Govt asks PTI, PAT to keep dialogue option open

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government on Wednesday pleaded with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) to keep the doors of dialogue open and withdraw the deadlines they have given, for the sake of the country.
On the instructions of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Federal Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq briefed the National Assembly and said that issues cannot be resolved until direct contacts are made with both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri. He assured the House about the resolution of the political crisis through dialogue, however he declared that “unconstitutional” demands of the two parties cannot be accepted. About the demand of the resignation of the prime minister, Saad said that it would is out of question before electoral rigging is proved. 
“If rigging is proved then the whole assembly would be out, not just the prime minister,” he said. He said the practice of punishing someone before they are proved guilty would set a wrong precedent and would destroy the whole system. He called upon the protesting parties to shun their ego and assured the House that there was no plan to crack down on the protesters. He asked both the parties to withdraw their deadlines and come to the path of dialogue.
About his contacts with the PTI, Saad told the House that the party was approached four times, besides many telephonic conversations with the leadership of the party. The PAT was contacted directly seven times besides several telephonic conversations. Saad said the government is ready to provide a legal forum to Qadri for his demands. About the Model Town incident, the minister said that Qadri intends to bring even the innocent to justice. He showed readiness to resolve the controversy through legal course and under the injunctions of the Shariah.
He said that the government had showed flexibility more than what was supposed to show and appealed to both parties not to indulge in provocative speeches. Earlier, as the House resumed the debate on the current political situation of the country, ANP’s Ghulam Ahmed Bilour warned that if any unconstitutional step is taken the country would have to go under a new social contract. He said that in such a case the Senate would have the say and even power to elect the prime minister. 

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