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We agreed to five of PTI's six demands: Saad Rafique

Updated August 28, 2014
PML-N leader Saad Rafique. — File photo
PML-N leader Saad Rafique. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) leadership on Thursday addressed the press on the government's talks with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), a chapter that seems to have come to an inglorious end.

Speaking to reporters in Islamabad, PML-N leader and federal minister Saad Rafique said the government had agreed to five out of the six demands of the PTI but Imran Khan remained adamant over Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.

The PML-N leader said all political forces, minus PTI, are on board on the issue that the prime minister cannot be sent home without it being proven that he committed a crime.

Rafique said the government and its representatives had a series of meetings with PTI and yesterday’s was the final meeting after which the PTI decided to call off the talks.

We are however still available for dialogue, he said, adding that Imran’s party should allow the state to function and ensure that its protesters disperse from the country’s nerve centre.

He asked as to why should Nawaz resign when he was the people’s representative.

Addressing the protests by PAT, Rafique said we tried to resolve the issue by forming a commission for reforms and even asked Tahirul Qadri to become the supervisor.

But the PAT chief has been adamant that the national and provincial assemblies must be dissolved.

He said the government told him his demands were unconstitutional.

Rafique added that when the Model Town incident took place, the PML-N leadership was in Islamabad. But we had agreed for a thorough investigation to satisfy Qadri and his supporters.

“We also asked Qadri along with Imran to cancel the protests and allow the women and children to return to their homes,” he said.

He said the government was baffled why Qadri was urging his supporters to brace for martyrdom?

After Rafique, Khawaja Asif began addressing reporters saying protesters are trying to break into violence but the government will resist – come what may.

“The government will never let them achieve what they want – we will ensure peace,” he said.

“The language that Imran and Qadri are using clearly shows they only want chaos, bloodshed – but the government will protect lives,” Asid said.

On the other hand, Saad Rafique insisted that Qadri should pursue talks and should not use his supporters as shield.

“Pakistan is for all – we are ready to the register case in the Model Town tragedy, we are willing to look into his demands.”

“I would like to stress on this that we are politicians, we do not believe in violence. We have learned from our past mistakes,” Asif said.

“Our patience must not be taken to be our weakness.”

“This is not about satisfying someone’s ego. The prime minister had said that the Pariament as well the system needed to be protected. It’s our resolve that we won’t let bloodshed/violence happen.”