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Nawaz again offers dialogue to opposition to end political crisis

* May take nation into confidence through televised address * MQM suggests holding APC to reduce tensions; offers mediation between govt and PTI, PAT


ISLAMABAD: Expressing his inclination to initiate a political dialogue with the opponents, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told opposition and allied political leaders in a meeting on Thursday that all the political forces, especially PTI, should refrain from agitation, as dialogue is the only way to resolve issues.
Separately, the PML-N government is planning to hold a consultative meeting with its important leaders and ministers to work out a consensus response to the political challenge thrown up by the PTI and PAT, it has been learnt. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also being advised by close aides to take the nation into confidence soon through a televised address. Meanwhile, on Thursday, the prime minister received an MQM, a joint ANP-PPP delegation, and a Balochistan National Party (Bazenjo) delegation separately at the Prime Minister’s House to discuss the political situation emerging in the backdrop of proposed marches of PTI chief Imran Khan and Tahiurl Qadri’s PAT.
“We will welcome any criticism by the opposition for the welfare of people and uplift of democracy,” the premier told the delegations, as MQM’s Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad proposed holding an all-parties conference (APC) before August 14 to evolve a national consensus to resolve the political impasse. Nawaz is said to have told the MQM leaders that he will seriously consider their suggestions and consult his party and cabinet members. The MQM leaders were of the view that no time should be wasted in engaging the PTI and PAT in a meaningful dialogue, as this path would eventually be adopted in the post-long march scenario.  
“The MQM is willing to act as a facilitator during the dialogue process between the government, PTI and PAT. A political solution will ultimately be sought after the sit-in, so why can’t it be accomplished beforehand,” Sattar told media after meeting with the prime minister. Dr Farooq Sattar said efforts should be made to reduce tensions through a mature political attitude. “Registration of cases against political leaders and workers should be avoided,” he stressed.
Talking to media after holding a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz, leaders of PPP, ANP and National Party expressed their firm resolve to promote democratic norms in the country. PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani said he had apprised the prime minister about the party’s stance on the prevailing situation, making it clear that it fully supports the existing democratic system. He said holding rallies and marches was the democratic right of every individual, but it must be exercised within the constitutional parameters.

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