President of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain met with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday as he sought the party leader’s support in an alliance against the government.
The PML-Q delegation was headed by Shujaat and comprised Mushahid Hussain and Ajmal Wazir. They met with Fazl at his residence in Islamabad and discussed the prevailing political situation as well as the military operation in North Waziristan, the crackdown on the Pakistan Awami Tehreek and any possible backlash, sources said.
The PML-Q chief sought Fazl’s support for a 10-point agenda agreed between him and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahir ul Qadri, to which the JUI-F chief requested some time. “The PML-Q leader has handed over a draft of 10 points to the JUI-F and Maulana has requested some time to go through it for an effective decision,” JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai said.
Achakzai said that during the meeting, the operation to eliminate terrorists was lauded and the armed forces were encouraged, but both parties expressed concerns over the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). He said both the leaders demanded that the government provide the best possible facilities to the IDPs to ensure their safety and wellbeing.
Speaking with the media after the meeting, Shujaat said that all possible measures are being taken to gain support for the 10-point agenda and leaders of all political parties have been approached.
He added that he did not believe in any commission formed to investigate Tuesday’s clash between the police and PAT workers and reiterated his demand that the provincial chief minister should resign.
The JUI-F chief also condemned Tuesday’s incident, accusing the Punjab government of trying to ‘obliterate evidence’ of wrongdoing by the police. The party leader said the government did not take the JUI-F into confidence over the planned military operation in North Waziristan; he stated that any operation commenced without consultation could not yield the desired results. Sources told The Express Tribune that during the meeting with Shujaat, Fazl said, “Either the operation has been kicked off in haste for some mysterious reason or it was totally on the military’s will to go ahead with the offence.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2014.