Despite being left out of government in Balochistan, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) as a ‘goodwill gesture’ Tuesday decided to support Mian Nawaz Sharif in his election for prime minister.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the JUI-F chief, assured Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) delegation comprising Ahsan Iqbal, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra and Saad Rafiq that his party would vote for Sharif on Wednesday to elect him prime minister for the third time.
In its effort to get Sharif elected as a consensus candidate, the PML-N approached parliamentary leaders of political parties to seek their support. Sharif otherwise enjoys the majority in assembly to form the government and get elected without any support, but it was consensus that the PML-N was aiming at.
“We are closer to PML-N ideologically. As a goodwill gesture we have decided to support PM-designate Nawaz Sharif in the vote of confidence,” said Fazl after his meeting with the PML-N delegation.
He said the decision was taken by the party’s core committee as it was taken on the election of speaker and deputy speaker where JUI-F voted for PML-N candidates as a “goodwill gesture.”
On being asked if Fazl had presented any demands in return for his support, PML-N leader Iqbal said, “We can easily form government in the centre and do not need any support so there is no question of any bargain.”
The JUI-F chief said his party has not yet decided on joining the PML-N government in the centre. He said his party has not asked PML-N for any portfolios. There were no principal differences in dealings with PML-N, said the JUI-F chief.
Jan Achakzai, the spokesperson for Fazl, said the talks between the sub-committees of the two parties on the matter were near conclusion. The final round was likely to take place on Wednesday or Thursday to resolve the remaining differences.
“We are close to an understanding on our priorities and appreciate clear intentions of PML-N,” said Achakzai.
He said the two parties have sorted out plans on mutual partnership to deal with problems faced by the country. Besides, conflict resolution and terrorism, it included inter-provincial coordination and challenges in Balochistan, Achakzai said.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2013.