ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called a meeting of his inner circle today to give final shape to the strategy for effectively tackling the proposed protest plan of Pakistan Tehreek-I-Insaf.
Ostensibly the agenda of the meeting is to discuss the issues relating to the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan, its expected fallout in the settled areas and proper management of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the special camps established by the government in Bannu and other parts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa, but the party leadership would mainly be discussing the proposed protest march by PTI and the expected protest by Allama Tahirul Qadri after Eid, a source in the party confirmed to The Nation.
A senior party leader, who preferred not to be named, said that the party leadership was divided over the issue of handling PTI protest march as the leaders with hawkish tendency wanted to quell the protest with force while the doves in the echelons of power were proposing to resolve the matter through dialogue.
The sources in the party said that the Prime Minister is weighing the options but is leaning toward the dialogue option and most probably the party leadership would discuss the ways and means to bring PTI leadership on the negotiation table to work out some modalities to address its grievances.
The sources further informed that Nawaz was in no mood to quell the PTI protest with force and would be looking for other options to resolve the issue.
The party leadership would be giving the final shape to their strategy to tackle the proposed Azadi March by Imran Khan and hopefully the government would accept some of the demands of PTI to resolve the crisis.
It is pertinent to mention here that PTI Chairman Imran Khan had demanded a number of electoral reforms including the verification of the votes in four National Assembly constituencies of Lahore though thumb impression, the demand persistently opposed and rejected by the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).
The sources in the party said that now the government could even give consideration to this demand of PTI provided and there is a proposal under consideration in the PML-N to also propose four NA constituencies of their choice as well, from where some of the stalwarts of the PTI had won the elections, for voters verification through thumb impression.
A party leader said that as the PTI has already joined the committee formed by the Parliament on electoral reforms so the protest plan of Imran Khan is without any justification and PTI better come up with their proposal for electoral reforms in the Parliamentary body instead of taking the matter on streets.