Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today tasked his close confidant Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to resume dialogue with opposition leader Imran Khan to end the political impasse over alleged rigging in the 2013 general election.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Khan has been protesting since August against alleged rigging in the 2013 general election which his party lost and Sharif won.
Sharif consulted his party leaders and cabinet colleagues before giving the go-ahead to start talks to address complaints of Khan about rigging in the polls.
According to government sources, Sharif faced little opposition from party stalwarts and now wants Khan to call off strikes and protests.
Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Railways Minister Saad Rafique, Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan, Frontier Minister Qadir Baloch, Governor of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Sardar Mehtab, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and other senior leaders attended the consultative meeting.
Earlier, a senior leader of ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that the premier had started consultations with senior party leaders about starting talks with the PTI.
"The violence and protests are harming the national economy and the Prime Minister wants to end this unrest as early as possible," he said.
The PTI has said that it is ready for unconditional talks with the government.
PTI spokesperson Shireen Mazari said after a meeting of the party late yesterday that the government had so far not approached them for a resumption of dialogue.
Finance Minister Dar last night said that the global community was worried over the political instability and it was already affecting the country's national development.
"We had to cancel the sale of shares of an oil company as the investors were not ready to buy them at the set price," he said.
The two sides have softened their positions after Monday's violence during protests by the PTI in Faisalabad, the textile hub of the country, which left one person dead and 20 injured.
The Dawn reported that the core committee of PTI had decided to call off a plan to shut down the country by December 18 after a written agreement was signed with the government on the formation of a judicial commission to investigate allegations of rigging in last year's polls.
The committee, which met at party chief Khan's Bani Gala residence, also passed a resolution condemning the violence in Faisalabad a day earlier and expressed profound grief over the death of Haq Nawaz, the PTI worker who the party claimed had been killed by "ruling party goons".