Govt, Opp agree on judicial commission

Sarwar wants change in demands sequence, suggests election rigging on top, PM’s resignation on last

ISLAMABAD – During the second round of the government and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) talks, negotiating teams from both the sides could only agree on the formation of judicial commission.

According to sources, Punjab Governor Muhammad Sarwar asked the PTI representatives to change sequence of the demands. He suggested to keep the investigation into election rigging on top of the list. He said that the resignation of the prime minister should be the last demand. However, the PTI team rejected the demand.

The government committee said that the judicial commission would be given a period of three months to carry out transparent investigation, saying the resignation should not be demanded till the completion of the probe. The PTI reiterated that Nawaz Sharif should step down, as he and his brother would influence the investigation.

The PTI refused to give a three-month period to Nawaz Sharif as the prime minister. The government team consisted of Muhammad Sarwar, Ahsan Iqbal, Pervaiz Rashid and Abdul Qadir Baloch while the PTI negotiation team comprised of Javed Hashmi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pervaiz Khattak, Asad Umar, and Arif Alvi. Both the sides agreed to continue their talks for resolving current political crisis.

The talks continued for over two hours and both the sides exchanged their points of view on the demands put by the PTI. Later, Governor Sarwar told journalists in a brief chat that the talks with the PTI were held in a pleasant atmosphere. Ahsan Iqbal said that both the committees presented their point of view.

He said both were moving forward in the talks through understanding each others' stance. He said both the committees would consult their leadership on the movement of dialogue and issues discussed in the meeting. Abdul Qadir Baloch said that there was complete agreement on the dialogue which would continue. He said that there was no deadlock or deadline for the time frame of the dialogue.

Qureshi told journalists that the government side presented its point of view on the PTI demands. He said both the sides also presented their apprehensions and reservations on each others' stand. He said that both the committees agreed that they would consider each other's point of view and would reassemble later to discuss the issues in the third round of the talks.

In a separate meeting, the committees of the government and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) held second round of talks at D-Chowk of Islamabad on late Friday night and discussed suggestions to defuse the political crises. The talks which began after midnight continued about one and half hour. Ahsan told journalists that dialogue process would lead to an amicable resolution of the ongoing crisis. He said both the sides conveyed their reservations on each side's stance.

The teams will meet again soon after consulting their leaderships hoping that the talks would lead to resolution of the crisis. He said that there was agreement that the dialogue process would move forward in the light of this meeting. He expressed grief and sorrow over the Model Town tragedy and said that the justice would be ensured in this incident. The minister said that the resolution of all issues was vital to improve situation.

PAT team leader Raheek Abbasi said that his party believes in political process, therefore, it intends to move forward the dialogue process for settling down the issues. He said that their team has presented their demands before the government. He demanded justice in the Model Town tragedy and registration of the first information report (FIR) against the nominated persons.

The government committee consisted on MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi, Ahsan Iqbal, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Sardar Muhammad Yusuf. The PAT team consisted of Raheek Abbasi, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Tariq Bashir Cheema and Hamid Raza.

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