Islamabad: Even as there seems no way out of Pakistan's political deadlock despite five round of talks between the PML-N government and Imran Khan's PTI, PM Nawaz Sharif struck a defiant note, making it clear that he had no intention to quit, and expressed hope that the current phase of political chaos shall pass and the PML-N government would stay the course.
In his address to the National Assembly, Nawaz also seemed to mock Imran Khan's claims saying that the PML-N too survived difficult times, but they didn't cry about rigging in 2008 election which was won by the PPP.
“We have survived difficult times. In the 2008 elections, our hands were tied. But we campaigned and participated, we did not cry about rigging – and it would have been a legitimate cry. Because at that time there was a dictator that controlled the government. He held those elections…. But we said if PPP has got more seats than us then we will accept that right of the PPP,” the Dawn quoted him as saying.
Talking about Imran Khan, who is the protagonist of Pakistan protests, Mr Imran Khan, I visited him in the hospital when he was injured and he congratulated me on winning the polls and said he will play the role of a constructive opposition,” he told the House.
Addressing the National Assembly for the first time since Imran Khan started the protest march, Nawaz started by thanking the house for passing a resolution that rejected Imran Khan's demand for PM's resignation, reported the Dawn.
"This great display of strength will always be remembered. It makes me happy to think that this is the voice of the 200 million people of the country," the Dawn quoted Nawaz as saying.
Emphasising that the resolution was a victory of the system and democracy,Nawaz said called it a “the triumph of a vision”, the Dawn reported.
Calling it an unprecedented event in the country's history, Nawaz thanked the House, saying nine of out ten parties had voted for the resolution supporting democracy.
“I am grateful that you have chosen me as the leader of the House…I vow never to hurt your sentiments,” he said.
Meanwhile, the fifth round of talks between the Government and the PTI negotiating teams ended in Islamabad today without any conclusion.
After the talks, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said the deadlock is still there and the two sides would meet again to find a solution, reported the Radio Pakistan.
In what are the biggest challenges yet to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who took office last year in the first democratic transfer of power, Imran Khan of the PTI and PAT leader Tahir-ul-Qadri, have led huge protest rallies against the government demanding his resignation on the claims that last year`s elections were rigged.
The anti-government protests threaten Pakistan`s political stability which has in past seen several military coups.