ISLAMABAD- The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) decided to call off talks with the federal government in protest of what it claimed to be the government’s efforts to prevent movement in Islamabad’s ‘Red Zone’.

PTI leader Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the Punjab Governor was informed about the suspension of talks with the government negotiating team. Qureshi held a telephonic conversation with Chaudhry Sarwar and told him that the PTI team would not come to the hotel for the negotiation. Explaining the reason, the PTI said the statements of federal ministers were deteriorating the environment for talks .

 Qureshi said the party has decided that the negotiations will stay suspended until the government stops what the “crackdown against party workers”. Qureshi said his house was ‘attacked’ by PML-N supporters in Multan two days ago, but the case has not so far been registered. The second round of talks between Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and the government were scheduled for 2pm today.

Earlier, member of the negotiation committee, Ahsan Iqbal said that both the parties have a consensus over not being a laughing stock. PTI has presented 6 demands before the government which shall be reviewed within the party and we’re hopeful for the dialogues to bear positive outcome, he added.

Vice Chairman PTI Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that PTI was a democratic party and they were not negotiating upon anybody else’s indication. Qureshi said that PTI would not start the negotiation process with the government until additional containers – which have been placed again – are not removed. PTI chairman Imran Khan has earlier claimed that the government has arrested over 4,000 PTI workers.

The PTI and the government have both formulated their respective teams for negotiations. The team representing the government constituted governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar and federal ministers viz Pervez Rashid, Zahid Hamid, Ahsan Iqbal and Abdul Qadir Baloch whereas the negotiating team representing PTI constituted Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, Asad Umer, Jahangir Tareen and Arif Alvi.

The negotiations took place in a hotel in Islamabad after which Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that they had presented their demands before the government and would be awaiting for their response after consultation.