Pakistan

Protesters reject talks offer by Islamabad administration

ISLAMABAD: Pro Mumtaz Qadri protesters in the federal capital refused Islamabad administrations offers to negotiate.

According to a local report, the protesters who are staging a sit-in since Sunday outside the parliament in Islamabad, refused to hold negotiations with Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration officials and instead demanded a three-member committee to hold talks with.

The three-member committee demanded by the protesters included the Speaker of the National Assembly, Leader of the House of Senate and any representative of Punjab government. The Islamabad Capital Authority tried to negotiate with the protesters but their efforts were in vain.

“We requested them to wind up the sit-in, but the protesters wanted to negotiate with the Pakistan Army. We told them that the ICT administration does not have mandate to contact the army, but the message would be conveyed,” said an Islamabad Capital Territory representative, according to a local report.

“We have been in touch with the protesters, but have received no proper reply from the government, so we cannot take any decision over what to do with them,” he said.

As the third day of the Islamabad protests continued, talks between the government and protesters could still not beheld. Religious parties continued their protest demonstrations at D-Chowk in the federal capital. The metro bus service also remained suspended throughout the twin cities owing to the sit-in. Cellular networks were also suspended in certain areas of Islamabad.

All roads leading to the D-Chowk were blocked by police as security of the Red Zone was handed over to the army. The government also formed a commission to estimate the damage that had been inflicted on the Metro bus system by enraged protesters.

Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar had also warned protesters to stop the damage to public property as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had also warned them during his televised address to the nation on Monday. The protesters have been camped outside the parliament since Sunday and have threatened to continue their sit-in till the government does not yield to a list of their demands.

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