ISLAMABAD: The opposition jirga, mediating between the government and the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek, presented on Thursday what it called “the best possible formula” to end the month-long political impasse.
After a meeting at the residence of former interior minister and Pakistan People’s Party leader Rehman Malik, Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Sirajul Haq held a press conference and announced that a formula had been devised and would be presented to the government and the two protesting parties.
“After threadbare discussions, we have prepared the best possible formula and have given three days to all parties to review it thoroughly and come up with a response,” Mr Haq told reporters.
He said that details of the formula could not be shared with the press “until we receive replies on it from the government, and the protesting parties”.
Apparently, all three sides are sticking to their respective stances and are not showing any flexibility. PTI Chairman Imran Khan keeps insisting that he will not budge from the sit-in in front of Parliament House unless Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns.
The ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N, for its part, has vowed not to sacrifice the prime minister and has termed the PTI’s demand “unconstitutional”.
PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has also pledged to continue his sit-in until the entire political system in the country is revamped.
Following the press talk, the opposition jirga met the PTI’s negotiation team at the residence of PTI General Secretary Jahangir Tareen and presented their formula to them.
Addressing the media outside the PTI leader’s residence, both sides vowed to continue dialogue to end the prevailing crisis.
Here, Mr Haq said the opposition jirga wanted to give the three sides “a respectable way” to resolve the issue.
“If all sides take two steps back, we will find a solution to the problem,” he said, adding that the jirga would continue its efforts until a solution was found.
At this point, PTI Vice-Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi interjected to say that the government needs take only one step back to end the sit-ins.
He said he had received the jirga’s suggestions and would review them within the party. “We have also presented our concerns to the jirga and hope that it will understand our point of view,” he added.
Rehman Malik said that of the PTI’s six demands, the government had met “four-and-a-half”.
The jirga leaders are also expected to meet PAT and ruling party leaders to present their formula to them.
Published in Dawn, September 12th, 2014