Three committees formed to engage marchers in talks

* PAT responds positively, PTI remains indifferent

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday formed three committees to hold negotiations with the protest marchers.
Finally unveiling its political strategy it formed a five-member ministerial committee to coordinate with two reconciliation committees formed by opposition leader Syed Khurshid Shah to engage the PTI and PAT in political dialogue. Interestingly, when contacted by MQM’s Haider Abbas Riazvi, Tahirul Qadri-led PAT leadership responded positively, but PTI did not give a positive response to the political committee formed to hold dialogue with it till the filing of this report late in the night, it was reliably learnt. 
The opposition leader formed the two committees comprising parliamentarians from various political parties after consultation with the various parties as well as the government for holding talks with the both protesting parties. The committee comprising Syed Khursheed Shah, ANP’s Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, MNA from FATA GG Jamal and one member from Jamaat-e-Islami for which name has been sought from the party, will engage PTI in dialogue. 
Despite contacts, the PTI had still not responded in affirmative to meet members of this committee till the filing of this report late at night. The second committee comprising MQM’s Haider Abbas Rizvi, MNA Aftab Khan Sherpao, MNA Ijazul Haq and Senator Hasil Bazinjo from National Party (NP) will negotiate with Qadri’s PAT. Sources said the PAT was in the process of nominating its team to meet this team at a mutually decided venue. 
Earlier, announcing the constitution of the committee, Khursheed Shah said that these parties would start working immediately and will play their role to defuse the political tension in the country. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday constituted a five-member cabinet committee to hold dialogue with the PTI and PAT. The committee has also been tasked with establishing contacts and coordination with the reconciliation committee formed by the political parties and facilitating them. The committee comprises federal ministers Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qadir Baloch, Muhammad Akram Durrani, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafiq and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the government was fully committed to resolving the challenges confronting the country through consultations. 

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