Pakistan govt to hold talks with Imran Khan

The Pakistan government today decided to resume dialogue with Imran Khan, a day after he threatened to “shut down” the entire country by December 16 if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to initiate an impartial probe into the alleged rigging in 2013 general elections.

Official sources told Dawn that Sharif took the decision after his meeting with the Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khurshid Shah.

After the government’s announcement of resuming talks with Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf party (PTI), a formal contact with the party was expected to be established soon.

Earlier today, Shah said Information Minister Pervez Rashid’s statement that the government would not hold talks with PTI was disappointing.

It was necessary for the PML-N led government to hold talks with PTI, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader said, adding that in the other case, the government risked weakening its own standing.

The government had ruled out yesterday the possibility of resuming dialogue with PTI, after its chairman Khan said he “would shut down major cities, and then the whole country”, later this month.

Responding to the PTI chief’s plan, Rashid had said the government would not resume talks until the PTI chief gave up what he called “the politics of turmoil”.

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