Pakistan PM confers with top aides to frustrate Imran’s rally

The government has hardened its position just as Imran scaled down demand for resignation of the PM if a judicial commission be set up to oversee investigations.



By Afzal Khan

Published: Thu 20 Nov 2014, 11:08 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 2:25 AM

As Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) prepares for what it calls “decisive rally” in the federal capital on November 30, the government has decided to take tough security measure to prevent the crowds from entering the “Red Zone” where key and sensitive state buildings are located.

In an intense session with senior ministers and top aides on Tuesday evening, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed various options to neutralis publics impact of the rally. During the meeting it was also suggested that the meeting on D-Chawk in front of the parliament house be banned altogether and the PTI be asked to shift the venue. Imran is continuing the daily sit-in at D-Chowk on daily basis.

The government has hardened its position just as Imran scaled down demand for resignation of the PM if a judicial commission be set up to oversee investigations into allegations of manipulating May 2013 elections.

According to the media reports, the meeting decided to hold negotiations with the PTI only on the terms of reference (ToR) of a judicial commission the prime minister has requested the Supreme Court to form to probe into alleged rigging in the May 2013 polls. While conferring with his top aides at the prime minister house, Sharif mandated Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to approach the PTI and find out if the party was interested in discussing the ToR or not. The premier is said to have told Dar that the government would resume talks if the PTI desired to discuss the ToR. He, however, made it clear that Imran’s demand for inclusion of officials from the Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence in the proposed commission was not acceptable. PTI core committee also met to discuss government’s plans to to raise obstacles and stop the entry of people in the city.

In on-and off-the-record discussions, party leaders from both sides clearly said that the two parties were on a collision course, unless they sat across the table and resumed talks aimed at resolving the ongoing political impasse. PTI leaders insist they are prepared for anything. After Imran backed off from his demand for the PM’s resignation, a small section in the ruling party are arguing that the government should return to the negotiations table. However, as of right now, it seems the government is in no mood to talk to the PTI.

A PML-N office-bearer pointed out that Sharif had now begun meeting with leaders from other parties to formulate a strategy to deal with the PTI’s November 30 event. -news@khaleejtimes.com


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