ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday engaged leaders of the parliamentary parties for resolving the standoff with Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek which are staging sit-ins at the Constitution Avenue in front of the Parliament House.

Before the meeting with heads of parliamentary parties at his Parliament House chamber, a delegation of Muttahida Qaumi Movement also held meeting with the premier and conveyed him the message of party’s Quaid Altaf Hussain. The delegation also came up with some proposals to resolve the dispute through peaceful means.

Sources aware of the meeting of parliamentary parties heads with premier informed that majority of the members in attendance stressed the need of continuing with the dialogue process and opposed the use of force against the PAT and PTI protesters who were staging sit-in for past over 10 days.

Those who attended the meeting included Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, MQM’s Farooq Sattar, Haider Abbas Rizvi, QWP chief Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, ANP’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Akram Durrani and PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai.

Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting informed The Nation that some of the participants advised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to himself lead negotiations with the protesting parties and directly talk to both Allama Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan to break the impasse.

It was also the consensus view of the meeting that negotiations with the protesters should strictly remain within the precincts of the constitution and no unconstitutional demand of PTI and PAT should be accepted.

It is pertinent to mention here that parliament had already put its weight behind the prime minister and strongly recommended that he should not resign as demanded by both the protesting parties. All the parliamentary leaders stressed the need for following constitution and ensuring supremacy of the parliament. They said dialogue should continue with the PTI and PAT so as to find a peaceful solution to the sit-ins. Later in a brief chat with media after the meeting, Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah said parliament had it loud and clear that prime minister would not resign and they would resist any move to remove him illegally. Earlier, the MQM delegation comprising Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Dr Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghauri, Haider Abbas Rizvi and Rasheed Godil called on the prime minister and discussed with him the ongoing sit-ins of PAT and PTI. Sources aware of the deliberations of the meeting said that the fresh deadline given by Dr Tahirul Qadri and the standoff in negotiations with Imran Khan remained the focus of their discussion.

The delegation also gave him the message of the MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain and stressed the need of resolving the issue through negotiations. They also briefed the prime minister about their meeting with PAT chief Allama Tahirul Qadri.

Talking to media after the meeting Farooq Sattar said the prime minister heard the proposals of the delegation open heartedly.

Sattar said MQM delegation had requested Nawaz Sharif to give more offers to protesters as it was government, which could give things as upper hand for a win-win situation for everybody. “The system can be salvaged if the state is saved,” Sattar said.

He said quid pro quo was the way to go in this situation, adding that the deadlock would not end without showing flexibility.

Sattar said, “We have proposed that a high level delegation from PML-N should also meet with the leadership of Awami Tehreek to resolve the issue through dialogue”.

“It is our sincere effort to bring the issue to its logical end”.  He appealed both the government and agitating parties to show flexibility in their attitude to steer the country out of crisis. Sattar said MQM leaders were holding meetings with a number of politicians with the objective of finding a way where all parties could engage and dispense fairly. Federal ministers Khawaja Asif, Ishaq Dar and Pervaiz Rashid were also present in the meeting.