Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has decided to hold consultations with various political parties on the situation in the country evolving in the wake of the military operation in North Waziristan.
The decision was taken at a meeting presided over by the prime minister at his Raiwind residence on Sunday. It was attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, senior PML-N leaders and bureaucrats.
According to a participant, the meeting discussed the operation Zarb-i-Azb, demands raised by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan at his Bahawalpur public meeting and a multi-party conference convened by Dr Tahirul Qadri on the Model Town incident.
The meeting had proposed to invite all parliamentary leaders to a multi-party like meeting to exchange views with them on various problems the country is facing in the wake of the military operation, particularly the issue of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs).
He said such consultations were necessary to maintain the unanimity of approach between the civil and military leadership even after the operation which, the meeting was told, was likely to be completed by the middle of Ramazan. It will avert the recurrence of a Swat-like situation in which political bickering developed soon after the operation was over.
Answering a question, the participant said the establishment also was in favour of a broad-based accord among all the sectors concerned.
If the proposal of multi-party consultations was not found to be feasible, he said, the prime minister would meet, within a week, PPP co-chairperson and former president Asif Ali Zardari and PTI chief Imran Khan.
Asked if the PTI’s protest movement would also be discussed during the meeting with Mr Khan, he said: “Obviously, all matters will come under discussion when the two leaders meet.”