTI also announced to postpone its first detailed sitting of talks with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that was scheduled to be held on Tuesday between the two negotiation teams over the constitution of a judicial commission to investigate the alleged rigging in the last general elections.

In another major development, PTI which is the major opposition party at the Centre and the ruling party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa decided to take part in the parliamentary parties’ meeting being held on Wednesday (today) in Peshawar with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the chair. Nawaz Sharif, soon after the attack on the school, summoned the parliamentary parties’ meeting in Peshawar for today (Wednesday).

Well-placed sources in the PTI said the party had decided to participate in the parliamentary parties’ meeting. This would be an important development on the political horizon of the country if the party attended the meeting because it had publicly announced that it did not accept the Parliament which was based on a fake mandate. All the lawmakers of the party have already tendered their resignations from their NA memberships, following the decision of the party chief.

Earlier in the day, Chairman Imran Khan, while talking to reporters at his residence in Bani Gala before leaving for Peshawar, condemned the attack and said, “We have taken two decisions today. First, we have postponed the countrywide shutdown on December 18. Secondly, Tuesday’s sitting of dialogue with the government’s negotiation team has been postponed.” However, Khan did not give the next date for the countrywide protest.

Condemning the attack, Imran Khan said the terrorist attack on innocent children was the worst from of barbarism. He held it was painful to think about the agony that the aggrieved families would be going through. “We pray for the aggrieved families and the entire Pakistan stands by them and shares their grief,” h e added.

Earlier, Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in a telephonic talk, decided to postpone Tuesday’s sitting of the negotiations. “After mutual consultation between PTI and PML-N, the talks scheduled for today (Tuesday) have been postponed in view of the terrible incident in Peshawar,” PTI Central Information Secretary Dr Shireen Mazari said in a statement.

PTI, under its Plan-C, had announced to shut down three major cities of the country, including Faisalabad on December 8, Karachi on December 12 and Lahore on December 15, followed by countrywide shutdown on December 18 as a protest to force the government to meet its demand of forming a judicial commission to probe the alleged poll rigging.

PTI, in a separate announcement said that funeral prayers, in absentia, for the martyrs in the blast would be offered at D-Chowk of Constitution Avenue. In a statement, PTI severely condemned the attack of terrorists on Army Public School in Peshawar and expressed deep grief over the loss of precious lives.