After Imran Khan led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), a party considered to have significant street power, has also given cold shoulder to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz that has been striving to muster support for a mass agitation against Pakistan Peoples Party led regime.
Soon after the Supreme Court decision convicting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani in contempt case, PML-N leadership had announced that it will be approaching other parties to build up pressure on the government.
In response to Nawaz Sharif’s offer, PTI’s Imran Khan said that before entering into any negotiations his party would want PML-N to quit the assemblies, both in centre and provinces.
Both PTI and JI boycotted the 2008 elections and have no presence in any of the assemblies now.
JI had even harsher pre-conditions. Unwilling to rent out its street power JI conveyed to PML-N that before moving further lets have an agreement to first get rid of President Asif Ali Zardari and quit the assemblies – a harsher pre-condition for PML-N.
“Yes different parties including PML-N have contacted us. These talks are at very initial stage. No common agenda has been reached so far with any of these parties,” JI secretary general Liaquat Baloch said.
“We want talks on some minimum common ground. It should be to get rid of rulers. For transparent elections…. but free and fair elections are not possible while Zardari is sitting in Presidency,” Baloch said while giving bottom line of his party for negotiations.
On ousting a constitutionally elected president, Baloch said at least Zardari should be confined to his constitutional role, as President and barred from his role as PPP head.
Baloch confirmed his party’s contacts with PTI and the option of the revival of MMA, an alliance of rightwing religious parties, which had succeeded in forming governments in Khyer Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan in 2002 elections. Baloch said his party was leaving all its options open and things will finalise near the election days.
PML-N deputy secretary information Khurum Dastagir confirmed contacts with JI but did not elaborate on the outcome of these negotiations. “We are trying to reach out to opposition parties as well as parties in the ruling alliance.” On question of contacts with JI he said “we have revived contacts with the Jamaat. We have also softened our stance to accommodate other parties’ point of view to forge alliances,” he said.
PML-N has recently forged alliances with Like-Minded group of PML-Q and is trying for similar deals with nationalist parties in Sindh.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 15th, 2012.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ