Avoiding confrontation: JI chief urges government to review attitude

Says there is consensus on all demands of JI, PTI; partially endorses PAT’s demands.

Abdul Manan August 17, 2014


Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Ameer Sirajul Haq has called upon the government, ministers and politicians to review their attitude in order to avoid tension and confrontation.

Talking to reporters following a meeting with Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar at the party’s headquarters at Mansoora on Saturday, Haq expressed hope that the national leadership would be able to steer the country out of the crisis.

He said it was the demand of the nation that the electoral system be made transparent. “And it is the responsibility of the political leadership to devise an electoral system wherein there is no chance of rigging,” he added.

The JI chief said except for a few points, there was national consensus on all the demands put forth by the JI, Imran Khan or other parties. “We also support the genuine demands of the PAT [Pakistan Awami Tehreek] chief,” he added.

Talking with media, Punjab Governor Sarwar commended the role of the JI chief in uniting the national leadership and seeking a solution of the political crisis through negotiations.

“JI chief Sirajul Haq has engaged the leadership of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in dialogue on behalf of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and is trying to iron out differences so that their marchers could now disperse,” he said.

Chaudhry Sarwar, who also played a role in convincing Punjab government to let Tahirul Qadri take out his march, is not only Qadri’s guarantor but will also play his role in negotiations with him to wind up his sit-in.

On the other hand, the JI chief urged PTI andPAT  to demonstrate “a positive attitude” and help steer the country out of its political crisis.

“The two sides should begin dialogue for resolving the issues through mutual understanding,” he said.

PML-N will send negotiators, only after two days

The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) has decided to give two more days to the marchers in Islamabad before it will deploy some negotiators to talk with both PTI and PAT, sources told The Express Tribune. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in their mutual meeting at Jati Umra, Raiwand on Saturday decided to wait and see for two more days before putting mediators to initiate talk with the protesting parties.

The sources said the PML-N’s leadership declared Qadri’s Inqalab March and Imran Khan’s Azadi March as manageable. According to sources, the Punjab governor – during his meeting with the JI chief – has informed him the PML-N’s decision to utilise his services in the coming week around Tuesday or so.

Talking to The Express Tribune, the JI General Secretary Liaquat Baloch said that PML-N was willing to wait and see the nerves of both the group of marchers and had told the JI it would ask them to go to Islamabad after two or three days.

“It is a battle of nerves between the PML-N and the PTI. Let’s see what happens,” he said. Baloch said the JI was also engaged in its Gaza march to be held in Karachi.

Before the PTI’s long march, the government had planned to immediately send its committee –comprising the JI head Sirajul Haq, PPP leader Syed Khurshid Shah, Pushtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai and Barrister Aitzan Ahsan – to start talks with the PTI.

However, sources said, the thin attendance of the participants had forced it to wait and see shrinking of the volume of the two marchers.

They said Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had told the PM and the Punjab CM that  gathering in Islamabad would shrink from Monday which would be good time to negotiate with them.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2014.

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