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Pakistani PM again rejects resignation calls, offers talks to opponents

English.news.cn   2014-08-21 23:19:07

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday rejected calls for his resignation by two opposition leaders, who are leading thousands of their supporters in sit-ins in Islamabad and are demanding resignation of the Prime Minister.

An influential opposition leader Imran Khan and a religious scholar Dr. Tahir ul Qadri had started protest against the government on August 14. Both insist they would not withdraw their demands for resignation of the prime minister.

Rejecting the demand of his resignation, Nawaz Sharif said this will lead the country towards another crisis.

"Nobody in the country supports the illegal and extra- constitutional agenda of two political groups," state radio quoted Sharif as telling a group of senior journalists and TV anchors.

Nawaz Sharif again offered to the opposition parties to resolve the political issues through talks.

"My government is ready to launch dialogue to defuse the crisis," he said, adding the country could not afford current situation.

Imran Khan's party Thursday suspended talks with the government on the plea that the government has started a "crackdown" on its activists. The government denied any such move. Both sides held first round of talks late Wednesday and the second round was expected on Thursday.

The prime minister said the Sri Lankan President had postponed his visit to Islamabad due to the protests.

"We ourselves tell heads of states of other countries that the situation is not favorable in Islamabad."

The prime minister said majority of political parties in the parliament supports his government and are on the same page.

Sharif said that protests and sit-ins were hitting Pakistan's economy and the country could not afford current situation as the crisis could harm the country.

Nawaz said that protests were democratic rights of opposition parties, but no unconstitutional demand, presented by the marchers, would be accepted. He rejected possibility of use of force against the protesters.

"We respect people's mandate, we even can't image to use force against protests and are ready to hold talks," he said.

Editor: yan
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