Stalemate in talks with dharna leaders

ISLAMABAD: No progress was made in talks with the protesters who have blocked entrance to the twin cities at Faizabad for the last about two weeks, a private TV channel reported on Saturday.

The deadline given by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) ended on Saturday; however, the federal government gave 24 more hours to the Tehreek-e-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah protesters to end their sit-in to avoid any untoward situation. So the final deadline ends today (Sunday).

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There was a stalemate in the talks as the protesters stick to their demand of resignation by Federal Law Minister Zahid Hamid. According to reports, the government has agreed to accept all demands except the removal of Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid in a second round of talks with leaders of the sit-in.

In this regard, sources said, both the sides are discussing setting up an inquiry committee to determine whether or not Zahid Hamid is responsible for an amendment regarding the Khatm-e-Nabuwwat oath.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) Chairman Raja Zafarul Haq, Minister of State for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Pir Amin-ul-Hasnat, Custodian of Golra Sharif Pir Syed Ghulam Nizam Ud Din Jami, Central Ruet-e-Hilal Committee Chairman Mufti Muneeb-ur-Rehman, and Custodian of Eidgah Sharif Pir Naqeebur Rehman were part of the negotiation team.

Despite ending of the IHC deadline on Saturday night, the protesters of religious parties continued their sit-in on Faizabad Interchange for the 13th consecutive day, with authorities deferring the final crackdown till today (Sunday).

APP adds: As a last effort to end Dharna by the religious groups through peaceful dialogue, Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal on Saturday directed the district administration to delay the operation for the next 24 hours. He also urged upon the religious leaders and scholars to play their role in maintaining law and order situation to facilitate the residents of the twin cities.

In a statement issued here, the interior minister said that approval of law for Finality of Prophethood (SAW) by Parliament was a historical decision and nobody could change the law till the day of judgement. Therefore, he said, now there was no justification for any sit-in to protest this issue. Ahsan Iqbal said that the implementation of the court order to remove the sit-in was a legal requirement.