Imran Khan is demanding the government form a judicial commission to investigate alleged electoral rigging.
The Government of Pakistan announced on Wednesday it would resume talks with opposition politician Imran Khan in a bid to stem his efforts to topple the administration of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The announcement came two days after club-wielding anti-government protesters clashed with riot police, leaving an opposition party worker dead in Faisalabad. “Today, our leadership has decided to begin unconditional and meaningful dialogues,” cabinet minister Ishaq Dar told reporters.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party led by Imran Khan has been holding demonstrations around the country since mid-August to force Sharif to step down. But his campaign has lost momentum after so far failing in its aims.
Khan claims that the 2013 general elections, which swept Sharif to power, were heavily rigged. The cricketer-turned-politician had warned that his supporters would paralyze major cities starting with Lahore, Sharif’s power base, on Dec. 18 if their demands are not met. Khan has backtracked from a previous demand for Sharif’s resignation but is calling for the formation of a judicial commission to probe the allegations of vote rigging.
Dar said the government is ready to form the commission and added that he along with another minister would meet the PTI leadership on Thursday. He appealed to Khan’s PTI to call off their protests.
Shireen Mazari, spokeswoman for PTI, welcomed the announcement and said that the party was willing to hold talks with government.