Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq will meet PTI chief Imran Khan in Islamabad today (Wednesday) to discuss mediation options between the latter and the government. The decision followed the JI chief’s meeting with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khattak and other PTI ministers in Peshawar on Tuesday.
According to officials, Sirajul Haq met with the PTI leaders after receiving a phone call from Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar, who asked his politico-religious party to ‘play its role’ to end the standoff between the government and PTI.
“Doors to reconciliation are open and the JI will play its role in the process,” party spokesperson Ameerul Azeem quoted Sirajul Haq as saying. However, Haq warned that if political parties do not take reconciliation seriously, then a ‘third party’ might take advantage of the situation, Azeem told The Express Tribune.
“Whatever is the state of democracy in the country, it must continue,” the JI ameer stated after meeting the PTI leaders. “The government is expected to fulfill Imran Khan’s demand of recounting votes in the four contentious constituencies but at the same time the PTI is expected to find a middle ground.” Haq will also meet Leader of the Opposition Syed Khursheed Shah as well as the chief of the Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party Mehmood Khan Achakzai in Islamabad.
So far, the JI has not reached a decision about its participation in PTI’s Azadi March on August 14. The decision will be taken during a party meeting on August 10, Azeem said.
Separately, officials revealed that Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique also telephoned Sirajul Haq, inviting him to a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 6th, 2014.