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Govt announces two committees to 'negotiate' with Imran, Qadri: Nisar

18 August, 2014

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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday announced the government's decision to constitute two committees to negotiate with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), separately.

"The government will announce composition of these committees after consultation with PPP, JI and other political parties on Monday," Nisar told a press conference. He deplored PTI chief Imran Khan's announcement of civil disobedience movement, saying his behaviour and language really hurt him. "I am surprised over this announcement, as a civil disobedience movement is not against a government but the state," he said.

The interior minister said threats to breach the Red Zone seem to be a joke, as everyone knows the areas houses sensitive installations, key buildings and embassies. He assured that no attack would take place against these sensitive installations as Pakistan "is not a banana republic". Nisar noted that civil disobedience movements were launched in countries that were under foreign occupation and questioned whether this was lawful.

He recalled that despite severe political tension and acrimony between the PML-N and PPP in the 90s, both parties avoided taking such extreme steps. The minister said that the government had showed political maturity so far since the launch of the long march and sit-in in the middle of capital city. He expressed complete satisfaction over the security situation and hailed the security agencies for maintaining law and order.

He appealed to the PTI and PAT to refrain from indulging in violence and hoped that they would not do so. He disclosed that one billion rupees have been spent on the security arrangements for these sit-ins in the capital. He also questioned the acts of both the parties and questioned whether it was a democratic way to present their demands.

He said that the future of the country and democracy is more important than the PML-N government and appealed to Imran Khan to make the lives of people easier, a direct response to Imran's demand to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to resign to make his life trouble-free.

He requested both Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri to help unite the nation and told them that the government would accept all their lawful demands. He asked them both to come to democracy and reconciliation, saying violence would bring destruction to the country and democracy.

The interior minister said that the two parties had been given permission after a set of conditions that were agreed upon. "The conditions are clear. The Red Zone is a red line. Nobody will be allowed to cross it," he reiterated.


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