LAHORE: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman has camped in Lahore in a bid to unite the opposition parties against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government.
The main purpose of his visit is to see the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif and to invite him to a multi-party conference (MPC). However, interestingly Sharif kept Fazl waiting the whole Saturday and a meeting between the two leaders is expected today (Sunday).
The JUI-F’s central council has given Fazl the authority to contact political parties. It is also decided that the MPC’s agenda will be finalised in consultation with other opposition parties.
However, some of the points have been finalised which include condemnation of victimisation of opposition leaders through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), expression of solidarity with Kashmiris, reforms on seminaries and performance of the government during the last two months.
Fazl and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari have already had a meeting in which they agreed to bring the opposition on the same page. According to political circles, Fazl wants to take advantage of the situation and emerge as chief of the united opposition.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif is currently under the NAB custody while Nawaz Sharif has not been talking active part in politics since the death of his wife as well as his release from jail and that of his daughter and son-in-law.
The top PPP leadership, which is currently facing an inquiry into a money laundering case, is under extreme pressure and has taken a defensive position. In this scenario, Fazl has stepped forward to forge an alliance among the opposition parties to launch a joint struggle against the government.
Fazl will first contact the parties having representation in parliament. After this, likeminded parties outside parliament will also be contacted. He is of the view that if the government is given enough time, it may improve its performance in some areas after a few months.
Fazl will preside over meetings of the JUI-F executive council today and tomorrow in which he will take party leaders into confidence over the situation.