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Govt seeks opp help for ‘settlement’ with marchers

* Asif tells NA civil disobedience movement will damage state rather than govt


ISLAMABAD: The beleaguered PML-N government on Monday sought the opposition parties’ help to convince Imran Khan to review the decision to have his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s legislators resign and his call for a civil disobedience movement, in the larger interest of the country.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif made the appeal to the opposition parties in the National Assembly that resounded with strong criticism from both sides of the aisle against the two protest marches in the capital led by PTI and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also turned up in the session, however, he did not speak. Khawaja Asif assured full support to the opposition to defuse the situation. He told the House about a five-member committee of the government that would assist the opposition parties to negotiate with the PTI and PAT. 
The committee is comprised of Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq, Ahsan Iqbal, Abdul Qadir Baloch, Akram Khan Durrani and Special Assistant to Prime Minister Irfan Siddiqui. Asif said that the announcement of civil disobedience movement would damage the state rather than the government and asked the opposition parties to persuade the PTI to withdraw the call. Asif said the government would extend all-out support to the opposition parties for political reconciliation with the protesting parties. 
Earlier, leader of opposition in the National Assembly, Syed Khursheed Shah declared his support to democracy and asked Imran Khan to hold a dialogue, as it is the only way out from the current impasse. “Dialogue is the beauty of democracy, for which one has to gain something and lose something,” he said and said that the opposition parties have agreed to hold talks with Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri. “If the prime minister gives us the mandate then we would move forward,” the opposition leader said in the presence of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He also asserted that it was lack of decision on part of the government that pushed the situation to such a dangerous level. Mahmood Khan Achkakzai said that it is the prime duty of every political worker to stand up for the supremacy of the constitution.

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