Opposition leader Imran Khan and his party have decided to resume talks with the government. The negotiations are aimed at ending several days of protests.
Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan’s party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has agreed to return to negotiations with the government in a bid to end protests that began earlier this week calling for Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation.
The PTI’s vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, “We are resuming talks with the government.”
The announcement came shortly after parliament members of the PTI quit the parliament. The MPs quit the National Assembly as they believe “elections were not transparent,” said PTI member Arif Alvi, referring to the election of Nawaz Sharif in April last year.
The resignation of the MPs will go into effect on Monday.
Khan and popular cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have led separate protests demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s resignation and reforms in the electoral process. They accuse Sharif of rigging parliamentary elections in 2013 in which Nawaz Sharif’s Muslim League won the maximum number of votes. Khan’s party, PTI won 34 seats in Pakistan’s National Assembly, which has 342 members.
Nawaz Sharif has refused to budge, raising fears of violence if the protests continue unabated.
Imran Khan had opened talks with the government on Wednesday but he called them off a day later, after Nawaz Sharif appointed a new police chief, which was taken as a sign of a crackdown on the protestors.