Pakistan opposition leaders resume negotiations

Pakistan opposition leaders resume negotiations

Wed Sep 3, 2014 9:18PM GMT

Pakistani opposition leaders have resumed negotiations with the government in a bid to end the political crisis in the country.

On Wednesday, government representatives met with opposition leaders Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, the head of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) party.

Separate talks between Qadri and a cross-party team of lawmakers were ongoing late on Wednesday.

According to the negotiators, there is still a stalemate over the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

“All other matters have been resolved, but the main issue is still on table, which is Nawaz Sharif’s resignation. We are trying to sort out a middle way out of it,” a source close to the talks said.

The fresh talks came after days of clashes between police and anti-government protesters left three people dead and hundreds injured.

The opposition groups accuse Sharif of corruption and rigging last year’s parliamentary elections, which swept Sharif to power.

The protests reportedly eased on Wednesday as the leaders sought a negotiated solution. Only a few hundred people were camping out peacefully outside parliament in the high-security Red Zone area in the heart of the capital Islamabad, with the army protecting key government installations.

Pakistan has been the scene of anti-government protests since August 14. The demonstrators have called for the premier’s resignation, a demand he refuses.

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