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Monday June 17, 2024

PTI stalwarts hold ‘apolitical’ meeting with Fazl

Asad Qaiser says "everyone, including the PTI chairman, had approved of this meeting"

By Waqar Satti
October 26, 2023
PTIs senior leader Asad Qaiser (left) during the meeting with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad, on October 26, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X/@juipakofficial
PTI's senior leader Asad Qaiser (left) during the meeting with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad, on October 26, 2023, in this still taken from a video. — X/@juipakofficial

ISLAMABAD: A couple of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) top leaders paid a visit to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to hold an "apolitical" meeting with the political opponent after an approval from party chairman Imran Khan.

Imran and Fazl are widely considered arch-foes due to both of them frequently hitting out at each other for years. Fazl also helped Imran's ouster as the prime minister and his party was also part of the coalition government that replaced PTI.

"Everyone, including the PTI chairman, had approved of this meeting," senior PTI leader Asad Qaiser said while talking to journalists after the meeting in Islamabad.

"Today, we came to offer our condolences [over the demise of Fazl's mother-in-law], this is our culture. We did not discuss politics in the meeting," said Qaiser who is a staunch supporter of Imran and a former speaker of the National Assembly.

But sources told Geo News that the country's political situation and other important matters also came under discussion during the meeting, which went on for an hour.

From PTI's side, Qaiser, Ali Muhammad Khan, Barrister Muhammad Ali Khan Saif, and Junair Akbar partook in the meeting.

The development comes days after, according to The News, Fazl had agreed to play a leading role in national reconciliation in a bid to bring political stability to the country.

According to sources privy to the development, Fazl, who also heads the multi-party alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), has supported the idea of playing a role in political dialogue among key stakeholders at the suggestion of former senator Muhammad Ali Durrani.

When contacted, Durrani told The News that the PDM chief had agreed to play a leading role in national reconciliation. “Fazl is a national leader who can bring about national reconciliation,” he said.

The politicking comes as Pakistan is gradually moving towards elections, expected to take place in January next year.

PTI chief Imran is currently behind bars and cannot contest the elections, while Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif has come back to the country and aims for a fourth stint as the prime minister — if he can get the court cases cleared.