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May 19, 2013

JUI-F demands key ministries from PML-N in Centre

World

AFP
May 19, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) has finally conveyed its demands to the PML-N to join the federal government in Islamabad asking for the chairmanship of the Kashmir Committee and two key ministries in the cabinet.
Sources in the JUI-F said the party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman wants his party to get the chairmanship of the Kashmir Committee of parliament and the ministries of Religious Affairs and Housing and Works.
Sources said the demands had been conveyed to the PML-N leadership. The JUI-F leadership has also demanded the portfolio of senior minister in the Balochistan government.
Meanwhile, a three-member delegation comprising Raja Zafarul Haq, Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Khawaja Muhammad Khan Hoti met the JUI-F chief and other leaders. The two sides discussed the terms and conditions of becoming coalition partners in the Centre. “The PML-N leaders in response told Fazlur Rehman that they would convey his demands to the party president Nawaz Sharif.
Earlier, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the JUI-F formally gave the go ahead to Fazlur Rehman to join hands with the PML-N in the Centre. The CWC meeting in Islamabad would hold its next session today (Sunday).
Fazlur Rehman has also constituted a three-member committee to hold further talks with the PML-N delegation led by Raja Zafarul Haq.
The PML-N sources told The News that the conditions of the JUI-F to join the federal government might not be acceptable to Nawaz Sharif and other party leaders.
It may be pointed out here that the JUI-F parliamentarian from Balochistan, Rehmatullah Khan Kakar, was facing many charges of irregularities. Relations between the PPP and JUI-F ended when ex-prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani removed Azam Swati as federal minister along with his own party’s cabinet member Hamid Saeed Kazmi.
Fazlur Rehman himself, however, continued to hold the portfolio of chairman Kashmir Committee till the end and enjoyed privileges equal to those

of a federal minister which also include huge funds at his disposal, a residence at the ministers’ enclave, an official car and government staff.
The sources said during Saturday’s meeting with JUI-F leaders, the PML-N delegation again formally invited Fazlur Rehman to join the federal government. However, there was no urgency in the invitation. “It was not a request rather a formal invitation but in response, the JUI-F leadership put forward its demands,” the JUI-F sources said.
A PML-N leader told this correspondent that as the party enjoys a majority in the Centre, therefore, it would lay down its own terms and conditions while inviting other parties to join the federal government.