ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday met Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and assigned him the task of acting as a mediator between the government and the main opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), which has threatened to launch a long march to pressurise the government to accept its four demands.
Soon after the meeting, the JUI-F leader called on Pakistan Muslim League-Q president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain at his residence in Lahore to seek his support for reconciliation between the PPP and the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N.
Later, the prime minister’s spokesman issued an official press release regarding the meeting between Mr Sharif and the JUI-F leader at PM House in Islamabad.
“Current political situation and matters of national interest were discussed,” he said. The federal government-sponsored development schemes in the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan also came under discussion.
A source in the JUI-F told Dawn that Maulana Fazl would soon meet PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari to persuade him to hold talks with the government on four demands of his party. Mr Zardari and the Maulana enjoy friendly terms as they have remained part of the ruling coalition during the last tenure of the PPP.
The PML-Q spokesman also issued a press release about the meeting between the JUI-F chief and Chaudhry Shujaat.
Talking to Dawn, the spokesman said Maulana Fazl held a one-on-one meeting with the PML-Q chief which lasted for more than half an hour.
Nisar meets PM
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan called on the prime minister at PM House to discuss the overall law and order situation in the country.
The prime minister’s spokesman said the minister briefed Mr Sharif on internal security situation, his (the minister’s) recent visit to Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing in Torkham, Karachi operation and political issues.
The prime minister is said to have talked about the situation which may arise if the PPP stages a long march on Islamabad.
Briefing the prime minister, Chaudhry Nisar said that Rs70 billion was being spent by the government to raise wings of civil armed forces for effective border management and internal security.