ISLAMABAD: An opposition jirga seeking to resolve the 35-day standoff between the government and protesters besieging parliament wrote a letter on Thursday to all three side, urging them to take practical steps in order to end the prevailing political impasse.

The 11-point letter said that the prolonged sit-in has agitated the people of Pakistan and should end at the earliest.

Speaking to media representatives after meeting with PTI and PAT leaders, Jirga member Senator Rehman Malik said dialogue was the synonym of politics, adding that anything other than a peaceful resolution to the issue would prove catastrophic for the country.

He urged both the sides to move forward from their current positions. “Government should come forward and embrace the protesters … on the other hand, protesting parties should announce to end their sit-ins,” he said.

The letter written by the jirga has urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to announce on the floor of Parliament his resignation if the alleged rigging in last year’s polls is proven right.

Malik said the jirga has proposed that the prime minister should make this announcement in the Parliament and the protesting parties should accept this.

The opposition jirga has also proposed formation of an independent commission to probe into the alleged rigging through an ordinance. The commission should be empowered to seek assistance of any provincial or federal police officer, said the letter.

The commission should be able to seek help of foreign experts as well and should be tasked to complete the investigation in a limited time period, it added.

Senator Malik said that the three stakeholders have agreed upon a time frame of 45 days. However, he added that details regarding scale and nature of the rigging were yet be agreed upon.

The proposed commission should be empowered to launch criminal cases in addition to keeping it secret or making it public in case alleged rigging is proven in the 2013 general elections.

The centre and all provincial governments would be liable to implement recommendations of the commission, said the letter.

Speaking on the occasion, Jirga member and Jamaat-i-Islami (JI) Emir Sirajul Haq said talks between the three sides can resume, however, the government should take the initiative in this regard.

The political jirga has also proposed not to include any official of Punjab Police in the investigative commission. The letter has also urged the interior ministry to issue a notification in this regard.

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 Sharif resigns.

The ruling PML-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.



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