Islamabad sit-in updates: Third round of talks end with PTI's demand for PM to resign 'for 30 days'

Published: August 22, 2014
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Shah Mehmood Qureshi, flanked by Jahangir Tareen and Javed Hashmi, addresses the media following a third round of negotiations with the government. PHOTO: AFP

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, flanked by Jahangir Tareen and Javed Hashmi, addresses the media following a third round of negotiations with the government. PHOTO: AFP

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, flanked by Jahangir Tareen and Javed Hashmi, addresses the media following a third round of negotiations with the government. PHOTO: AFP A photo of Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar in Islamabad on August 23, 2014. PHOTO: AFP  PTI chief Imran Khan addressing his supporters at the sit-in. PHOTO: INP Former president Asif Ali Zardari. PHOTO: AFP PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi talking to media after the secod round of negotiation with government. PHOTO: EXPRESS SCREENGRAB Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan addressing a press conference in Islamabad on Friday. PHOTO: ONLINE PTI vice president Shah Mehmood Qureshi speaking to media. PHOTO: EXPRESS SCREENGRAB

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) began talks with the government, separately, on Wednesday, in an attempt to break out of the current impasse.

Both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri, however, remain adamant that the prime minister first resign.

The rallies led by the two party chiefs have set up camp outside Parliament House in the capital’s Red Zone area, where the army has been deployed.

The army, meanwhile, released a statement last Tuesday night, urging meaningful negotiations and vowing to protect State symbols.

Earlier, PAT, PTI protesters march into the Red Zone three days after their sit-ins began near Aabpara Chowk, read our coverage of march here.

For our coverage of the sit-ins on August 20 and 21, visit here.

Read our coverage of PTI’s Azadi March and the Inqilab March here.

August 23, 11:33pm

The Pakistan Peoples Party’s Farhatullah Babar has said that former president Asif Ali Zardari will hold a meeting with CEC members at the Bilawal House in Karachi on Monday afternoon.

During the meeting, Zardari is expected to take stock of the current situation in the country. He will also brief party members on his meetings with political leaders in Lahore on Saturday and contact with other political forces to defuse the current political situation.

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August 23, 9:25pm

Mobile phone signals in the Red Zone have been discontinued, Express News reports.

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August 23, 9:24pm

Meanwhile, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto tweeted his views on the current political situation, just hours after his father PPP chief Asif Ali Zardari met with the premier and called for a “political solution”.

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August 23, 9:15pm

Addressing Nawaz Sharif and Maulana Fazlur Rehaman, Imran points out that his rally “is not a concert; this is what you call revolution in Pakistan.”

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August 23, 9:10pm

The PTI chief tell the people of Karachi, Quetta and Peshawar to prepare themselves for his arrival. “I am coming to Karachi after PM resigns,” he says, adding that he is looking forward to go to Quetta as well.

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August 23, 9:07pm

Imran goes on to tell his supporters to send their money “through hundi, not banks, so that this illegal government does not get tax.”

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August 23, 9:05pm

The PTI chief says their sit-in will continue. “I have now gotten so used to sleeping here ,” he says, to a cheering crowd.

“Will address the crowd tomorrow at 8pm,” he adds.

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August 23, 9:01pm

In reference to PTI’s new demand of the prime minister’s resignation for 30 days, Imran says, “If it is proved after 30 days that everything was ok (following the judicial commissions investigation into last year’s elections), you (Nawaz) can return as the PM.”

“If, however, it is proved you had rigged the elections, you can go home.”

Imran then adds, “But you are not willing to take us up on the offer. That is because you are afraid that you will be found out.”

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August 23, 8:57pm

Imran Khan takes the stage again to address his supporters. “Till an independent inquiry is held, how will things improve?” he says.

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August 23, 8:50pm

The third round of negotiations between the government and the PTI core committee has ended with disagreement on a new demand, Express News reports.

A deadlock persists in negotiations between the government and the PTI to find a solution to the current political impasse as both parties agreed on all but one point: the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Read the full story by our correspondent Qamar Zaman on PTI’s new demand for the prime minister to resign “for 30 days” and appoint someone else, here.

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August 23, 7:28pm

Zardari says, “Conspiracies are part and parcel of politics.”

“In my opinion, everyone is together, there is no ‘third umpire’,” he says, taking a page from Imran Khan’s cricket metaphors.

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August 23, 7:27pm

“We welcome the PTI government, it is their first time on the national front. And we acknowledge that it is their right to hold on to their position,” says Zardari when asked about PTI’s decision to resign

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August 23, 7:25pm

The former president appears cheerful while addressing the media and answering their questions.

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August 23, 7:23pm

Zardari advises the government to deal with everything in a peaceful manner.

“We completed 5 years making peace,” he says proudly.

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August 23, 7:20pm

“One democratic government should not challenge another democratic government, especially through street power,” the PPP chief says, adding, “Under no circumstances should democracy be challenged or derailed.”

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August 23, 7:18pm

The former president says, “At this moment, we need to focus on standing with our armed forces who are engaged in an operation.”

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August 23, 7:16pm

“I have advised everyone to handle everything politically. Democracy means never shutting the door,” Zardari says.

Express News screengrab of Asif Ali Zardari addressing the media. 

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August 23, 7:14pm

“I am for Pakistan, I am not for anybody else. I have given this Parliament power,” says former president Zardari while addressing the media.

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August 23, 7:07pm

PPP chief and former president Asif Ali Zardari has left for the airport after his one-day visit in Lahore to attend meetings with various political parties, according to Express News.

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August 23, 6:18pm

The PTI core committee team has arrived at the Marriott hotel in Islamabad for the third round of talks with the government’s committee, Express News reports.

The meeting has begun, in which Shah Mehmood Qureshi is heading the PTI committee.

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August 23, 6:15pm

A one-on-one meeting between Zardari and the Chaudhry brothers is underway, Express News reports.

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August 23, 5:45pm

Meanwhile, Zardari has arrived to meet the Chaudhry brothers of the PML-Q, while PTI’s core committee arrives at Jehangir Tareen’s house, Express News reports.

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August 23, 5:15pm

Maintaining his diplomatic stance, Haq says, “We have appealed to the NA regarding the rejection of the PTI resignations.”

In the same vein, Haq quoted Zardari as saying,“There is no way to solve the crisis except to negotiate and talk,” adding, “To move forward, we need to forget and let go off previous conflicts, hence there is no need to bring them up.”

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August 23, 5:10pm

“The talks lasted for almost an hour  during which we discussed the current political crisis,” says JI chief Sirajul Haq.

He adds, “We appreciate and congratulate them (PPP) for the initiative they have taken. We don’t want to endager democracy and look forward to ending this crisis in a peaceful way.”

The JI chief further adds, “We have decided that we will continue talks with all political parties.”

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August 23, 5:00pm

PPP senior leaders Khursheed Shah, Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Ahsan and Rehman Malik are accompanying former president Asfi Ali Zardari as he reaches Mansoora to discuss the ongoing political crises with the JI leaders, reports Express News.

Interestingly, Zardari is the only PPP leader to meet with the JI leaders after Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

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August 23, 4:24pm

Following the end of the meeting between PM Nawaz and Zardari, a joint press conference was held featuring Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Ministe for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique.

“PPP reiterated their stance, and to continue the path of democracy and the Constitution, they will stand with the PML-N,” says Dar.

Read here for the full story.

Express News screengrab of Defence Minister Khawaja Asif (L), Finance Minister Ishaq Dar (C) and Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique (R)

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August 23, 4:05pm

The ‘power’ lunch between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and former president Asif Ali Zardari has come to an end, Express News reports.

He is expected to leave Jati Umra soon.

During the meeting, the premier and former president had also reportedly spoken on the phone with MQM chief Altaf Hussain.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari meets with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the premier’s residence in Raiwind. PHOTO: ONLINE

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August 23, 3:46pm

PAT supporters chant slogans during the march in Islamabad. PHOTO: AFP

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August 23, 3:42pm

“Till these people are in power, no one will get justice,” he states.

He questions his workers again, asking them if they know just how much the Sharif brothers misuse their authority.

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August 23, 3:38pm

Qadri hits out at the Sharif brothers and asks his audience, “Do you even know if Shahbaz and Nawaz pay their taxes?”

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August 23, 3:26pm

“Our struggle is 100% constitutional,” Qadri tells his supporters.

Further, he tells his lawyers that they aren’t anyone’s servants.

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 August 23, 3:25pm

On a lighter note, for those who are interested, about 17 dishes have been prepared for the high level meeting between PM Nawaz and Zardari — which include mutton korma, Sindhi bhindi, masoor ki daal and six types of salad, Express News reports.

The dessert menu, which includes kheer, rasgullah and rasmalai, isn’t any less.

However, nothing seems to satiate PTI chief Imran Khan’s appetite, as he made a snarky remark about the amount of dishes cooked for the meeting when he briefly stepped out to address his workers.

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August 23, 3:20pm

In his speech, which is still facing sound issues, Qadri salutes his lawyers, as well as PTI’s lawyers.

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August 23, 3:18pm

The PAT chief begins his address, however, technical difficulties seem to be halting his speech.

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August 23, 3:14pm

PAT chief Tahirul Qadri has emerged from his container and is expected to address his supporters shortly, according to Express News.

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August 23, 3:12pm

A supporter of Tahirul Qadri, leader of political party Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), reads a newspaper while sitting with other supporters, in front of the Parliament House. PHOTO: REUTERS

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August 23, 2:24pm

Meanwhile, the All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) has called upon Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to immediately withdraw the government’s treason trial against Musharraf as part of what it called a ‘compromise’ to unlock the current political crisis.

For more details, read here.

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August 23, 2:06pm

PM Nawaz received Zardari himself and reportedly drove to the helipad himself, where the former president arrived, Express News reports.

The one-on-one meeting between the premier and Zardari is currently underway at the PM’s residence in Raiwind.

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August 23, 1:06pm

Zardari has left for the premier’s residence in Raiwind in a helicopter.

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August 23, 12:36pm

Former president Asif Ali Zardari has reached Lahore, Express News reports.

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August 23, 12:12pm

The Rawalpindi police have started sealing the main thoroughfares leading to Islamabad. The police have sealed all the main roads including Faizaabad, Sabzi Mandi, Westridge, Marble factory and Dhok Hassu, our correspondent Muzaffar Mukhtar reports.

A police official on the condition of anonymity said that they had been directed by the high ups to block all the roads leading to Islamabad.

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August 23, 12:10pm

Former interior minister Rehman Malik has arrived at Bilawal House in Karachi, from where he will accompany Zardari to attend the meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Lahore, according to Express News.

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August 23, 10:30am

During the meeting between the premier and PPP co-chairman, it is expected that Zardari will be accompanied by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Khursheed Shah, former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, Senator Raza Rabbani and Senior PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan, according to Express News.

The premier, on the other hand, will be accompanied by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique and central leader of PML-N Hamza Shahbaz,

The premier and the former president are expected to have a one-on-one meeting first.

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August 23, 9:54am

Former president and Co-Chairman of the PPP Asif Ali Zardari will meet with PML-Q’s Punjab president Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, and his brother PML-Q’s chief Chaudhry Shujaat, Express News reports.

Shujaat and Elahi have left Islamabad for Lahore to meet the former president.

The PPP co-chairman is reportedly going to meet with JI chief Sirajul Haq in Lahore as well, according to Express News correspondent Naeem Qaiser.

Zardari was invited to meet with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for a ‘power’ lunch today at the premier’s residence in Raiwind, during which the prevailing political situation will the topic of discussion.

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August 23, 2:50am

Independent and transparent investigation not possible, till Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are in power, says Abbasi.

PAT president says dialogue process should continue, but government does not seem serious in talks.

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August 23, 2:50am

On a question if PTI end their long march would you also cancel your sit-in, Abbasi said, “I do not think that PTI would end its protest.”

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August 23, 2:47am

PAT president Raheeq Abbasi says talks cannot progress till the FIR for Model Town incident is registered.

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August 23, 2:46am

At the end of second round of talks between PAT and govt, both have agreed to continue talks, says Iqbal.

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August 23, 2:45am

Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal says during the second round of talks, PAT & government presented their respective apprehensions.

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August 23, 2:38am

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August 23, 2:37am

Second round of talks between government and PAT’s negotiation teams end, Express News reported.

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August 23, 12:59am

The government committee for talks with PAT is comprises of Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Religious Affairs Sardar Yousuf, Minister for States and Frontier region Abdul Qadir Baloch and Haider Abbas Rizvi of MQM, Express News reported.

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August 23, 12:56am

Government’s negotiation committee departs for talks with Dr Tahirul Qadri’s PAT.

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August 23, 12:54am

Minister for States and Frontier region Abdul Qadir Baloch says there is no dead lock, and that both sides are talking.

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August 23, 12:50am

It was decided that both committees will consider each other’s apprehensions and third round of talks will be held on Saturday, says Qureshi.

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August 23, 12:46am

PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi says government presented their point of view.

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August 23, 12:43am

Second round of talks between government and PTI’s negotiation teams end, Express News reported.

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August 23, 12:13am

PTI and Government’s negotiation committees holding talks at a local hotel in Islamabad. PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS SCREENGRAB

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August 22, 11:32pm

Internally displaced persons of North Waziristan staged a protest in Bannu on Friday against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri for hijacking media attention towards their protests in Islamabad.

Read the full story here.

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 August 22, 10:32pm

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August 22, 10:00pm

MQM chief Altaf Hussain speaks with former President Asif Ali Zardari, discussing, among other things, the sit-in protests in Islamabad.

Both leaders agree that the government and the opposition should resort to talks and must avoid any steps that eventually lead to disorder or anarchy.

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August 22, 9:47pm

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August 22, 9:45pm

Speaking to Express News, PAT chief Tahirul Qadri reiterated that he was open for negotiations and that the delay in the process was because of the government.

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August 22, 9:05pm

Shah Mehmood Qureshi takes the mic breifly, telling the crowd he is about to meet the government’s team for negotiations. He assures that he is well prepared.

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August 22, 8:57pm

“You hold reelections in the rest of Pakistan, I will hold reelections in K-P,” Imran Khan says addressing the prime minister.

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August 22, 8:55pm

Any amount of containers will not deter this crowd, Imran tells government.

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August 22, 8:45pm

Imran challenges any political party to lead a march to Peshawar if they believe elections were rigged in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. The PTI chief says he will hold reelections in the province if they manage to gather even a fraction of the people that have marched to Islamabad.

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August 22, 8:38pm

Reading from a piece of paper, Imran gives details of various constituencies and the number of votes that turned out to be fake.

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August 22, 8:30pm

“The real rulers are the masses,” says Imran Khan addressing his supporters.

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August 22, 8:25pm

Talks between the government’s team and PAT leaders will take place at 11:30pm tonight, says MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi. He added that there was a delay in talks, but no deadlock.

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August 22, 8:15pm

Khursheed Shah, Aitezaz Ahsan and Raza Rabbani will accompany former President Asif Ali Zardari during the meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Raiwind tomorrow, according to PPP media cell.

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August 22, 8:10pm

The prime minister’s Special Assistant Irfan Siddiqui expresses hope that the PTI would review its decision to resign from Parliament, Radio Pakistan reported.

He said he hoped that after emerging as a major political party in the 2013 general elections, the PTI would respect people’s mandate and play its constitutional role for the public’s welfare in both national and provincial assemblies.

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August 22, 7:20pm

Meanwhile, opposition leader Khursheed Shah requests Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq to not accept PTI lawmakers’ resignation.

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August 22, 7:15pm

Leave the army out of this, says Nisar in response to a question. All our meetings with them have do to with internal security, not politics.

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August 22, 7:09pm

Nisar urges Imran Khan to stop making ‘unparliamentary’ statements and getting personal.

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August 22, 7:05pm

Nisar snubs allegations of rigging, says no one has ever raised the issue of ‘magnetic ink’.

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August 22, 7:00pm

Speaking of the difficulties that the sit-ins have caused, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar says that several offices cannot be reached, adding that two judges were late to court because of the protests, adding that economic activity has also been affected.

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August 22, 6:55pm

“PTI has agreed to start negotiations again,” says Nisar.

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August 22, 6:50pm

“The ISI has provided me intelligence today that a ‘loaded’ vehicle has entered the capital,” says Nisar.

Nisar says that if Tahirul Qadri and Imran Khan take responsibility, in writing, of any terrorist attack that takes place, then the government will consider removing some containers.

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August 22, 6:40pm

There should be no misunderstanding that the police is well within its right to control protesters, says Chaudhry Nisar.

“Protesters are not permitted and will not be permitted to go beyond containers. The containers will not be removed at any cost,” says the interior minister.

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August 22, 6:35pm

Speaking to the media Friday evening, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar requests Imran Khan not to believe rumours, adding that IG Police Islamabad left on his own accord. He said that the government did not remove the Islamabad police chief; he requested to go on leave himself.

Further, Nisar said that the containers were placed for security reasons. He said there were security threats, and there still are, in the capital, adding that because of the efforts of security agencies nothing has happened so far, thankfully.

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August 22, 5:50pm

“PTI is ready for talks,” says Shah Mehmood Qureshi, adding that  JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman is aiming to sabotage the situation.

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August 22, 5:35pm

Talking to Express News, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that if his party was to give a call for protests, they could gather hundreds of thousands of protesters in Islamabad within days.

“It should be clear to them that Parliament will not dissolve and the prime minister will not resign,” he said referring to the leadership of the sit-in protests in Islamabad.

When asked if he would be willing to meet Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri for talks, the JUI-F chief said that Imran Khan had made personal attacks against him, however if the PTI chief was to tone it down, he would be willing to talk.

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August 22, 4:58pm

Meanwhile, containers are being removed from entry points in Islamabad, Express News reports.

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August 22, 4:50pm

JI chief Sirajul Haq appeals to PTI to take back their resignations, Express News reports.

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August 22, 4:48pm

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar calls MQM chief Altaf Hussain to brief him on the prevailing political situation.

“The issue should be resolved through negotiations,” the MQM chief reiterates.

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August 22, 4:35pm

Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq will examine resignations of PTI MNAs on Monday, Radio Pakistan reports.

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August 22, 4:25pm

In another development, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif invites former president Asif Ali Zardari for lunch tomorrow, Express News reports.

Zardari will travel to to Raiwind tomorrow to meet the premier.

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August 22, 3:50pm

Express News screengrab of PTI leaders Arif Alvi, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Asad Umer and Shireen Mazari talking to the media after submitting PTI lawmakers’ resignations. 

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August 22, 3:38pm

Former president Asif Ali Zardari calls JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman to discuss the current political scenario, Express News reports.

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August 22, 3:34pm

Express News screengrab of Imran Khan during the core committee meeting.

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August 22, 3:32pm

PTI core committee meeting starts in Imran Khan’s container, Express News reports.

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August 22, 3:30pm

National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq’s secretary Muhammad Riaz receives PTI lawmakers’ resignations on behalf of the speaker, Express News reports.

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August 22, 3:12pm

Talking to the media in Karachi, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader Rehman Malik says that the responsibility lies on the government to resolve the current political deadlock.

Read here for the full story.

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August 22, 2:55pm

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, along with PTI lawmakers Arif Alvi, Asad Umer and Shireen Mazari arrive at Parliament House to submit their resignations.

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August 22, 2:42pm

Meanwhile, school holidays in Islamabad have been further extended till September 1, Express News reports.

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August 22, 2:40pm

PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi says that he is going to submit the PTI lawmakers’ resignations to speaker of the National Assembly before the party’s core-committee meeting, Express News reports.

Initially, PTI lawmakers had announced that they were going to resign from the National Assembly on August 18.

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August 22, 2:30pm

Talking to Express News, PTI president Javed Hashmi says that the government’s action of blocking roads is an attempt to cut off communications with the sit-in – not a security measure.

Reacting to Khawaja Asif’s earlier comments, Hashmi says, “Yes, the environment isn’t feasible, but the government created has created these conditions.”

Further, Hashmi says that the party’s call for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation is constitutional, maintaining that it is still their first condition of negotiations.

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August 22, 2:05pm

Despite signalling the government’s willingness to engage with the PTI, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif expresses dismay over the current state of negotiations between the two parties.

“The environment to negotiate has still not been established,” the defence minister says speaking to Express News.

Further, Asif dismisses calls for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation as PTI’s first condition. “Issues that can be solved immediately should be addressed first.”

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August 22, 1:30pm

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar will hold a press conference at 6pm today, Express News reports.

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August 22, 1:10pm

The Senate unanimously adopted a resolution favouring the supremacy of the constitution and Parliament.

Read here for the full story.

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August 22, 11:55am

Meanwhile, Section 144 has been imposed in Multan for two days following PTI chairman Imran Khan’s announcement to stage country-wide sit-ins.

Read here for the full story.

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August 22, 11:15am

PTI chairman Imran Khan on Friday submitted a written reply to the Supreme Court requesting the apex court to direct the government to remove containers that are currently sealing off the capital.

Read here for the full story.

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August 22, 01:15am

PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri while addressing his supporters at D-Chowk announces that victory is almost within their grasp.

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August 22, 12:30am

Imran Khan tells Express News anchor Moeed Pirzada that even he wants a resolution to the current political impasse. And if the government shows seriousness, PTI will be willing to talk.

On the support the prime minister had received from parties in the National Assembly, the PTI chief, who along with the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid is the only mainstream political party protesting in D-chowk, said that they were afraid. “All of these parties who are supporting Nawaz Sharif, they are only concerned about their seats. They are afraid that if there is a re-election, they will not be able to return to the assemblies.”

Asked about a potential solution that former president Asif Ali Zardari may present, Imran says it remains to be seen what is Zardari’s proposed solution to the current impasse. “Even I want a solution to the impasse. If he [Zardari] can find a solution, then most welcome.”

Asked if would be willing to be lenient on any of his six demands, Imran Khan said that without two of the demands they could not progress. “Without two things, we are not willing to move forward. Till those who rigged elections are not punished, fresh elections cannot be held. And that cannot be done till Nawaz resigns.”

On his remark about the umpire, Imran Khan said that the people were the umpire.

About the suspension of talks, the PTI chief alleged that the government had started arresting PTI supporters, and had started closing off routes by re-installing containers around Islamabad. Further claiming that they had a right to protest peacefully and that they had peacefully protested so far but the government had brought Islamabad to a standstill by installing containers. “If they [govt] show seriousness, then we are willing to talk today.”

Asked about the Army’s statement, Imran Khan told Pirzada that he was a politician and that he does not know what the army is saying. “I do not know what the military is saying. I am a politician and I am exercising my democratic right.”

Asked if Imran Khan had also met US Ambassador like his party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi did, Imran Khan said he had not met the American diplomat. Asked what was talked about in the meeting, the PTI chief said that they presented their stance to the Richard Olson.

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Reader Comments (71)

  • Jibran
    Aug 22, 2014 - 4:11PM

    This could have been avoided if PMLN had seriously engaged negotiations, or even if it had unilaterally started electoral reform, and vote audit. Now there is no going back. Now, even if the dharna fails, for the next 4 years, the government would remain destabilized.

    Recommend

  • Bibi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 4:16PM

    Good. Have by-election on these seats and throw non serious characters out of the assembly.

    Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 4:22PM

    Imran proved to his words and all those who must have spent millions if not billions have tendered their resignations just on the call of their idol leader Imran without caring how they are going to sustain the biggest financial loss of their lives speak aloud of their sincerity and loyalty to wards Imran. Will MNAs of PML (N) can also do it alike is a baffling question which cannot be answered I am sure unless they prove I am wrong in my assessment. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Former Diplomat / Kuwait / zaidiformerdiplomat@hotmail.com

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  • Saleem
    Aug 22, 2014 - 4:42PM

    Did it? PTI submitted resignation after assembly session was over. If they were serious then should have submitted the resignation when parliament was in session. Now these resignations have to wait until next time parliament will be in session.

    Technically, resignations will not come up until Parliament will be in session. So wasn’t this submission after the session was over by design to gain political mileage and more important time?

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  • Adeel Pervaiz
    Aug 22, 2014 - 5:36PM

    @Saleem
    if PML-N or Parlimenterial, or Darbari like you are so concern about timings of resignations, why don’t they call assembly session tomorrow and give no excuse to IK and his team ?

    will they do it ?

    You blindly support your corrupt leaders, at least I can disagree with IK in some cases if he is not right, but I am not blind like you, I priase what I see good in any one, MQM, JI, JUI, PML-N or PPP, but you guys will always support your corrupt leader, no matter how much wrong thy did, and how worst they are.

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  • Imran
    Aug 22, 2014 - 5:48PM

    @Bibi:
    Good. Have by-election on these seats and throw non serious characters out of the assembly.

    How naive, like your simpleton emperor, Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, who continues to shoot himself in the foot. Have you considered all possible eventual outcomes, probability of each outcome, unknown players?

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  • Sultan
    Aug 22, 2014 - 5:59PM

    Election Commission should announce schedule of by-elections on all the seats vacated by PTI.
    PTI is going to lose all those seats.

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  • S Hashmi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:01PM

    @Bibi:
    “Good. Have by-election on these seats and throw non serious characters out of the assembly.”

    Good. That would clean up the whole assembly!

    Recommend

  • Azhar Imran
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:01PM

    Imran is continuously doing mistakes as advised to him by incompetent advisors.
    Position of PTI is very weak even in KPK constituencies due to weak performance of the provincial government.
    PTI is committing suicide.

    Recommend

  • KPK
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:03PM

    Non-seriousness of PTI shows that they want to do nothing for Pakistan and KPK.
    Entire KPK is suffering due to bad governance of KPK government.
    I request that Shahbaz Sharif should be appointed as CM for my province KPK. His performance is very good in Punjab

    Recommend

  • Saima
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:04PM

    How IK change the system by only resigning from the Assemblies where he lost by big margins and keeping the KPK seats? He should resign from from KPK also if he really want to change the whole system.

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  • kashif
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:05PM

    Imran Khan, please set aside your ego.
    Pakistan’s economy is losing billions on daily basis only because of your ego. Please leave your so called long-march and dharna.

    Recommend

  • Samina Iftikhar
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:15PM

    People are gathered by PTI daily in the Islamabad Dharna in the name of musical concert. People come in the evening, enjoy music and go back to their homes.
    Governments cannot be toppled in this way. This is not the right way to bring the ‘Change’.

    Recommend

  • Babloo
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:17PM

    All hopes from respected Nawaz Sharif who is the most mature politician at the moment.
    Imran himself is immture and he is surrounded by opportunists.
    Allah bless Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • ejaz shabbir
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:20PM

    Imran’s demand for resignation of PM is undemocratic, unethical and unconstitutional. PTI should not demand the resignation of PM. They should focus on electoral reforms.
    Nawaz Sharif should complete his 5 years term and public should be given the opportunity to decide his faith in the next elections. It is not the right way to remove him from his office by gathering few hundred people.

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  • Akmal
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:23PM

    PTI’s dharna is just musical evening and fashion show. Gathering is shrinking day by day.
    I am still searching for those 100,000 motor bikes that were to come from Lahore to Karachi.
    Imran Khan should stop fooling the nation.
    He can bring Change only if he rules on hearts of people.

    Recommend

  • Rehan
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:30PM

    Sheikh Rasheed, Shsh Mehmood Qureshi, Javed Hashmi, Khurshid Kasuri, Sardar Asif Ahmed Ali, Rai Hassan Nawaz, Azam Swati.
    Imran wants to bring CHANGE with the help of these rejected people of other parties.
    When these politicians were in their previous parties, they were doing negative politics as per PTI stance.
    Now they have become angels after joining PTI. There previous sins have been forgiven.
    Imran, please stop such politics. Public is not foolish.
    Where is the merit and justice of PTI?

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  • Truth
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:32PM

    Does this Dharna of few hundred people can be termed as Million March.
    Both Imran and Qadri have mingled their march after crossing red zone just to strengthen the crowd. But it is still very disappointing.

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  • sabi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:34PM

    We can say that we have now true democracy minus long marchers.
    Go home and stop dreaming of grabbing power with few thousands miscreants if not few hundreds.

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  • QUESTION
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:36PM

    I want to ask a question from Imran Khan and Tahir ul Qadri that what is the importance of Promise and Commitment in Islam.
    Both Imran and Tahir ul Qadri made written commitment that they would not enter the red zone. Why did they violate their documentary commitment? Does Islam allow to violate the commitment and promise. Don’t they know the importance of fulfilling the commitment and promise in Islam?
    Imran Khan is an educated person while Tahir ul Qadri is a religious scholar.
    Please reply.

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  • Adil Khan
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:38PM

    PML-N is quite serious in the negotioations but Imran wants a respectable face saving now.

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  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 6:57PM

    Most of us had not believed that Imran will succeed in getting resignations from his parliamentarians but now all of them have lost their faces because PTI MNAs have tendered their resignations. Why do we underestimate others for nothing? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Former Diplomat / Kuwait

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  • bilbao
    Aug 22, 2014 - 7:01PM

    And Sir, what about the murder of 14 innocents in Model Town ??

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  • Ibrahim
    Aug 22, 2014 - 7:20PM

    PTI is going to lose all the seats in by-elections.

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  • Saima
    Aug 22, 2014 - 7:53PM

    Please provide some face saving exit to both – one a political fool and the other a religious fool with nonsense political ambitions – rule Pakistan from some backdoor entrance with the help of Army.

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  • Saif
    Aug 22, 2014 - 7:57PM

    @Iqbal Hadi Zaidi:
    “Will MNAs of PML (N) can also do it alike is a baffling question which cannot be answered I am sure unless they prove I am wrong in my assessment. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Former Diplomat / Kuwait / zaidiformerdiplomat@hotmail.com
    This confused and incoherent posting speaks volumes about the caliber, intelligence and vision of Pakistani bureaucracy.
    Go figure!

    Recommend

  • Saleem
    Aug 22, 2014 - 8:41PM

    @Saif:

    We all read it. His English may not be good but that doesn’t necessarily make him a bad diplomat. Let’s not pull each other’s leg all the time and let people speak their mind.

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  • Zaida Parvez
    Aug 22, 2014 - 8:56PM

    They must get Imran Khan’s signature on a legal document. You never know when he might take a uturn again!

    Recommend

  • JS
    Aug 22, 2014 - 8:56PM

    @Bibi – Yes, so we can all go back to loot and plunder with all “seriousness”. That is exactly what we deserve!

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  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Aug 22, 2014 - 9:33PM

    Saif Please read my straight question again and answer me. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi/ Former Diplomat / Kuwait / zaidiformerdiplomat@hotmail.com

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  • Farrukh
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:20PM

    I appreciate Nawaz Sharif that not even a single bullet or shell of tear gas is fired during this long march and Dharna.
    Bravo Nawaz Sharif.

    Recommend

  • Jameel
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:25PM

    Imran does personal attacks on Nawaz Sharif on daily basis during his speeches.
    He daily brings new blames and allegations that have no evidence.
    He daily makes joke of Nawaz Sharif in his speeches. Shame for Imran.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:26PM

    Ch. Nisar’s statement regarding magnetic ink is such a shame. We Pakistanis are what? Herds of sheep? Our votes doesn’t count, our voices never listened and we are being rammed by this status-quo from each and every edge. Its a farce when Hamza and Hassan Shareefs travel to Turkey and China on Pakistan govt.’s official trips whereas people face hardship in traveling from khi to lhr.

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  • Irum
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:41PM

    Today again, Imran Khan’s speech was full of attck on Nawaz Sharif. There was nothing constructive in his speech.

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  • Sure?
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:53PM

    @Sultan:
    Staunch PTI supporter changed his mind?

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  • Congratulations
    Aug 22, 2014 - 10:58PM

    Country rating of Pakistan has been improved from “STABLE” to “POSITIVE” by Moody’s.
    I congratulate the entire nation. It is a big achievement of federal government.
    Congratulations to all including PTI supporters.
    Allah bless Nawaz Sharif.

    Recommend

  • REAL TRUTH
    Aug 23, 2014 - 12:44AM

    18 people died and 60 seriously injured in Peshawar due to heavy rain few days back.
    13 more people killed in Peshawar yesterday due to one more heavy rain.
    IDPs issue is also there.
    Entire PTI including Imran Khan and Chief Minister KPK are busy in music shows and dance in Islamabad.
    I am short of words to condemn PTI and Imran Khan. They are real enemies of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Hayat
    Aug 23, 2014 - 12:50AM

    Imran said one day that Javed Miandad, Waseem Akram, Shahid Afridi, Junaid Jamshed, Shehzad Roy and Ali Zafar will join his so-called long march. I am still waiting for these celebrities to join this long march of few hundred people.
    Imran always tells lie. I have never seen him speaking truth. He always tells lie in his speeches and interviews.

    Recommend

  • Haris Islam
    Aug 23, 2014 - 12:53AM

    Now I don’t listen Imran’s speech. His speech starts from abusing Nawaz Sharif and ends at abusing Nawaz Sharif.
    Daily new blames. Daily new allegations.
    Evidence nil.

    Recommend

  • Wajahat
    Aug 23, 2014 - 12:57AM

    “Internally displaced persons of North Waziristan staged a protest in Bannu on Friday against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri for hijacking media attention towards their protests in Islamabad.”
    Why does entire media give live coverage to this Dharna due to which economy is losing billions on daily basis. It all means that media is also responsible for this loss on daily basis. Media has forgotten IDPs and entire attention is on Dharna.

    Recommend

  • ObserverUSA
    Aug 23, 2014 - 1:08AM

    I had great hopes of seeing a true leader but just when he asks his supporters to get in touch with the KP authorities for a free ride to Islamabad, I can see that corruption is creeping in here as well. How can justifiably IK use the provincial resources and the taxpayer’s money for personal and Party politicking? Is that not corruption? Well if power can corrupt NS, so it is also corrupting IK. Lord Acton was right. He said something to the effect that: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely…” How true!

    Recommend

  • Zaida Parvez
    Aug 23, 2014 - 6:26AM

    Shame on Imran Khan and PTI !
    The IDPs are suffering and all these power-hungry politicians are worried about is their inflated egos. PTI is not fit to rule. Imagine the plight of the voters in KPK. They voted for Imran Khan and he couldn’t care less for them. It is a biggest insult to the faith they put on him. All he wants to be is the Prime Minister. The way he calls himself the ‘PM’ in his speeches leaves anyone with common sense speechless.

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  • Alter Ego
    Aug 23, 2014 - 8:09AM

    Nothing constructive in IK speeches.
    Just baseless abuse and rough language against NS and Shahbaz Sharif.

    You are not PM yet so dont call yourself PM Imran Khan.
    Your own children dont live in Pakistan so…
    You used govt money to come to Islamabad so what is that.

    Recommend

  • Coordination
    Aug 23, 2014 - 8:57AM

    Both PTI and PAT would not continue to be adamant and rigid if not egged on by a third party. Who that party is, is anybody’s guess.

    Recommend

  • salim
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:24AM

    @KPK:
    “I request that Shahbaz Sharif should be appointed as CM for my province KPK. His performance is very good in Punjab”
    Seriously? Do you want repeat performance of Model Town there?

    Recommend

  • Khawaja
    Aug 23, 2014 - 11:51AM

    Insha Allah Imran’s wish to become Prime Minister will never be fulfilled. Entire nation has rejected his dirty politics. We can never forget in U Turns in past. He is power-hungry and that is why he never sticks to his words.

    Recommend

  • Noreen
    Aug 23, 2014 - 11:53AM

    Imran Khan always talks about “CHANGE”.
    I believe that “CHANGE” is needed in PTI now. Imran Khan is not fit to lead the party. Imran’s every move is immature and childish.

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Aug 23, 2014 - 11:57AM

    There should be by election on the seats PTI has resigned and it should be done as soon as possible.
    PTI should not have double standard and their members should resign from KP seats also and by election should be done on those seats too.
    You can not have your cake and eat it too. Why IK is having this double standard?

    Recommend

  • Ali.I
    Aug 23, 2014 - 12:55PM

    100 people have been shot leaving 14 dead yet no FIR has been registered yet despite court orders. Shame on the Champions of Democracy.
    60,000 to 70,000 votes can not be verified yet 2013 election was fair and transparent. Shame on the Champions of Democracy.

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  • Abdullah
    Aug 23, 2014 - 6:41PM

    All the best prayers for respected Nawaz Sharif.

    Recommend

  • Aug 23, 2014 - 6:52PM

    He is back how can we forget his tenure and blame games the both families played against each other? Here are my arguments on why Imran khan should not back off now? http://fazalgilani.com/imran-khan-give/

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  • Mona Saif
    Aug 23, 2014 - 6:52PM

    @ejaz shabbir:

    are you serious ??? the way you are talking as if you know nothing about pakistan politics. These thugs (NS and zardari family would not let anyway become PM). They will use every oppotunity to rigg the election and yet you say public will decide after 5 years LOL. Its ppl like you who make corruption and injustice takes place. I dont even know why Imran khan is bothered if ppl mentality are like yours.

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  • Dilawar
    Aug 23, 2014 - 7:01PM

    I am still searching for those 100,000 motor cyclists that were to come from Lahore to Islamabad for Long March. I think all bikes have been punctured. Imran, please stop fooling the nation. Please speak truth with the nation.
    Is it a Million March. Only few hundred people of Rawalpindi and Islamabad come in the evening just to enjoy music and nothing else. Throughout the day there are not even 100 persons. It is a Long March?
    Few hundred people cannot change the mandate of 180 million people of Pakistan.Recommend

  • Nuisance
    Aug 23, 2014 - 7:10PM

    Enough is enough. You can’t go on like this. There has to be limits to being a nuisance in the capital. Restore normal life. Give the protestors forty eight hours to end the sit-ins and let them clean the mess they have caused. It they don’t leave by the deadline, take measures to remove them.

    Recommend

  • Professor
    Aug 23, 2014 - 7:46PM

    @Ali.I: You think this did not happen in aamriyat? When did Lal Masjid happen? Why do you blame democracy for poor decisions made by a ruling government? If you want an Islamic State instead of democracy, it is not very far away. Only Iran stands between Pakistan and the Islamic State.

    Recommend

  • Saqibtahir
    Aug 23, 2014 - 7:52PM

    Zardari has proved himself to be a real democrat and statesman. Despite all the backstabbing by Nawaz Sharif during his tenure he is not ready to do the same to Sharifs for the sake of strengthening the institutions.

    Recommend

  • Karachite
    Aug 23, 2014 - 8:25PM

    Nawaz Sharif should never resign just to fulfill the wish of egoistic Imran Khan.
    Nawaz Sharif has got millions of votes. He should serve for 5 years.

    Recommend

  • SHB
    Aug 23, 2014 - 8:45PM

    @Iqbal Hadi Zaidi:
    Yes you are wrong in your assessment.

    Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Aug 23, 2014 - 9:16PM

    Why and how there can be discussion to come to an amicable solution between Imran and Nawaz when the two are nothing less than poles apart? Imran wants PM Nawaz resignation and PM says come what may I am tendering resignation. One shall have to accommodate the other otherwise if not then I say with full conviction and confidence that the riddle will not solved till dooms day what to talk of this century. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidifirmerdiplomat@hotmail.com

    Recommend

  • Nabeel
    Aug 23, 2014 - 9:25PM

    Imran is on the mission to destroy the economy of Pakistan. I have mentioned it again and again that he is an enemy of Pakistan.
    He says that don’t pay utility bills, toll tax, sales tax etc.
    Today he said that farmers should also not pay tubewells bills.
    Moreover he said that people should remit the money from other countries to Pakistan through illegal channels.
    SHAME ON YOU IMRAN KHAN.

    Recommend

  • shoaib
    Aug 23, 2014 - 9:34PM

    Imran Khan & Company want to derail the democracy. Imran should leave his ego and think for Pakistan.

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  • Abid
    Aug 23, 2014 - 9:42PM

    Being responsible citizen of Pakistan, I shall pay all bills and taxes. I don’t accept Imran’s point of view.
    If we don’t pay bills and taxes, how will this country be run?
    If we don’t pay bills and taxes, how will funds be given to Army who are fighting war against terrorism?
    If we don’t pay bills and taxes, how will salaries be given to employees?
    Biggest shame for Imran Khan.

    Recommend

  • Mumtaz
    Aug 23, 2014 - 9:59PM

    We should accept the reality. It is a fact that Imran Khan is playing a very bad role for Pakistan nowadays as directed to him by Establishment.
    His politics of agitation will leave bad impact on Pakistan’s economy. Stock Exchange has also been affected since the start of protests by PTI. Inflow of foreign investment in Pakistan will also be affected.

    Recommend

  • GHANI
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:01PM

    It is only Pakistan where immature politicians like Imran Khan don’t accept defeat. Imran lacks sportsman spirit. He possesses very little heart. His short-sightedness and narrow-mindedness are his main weaknesses.

    Recommend

  • Khan
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:05PM

    Court should order the arrest of IK whose politics of agitation is destroying Pakistan. I request Supreme Court to take notice of Imran’s speeches full of hate. He is preaching Pakistanis to hurt the economy through Civil Disobedience.
    IK should be sent behind bars.

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  • Democracy
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:08PM

    Imran should wait till the end of inquiry by the Judicial Commission. It is not correct to demand resignation from the Prime Minster as far as nothing is proved against him.

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  • hashim
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:13PM

    It seems that PTI team is not serious in dialogue. They want to derail the entire democratic system.

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  • nouman
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:48PM

    What is imran teaching to his followers. Agitation and civil disobedience. No sane man can vote for PTI.

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  • ZAIDI
    Aug 23, 2014 - 10:55PM

    I am disappointed from the role of media. IK want to destroy the economy but media is posing him as a hero.

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  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Aug 24, 2014 - 12:34AM

    WHOM 2 LISTEN? PM Nawaz has a gang not spokesman to say on his behalf whereby even those who as per their classifications are not entitled to speak out about Imran and Qadri keep on issuing statements. The so called spokesmen are (a) Shahbaz Sharif (b) Ahsan Iqbal (c) Saad Rafique (d) Pervez Rashid (e) Ishaq Dar (f) Khawaja Asif (g) Sardar Yousif (h) Abdul Qadir Baloch (i) Hamza Shahbaz (j) Maryam Nawaz etc though the subject falls under the preview of Nisar Khan, Interior Minister. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / zaidiformerdiplomat@hotmail.com

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  • Xman
    Aug 24, 2014 - 12:35AM

    Shame on IK and TUQ, for using other people’s women and children on streets as a shield and cannon fodder to fulfil their own ambitions. They could not use their political quotient to out manoeuvre opponents in political arena, and now are resorting to obsolete tactics not fit for the 21st century.

    Recommend

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