The political deadlock in Islamabad showed no sign of any breakthrough although Imran Khan has now demanded that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif step down for 30 days while investigations are conducted into the alleged rigging that took place in the 2013 general elections.
This demand was rejected by both Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N party as well as all other major political parties of Pakistan as it goes against the spirit of democracy.
At the same time more progress seems to have been made by government ministers and other politicians with Tahir-ul Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and there are expectations of some compromise with that party soon.
The real deadlock remains with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), say observers. The PTI proposed that the prime minister resign for a period of 30 days during which a judicial commission works independently to determine if the May 2013 elections were transparent.
This demand though was rejected by the government, who said they had accepted almost all the other demands of the PTI. The PTI had then announced it would recommence its sit-in with protests in other cities as well.
In a lighter moment, Imran Khan also said that he wanted to see a “Naya (new) Pakistan,” his party’s slogan, because he also wanted to get remarried. This caused many hearts to flutter in the PTI camp but the party later clarified that it was an off-the-cuff remark to illustrate what dreams Pakistanis had for a newer and better country.
Imran Khan also instructed supporters to withdraw their money from government-owned banks and asked overseas Pakistanis to send their remittance home through hawala and not official channels. “This is part of our civil disobedience movement,” he said.
Meanwhile, other political parties are focusing on damage control. Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq urged the Speaker of the National Assembly to delay the acceptance of the resignations submitted by the PTI.