Pakistan can't afford confrontation: Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad, Aug 9 (IANS): Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Saturday the country cannot afford political confrontation at a time when the security forces are fighting militants in North Waziristan.

At a National Security Conference here, Sharif called upon political parties to act towards steering the country out of all challenges, including the economy, Xinhua reported. 

Leaders of almost all major parties, including the main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), attended the conference, however, Imran Khan, chief of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) party, stayed away.

Chef of military operation Major Gen. Aamir Riaz, briefed the participants on the military operation in North Waziristan and said that the required objectives have been achieved.

The army chief, General Raheel Sharif and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) head Lt. Gen. Zaheer-ul-Islam also attended the conference.

Nawaz Sharif said that he is ready to meet Imran Khan to discuss his demands, including political and electoral reforms, but made it clear the government will not bow before any demands made through protests. 

Khan, has announced a march against the government on Independence Day August 14.

Khan said that thousands of supporters will stage sit-in in Islamabad and will not end protest until Nawaz Sharif resigns.

A religious leader, Tahir-ul-Qadri, has also begin protests against the government and his supporters clashed Friday with police in several cities, including Lahore. 

Qadri's Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) says the police have arrested hundreds of its activists.


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Title: Pakistan can't afford confrontation: Nawaz Sharif

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