Political contacts intensified to avoid imminent showdown

*Sindh, Punjab governors to contact Qadri *Siraj, Shah to meet Imran in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD – Political contacts have intensified through indirect contacts with the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) in order to avoid an imminent showdown following camping of participants of the ‘Azadi March’ and the ‘Revolution March.’

Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar have held consultations between them while Railways Minister Saad Rafiq has made telephonic contact with Mutahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain. The two governors will also hold talks with Dr Tahirul Qadri in Islamabad on Monday.

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq and Opposition Leader in National Assembly Khursheed Shah who met in Karachi on Sunday and exchanged views on the evolving situation, will meet PTI Chairman Imran Khan to persuade him to arrive at a middle ground.

The sources said if the negotiations succeed, Imran and Qadri would announce end of their marches on Tuesday. According to reports, Governor Sarwar has been busy all these days to pacify the situation and in his latest approach, he had contacted the PTI leader Mian Mahmoodur Rashid over the telephone.

The governor reportedly told the PTI leader that talks could be held on all demands other than resignations of the prime minister and the chief minister in order to find a solution. Mian Rashid told the governor that he would convey the message to Imran Khan and other leadership of the party and the response would be informed to him on late night.

On the other hand, Shah suggested to Siraj that the tenure of the national and provincial assemblies should be curtailed to four years so as to save democracy and in this way Imran Khan’s demand would be met to a certain extent. Shah said it would be easy for the prime minister to accept this demand to which Sirajul Haq also agreed.

The Jamaat leader said on reaching Islamabad, he would meet the PTI leaders to have their opinion and also convey this matter to the prime minister. The two leaders were of the opinion that Imran Khan should agree to the offer of the judicial commission by showing some flexibility in his demand to settle the issues.

Before meeting Imran Khan, Sirajul Haq and Khursheed Shah would meet Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Dr Arif Alvi, the sources said.



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