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Pakistani cleric ends talks with government

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tahir ul- adriIslamabad : Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader Tahir-ul-Qadri Thursday announced he was ending dialogue with the government as his demands were not accepted.

Qadri, whose supporters have staged an anti-government sit-in here since Aug 15, made the announcement in his address to his activists shortly after he concluded hours of talks with a government committee, Xinhua reported.

“The talks with the government have completely failed,” he said.

Qadri had asked the government team to register murder cases against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, his brother Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab province, and 20 others people for the police killing of his activists in the eastern city of Lahore in June.

Police had opened fire at Qadri’s supporters, killing at least 16 of them. The clashes had erupted after police tried to remove barriers outside Qadri’s office.

A court ordered registration of the murder cases against Sharif and 20 other people, but police have not yet acted on these orders.

Information Minister Pervez Rashid said the government was ready to register murder cases against the people if Qadri ends the protest.

Qadri said he also demanded resignation of Shahbaz Sharif and dismissal of his government in Punjab as he had been “involved in the killings of my supporters”.

A government negotiation team held two rounds of talks with Qadri at his container parked outside the parliament building.

“The doors of dialogue have now closed,” the religious leader said and advised the government not to send any other negotiation team.

“I gave opportunity for talks but all efforts have failed,” Qadri said.

He told his supporters that he will announce future strategy later in the day and will address them at 3.00 p.m.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan has also ended talks with the government.

His supporters are also protesting in Islamabad and are demanding resignation of Sharif accusing the government of “rigging” the general elections last year.

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