Govt, allies huddle for talks
ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the allied parties in Pakistan’s coalition government huddled together for talks on Thursday to discuss the political situation in the country arising from the protest in the federal capital led by populist cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri.
The meeting was being held here today under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf at the Prime Minister’s House.
During the session, leaders decided to constitute a committee of four to hold talks with the Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran chief.
The committee includes Afrasiab Khattak, Farooq Sattar, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Khurshid Shah.
Tens of thousands of people – by some estimates around 25,000 – were taking part in a sit-in protest near the Parliament House – the largest rally in Islamabad since the current government took office in 2008.
Qadri wants the parliament dissolved and a caretaker government set up in consultation with the military and judiciary to implement sweeping reforms before free elections can be held.
Critics within the government and opposition say Qadri’s demands can not be legally implemented within the ambit of the Constitution.