Vaidik calls for end to PTI, PAT protests in Pak

Senior journalist and political analyst Ved Pratap Vaidik on Sunday the ongoing protests in Pakistan against the Nawaz Sharif-led government should give way to negotiations. “Khan and Qadri had claimed that during their protests, millions will come but as we have seen, not more than a few thousand people came. Thus I feel that these protests should end. Moreover, the Pakistan government has started to use force, and the demonstrators would also be scared for their lives,” Vaidik told ANI here. “I feel that there should be talks, and in the constituencies where there is a suspicion of poll-rigging, if elections are held again then it will be fruitful,” he added. Pointing out that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has not joined the protests, Vaidik further said, “I feel that more than the PTI and PAT, Asif Zardari’s PPP had accused Nawaz Sharif of poll-rigging but at present they have sided with the government.” He also termed the cancelling of the Foreign Secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan as ‘fortunate’. “It is fortunate that the talks with Pakistan were cancelled, otherwise in such an environment, I find it difficult to imagine how the talks could have taken place,” he said. Vaidik, however, expressed confidence about the talks between the two Asian neighbours in the near future. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given an indication that talks with Pakistan can be held, which he mentioned during a press conference with Japanese journalists before leaving for that country,” he said. According to reports, at least eight protesters were killed and over 400 people injured in clashes with the police in Pakistan as anti-government protests continue in the capital city of Islamabad. The police reportedly fired tear gas and rubber bullets at thousands of protesters, who were attempting to march towards Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif”s residence in Islamabad. A crowd of about 25,000 people led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf ( PTI) chairman Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek ( PAT) chief Tahir-ul Qadri made its way to Sharif”s house late Saturday after talks with the government mediated by the Pakistani military failed, reported the Dawn. The clashes between the police and the protesters continued on Sunday as the cops baton-charged the crowd in an attempt to disperse them. Some agitators also tried to resist the police by pelting stones and using sticks. (ANI)