Due demands get PM's nod


ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday gave go ahead to the government negotiating team to accept the demands of the Azadi March protesters that were in accordance with the Constitution.
The team headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak met the prime minister as thousands of protesters continue to protest in Islamabad demanding the premier’s resignation.
According to sources, the prime minister told the negotiating team to accept all the demands set forward by the opposition apart from his resignation.
During the meeting, the prime minister also expressed gratitude for Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who on Monday met Maulana Fazlur Rehman to persuade him to call off Azadi March.
Thousands of protesters have converged on the federal capital under the banner of the Azadi March, seeking to send Prime Minister Imran Khan packing.
The ‘Azadi’ March caravan, which set off from Sindh on October 27, left Punjab’s city Lahore on October 30 and culminated its journey October 31 in Islamabad.
Opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches against the PTI government on Friday, giving the prime minister a 48-hour ultimatum to resign. The deadline was later extended after the JUI-F chief said the opposition’s Rahbar Committee will decide after talks with the government negotiating committee.
The deadlock between the government and the opposition persisted on Tuesday. A joint press conference was held by the Rahbar Committee and the opposition after the talks were held.
“We are holding on to our demands,” said Rahbar Committee Convener Akram Durrani. “In our meeting with the government committee, we told them about our demands for the premier’s resignation and fresh elections,” he said.
Khattak, who was also holding the press conference with Durrani, said that talks between the government and the opposition were still going on.
“They have their own stance, we have ours,” he said. “We are trying to arrive at the middle ground.”
Khattak said that talks between the two sides would go on. He hoped that the deadlock between the two sides would end soon.
Meanwhile, Ch Shujaat Hussain braces to test his ‘art of appeasement’ yet again
Known as an effective exponent and proponent of reconciliation in the country’s volatile political aena for years, former prime minister Chaudhary Shujaat Hussain has now stepped into the fray once again for “appeasement” purposes.
This time around, Ch Shujaat Hussain and his cousin Ch Pervaiz Ellahi, are trying to convince the fuming JUI-F Chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, that he should settle his political issues with incumbent Pakistani Premier, Imran Khan, peacefully on the table without resorting to confrontation and violence.
In a bid to defuse political tension in the country, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi called on Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday night. Talking to journalists, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi said that they came here for reconciliation and to defuse the political tension in the country.