Govt committee not direct talk to Imran, Qadri: Saad

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique on Wednesday asked heads of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to hold direct and result-orientated talks with the government representatives for resolving the current political crisis amicably.

Speaking in the National Assembly, the minister said that the government committee was not given direct access to both Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri despite repeated contacts. “The committee has not been given opportunity to hold direct talks with Imran Khan while he has given a single access to negotiate with Dr Tahirul Qardri,” Saad said.

He urged both the PTI and the PAT to resolve the issue through dialogue, avoid the politics of deadlines and violence in the best national interests. He said that dialogue was the only way for resolving issues rather than pressurising the government through illegal and unconstitutional means.

Rebutting the impression of crackdown against the protesters, the minister said that the government neither decided nor would resort to such actions. “The collective wisdom of parliament has decided not to accept unconstitutional demands of anyone,” he said.

The minister advised Imran Khan to shun stubbornness and should not initiate wrong traditions of demanding resignation of the prime minister by unconstitutional tactics.  “The sane elements in the PTI had also started pressing Khan to resolve issues through dialogue,” he said. He said the protesters encircling the parliament that the august House was the only forum for resolution of their demands.

He lamented that the verdict of the Supreme Court was not being honoured and protesters were still occupying the portion of Constitution Avenue - housing various important buildings including the apex court, Sharia Court, Prime Minister Secretariat, Election Commission, Federal Board of Revenue and Parliament House.

He said the government has already conceded demands given by the PTI. Government was also ready to constitute a Technical Committee for giving their input to electoral reforms. “If the rigging allegations were proved by the Judicial Commission not only the prime minister but also the entire the PML-N would resign from their seats,” he said.

Regarding talks with the Pakistan Awami Tehreek, he said that the PAT was contacted seven times. He said that Tahirul Qadri had been asked to handover a comprehensive package of reforms in order to give them constitutional cover.

The PML-N also wants to provide quality education, health facilities, clean drinking water, equal employment opportunities and poverty alleviation with joint efforts. Tahirul Qadri has been asked to avoid nominating innocents in the first information report (FIR) of the Model Town tragedy. “Qadri has also been offered that the government was ready to resolve the issue of the Model Town tragedy in the light of Islamic Sharia,” he said.

The minister also said sagacity of whole political leadership in current political situation and their full support for strengthening of democracy and supremacy of the parliament and constitution.

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