ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to set up the Judicial Commission ahead of the upcoming visit of US Secretary of State Senator John Kerry or face the consequences, political sources said on Tuesday.

Well- placed sources told The Nation that PTI Chairman Imran Khan has conveyed the veiled warning to the Prime Minister through his powerful Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, who is leading the talks with PTI as chief negotiator of the government team.   

Imran has been publicly warning to resume his protest movement if the government faltered in establishing Judicial Commission at the earliest and announced his plan to hold a sit-in at D-Chowk Islamabad on 17 January when the US Secretary would be in the capital city.

The sources in PML-N said that the government has stepped up efforts to keep engaging PTI in order to avoid repeat of situation earlier this year when Chinese President and other foreign dignitaries had to put off their visits because of the political unrest in Pakistan.

They acknowledged that Imran is using the visit of US Secretary as a political leverage to get his demand of establishing Judicial Commission accepted ahead of John Kerry's crucial visit to Pakistan next month in a push to reset ties with erstwhile strategic partner.

Some sources insisted that US Ambassador to Pakistan Richard Olson had highlighted Imran Khan's protest plan for January 17 during his separate meetings with Senator Ishaq Dar and Interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan on Monday.

US Embassy spokesperson Cynthia Harvey when approached to get details of the visit of the Secretary of State regretted that the embassy has any information. "We don't have information on this, Secretary Kerry's travel is managed by his office in Washington," she said. Despite full efforts it was not immediately possible to reach out to Secretary Kerry's office.

On the other hand, Spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Tasneem Aslam said that visit details and meetings of the US Secretary of State are still in the process of being finalized.

According to the political sources, Imran Khan has announced his protest plan in order to seek a meeting with Senator John Kerry during his Pakistan's visit to persuade Prime Minister Sharif to announce establishment of the Judicial Commission on controversial rigging of 2013 elections.

Senior Pakistani diplomats while highlighting the significance of the visit of Kerry widely regarded as Pakistan's friend believed that it would be a crucial visit both for Islamabad and Washington.

They were of the view that the United States and Pakistan are engaged in constructive talks aimed at resetting their bilateral relations which had turned soar following the US raid on OBL compound in Abbottabad and attack on Pakistan's Salala security post on Pak-Afghan border.

The engagement of Islamabad and Washington was enhanced after Prime Minister Sharif government came into power bringing it to present positive trajectory level. The bilateral engagement was further deepened during Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif's recent visit to the United States.

Apart from bilateral relations, Secretary of State during his upcoming visit will be discussing developments in Afghanistan with Pakistan authorities.