Tuesday May 21, 2024

Fazl fails to convince Nawaz to attend APC

By Moayyed Jafri
October 29, 2018

LAHORE: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has failed to convince Pakistan Muslim league Quaid Nawaz Sharif to attend the All Parties Conference (APC) of the opposition scheduled for October 31, The News has learnt.

The JUI-F chief after getting a green signal from PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari met the PML-N Quaid at his Jati Umra residence to convince him to join forces against the PTI government with the rest of the opposition parties at the APC scheduled at the end of the current month. Senior PML-N leaders including Pervez Rasheed, Hamza Shahbaz, Ahsan Iqbal, Khawaja Saad Rafique were present in the meeting.

Although, the PML-N central leadership including Punjab Opposition Leader Hamza Shahbaz had hinted that sooner or later the leaders of the opposition parties would come together, Nawaz’s participation in this APC was a big question.

The meeting between Maulana Fazl and Nawaz lasted over 90 minutes. Both leaders discussed the evolving political situation of the country and weighed in on the public sentiment regarding the measures taken by the PTI government.

Sources say Maulana was of the view that the taxes imposed by the PTI government, the cut to government spending, the consequent job market crisis and inflation had pushed the public sentiment against the government early in its tenure and it was the perfect time for the opposition forces to become the voice of people against the government policies. Fazl argued that Nawaz’s inclusion in the process would bring massive momentum to the movement and put pressure on the government.

However, Nawaz was lukewarm to this string of arguments and said he had not completely recovered emotionally from the turmoil over the past six months and would rather prefer a high-powered delegation of the PML-N to participate in the APC. Fazl said the PTI government came into power through rigging and election results were engineered. They do not represent the people of Pakistan, therefore, their policies were anti-people. It was the duty of a responsible government to rescue people from such an incompetent lot for which this APC was being called, he said.

The PML-N leaders present in the meeting hesitated to comment on the outcome after it ended. Pervez Rashid, while talking to the media on his way out of Jati Umra, said the doors of Jati Umra were open for everyone vis-à-vis political discourse, however, the PML-N had entrusted the JUI-F with the matters pertaining to the APC. Therefore, he would be the best person to comment on it.

Briefly talking to media after the meeting, Maulana Fazl said Hamza Shahbaz had told him that he would give his final decision regarding this after consultations with PML-N President Shahbaz Sharif.

When contacted, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said this consultation would most probably take place on Monday (today). Other senior PML-N leaders said they agreed with the decision made by the party Quaid and the president and were of the view that the abrasive and aggressive statements given by Asif Zardari at the time when Nawaz asked him to collaborate might have been a factor in the decision made by Nawaz Sharif.