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August 20, 2015

Fazl briefs Nawaz on talks with MQM

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August 20, 2015

ISLAMABAD: With the meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman here on Wednesday, the stage is set for the return of the MQM members who tendered their resignations last week from National Assembly, Senate and Sindh Assembly two days ahead of the Independence Day to their respective elected parliamentary houses.
The reappearance of the MQM legislators would be a question of a formal meeting here of its delegation with high ups, likely in a couple of days. Judicial intervention could hinder the process where petitioners have been pleading that constitutionally, the MQM members have ceased to be members of their houses once they have tendered their resignations with their free will.
The JUI-F chief, who has been playing the role of a trouble shooter, had an important meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at the PM House and submitted a report about his meeting with the MQM leaders at Nine Zero, Karachi, a day earlier. Federal ministers Senator Ishaq Dar, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Ahsan Iqbal, Secretary to PM Javaid Aslam and Additional Secretary to PM Fawad Hassan Fawad were also present on the occasion.
Later, the Maulana told media persons that the government and the MQM both were prepared to reconcile. The MQM’s 23 members of the National Assembly out of 24, eight Senators and 51 MPAs submitted resignation simultaneously after killing of its worker in Karachi. It attached 19-point memorandum called as ‘charge-sheet’ to the government expressing reservations about the mode of ongoing operation against terrorists and criminals in Karachi.
Fazlur Rehman, who left for Dera Ismail Khan immediately after his meeting with the prime minister, earlier told journalists that he had apprised the prime minister about the progress on his talks with the MQM’s disgruntled leaders. The parliamentary group leaders had assigned the Maulana to negotiate with the MQM for withdrawal of its resignations. According to the JUI-F chief, the MQM is ready to withdraw its resignations unconditionally. Referring to the resignations of the PTI, Fazlur Rehman, who is an arch rival of it, said it would not be fair if a group is allowed to make comeback while the other is shown the door. His mission remained inconclusive in the wake of an attempt on the life of the MQM MNA Abdul Rashid Godil. The two sides agreed to put the talks on hold for a while and start the process again in a couple of days in Islamabad.
The Maulana briefed the prime minister about reservations of the MQM. He said that most of MQM’s reservations were related to Karachi operation. He said the MQM is not against operation, but the issue is about targeting just one political party. He said the prime minister during the meeting stressed on addressing the reservations of the MQM and that he hoped the issue of resignations would be resolved soon.
The prime minister appreciated the role of Fazlur Rehman in creating political harmony. Terming the MQM’s attitude towards the talks “positive”, the Maulana said the government and the MQM were both ready to reconcile.
“Reasonable demands of the MQM will be met,” Fazl said, adding that he saw no legal hindrances in the MQM’s demand of forming a monitoring committee to oversee the Karachi operation for any excesses.
The next round of talks will be attended by Ishaq Dar and Pervaiz Rashid. The MQM delegation could also call on the prime minister subsequently. Negotiations with the MQM will resume once Godil’s condition becomes stable. The Maulana has claimed that all apprehensions of the MQM will be addressed.
In the meanwhile, sources said that the formation of monitoring committee for overseeing the operation wouldn’t be an easy proposition since it could have an adverse impact on the Karachi operation. Constitution of such consensus committee wouldn’t be that easy. Nawaz Sharif is expected to arrive in Karachi today (Thursday) to discuss the grievances of the MQM with the authorities concerned, the sources said.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appealed the nation to pray for the early recovery of Rashid Godil who was seriously injured in a gun attack on Tuesday in Bahadurabad, Karachi.According to the PM House, Nawaz made a phone call to Nofal Godil, son of the injured MNA, and condemned the ghastly attack.
The prime minister termed Rashid Godil as a friend and a fine person. He enquired about the health of his father from Nofal and prayed for his early recovery. The prime minister has also instructed the authorities concerned to provide best medical assistance to Rashid Godil.