PTI ‘forms five-member team’ for talks with JUI-F after Fazl’s chide



The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has formed a five-member negotiation team for talks with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and has communicated the names to the religious party.

The negotiation team, as per the sources, comprises PTI Chairman Barrister Gohar, former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, party’s Central Information Secretary Raoof Hasan, Senator Shibli Faraz, and NA Opposition Leader Omar Ayub Khan.

The development comes as the leadership of both parties, who have been arch rivals traditionally, have held multiple meetings since the February 8 polls due to their mutual concerns over the alleged interference and manipulation during the general elections.

Last month, PTI’s Qasier called on JUI-F Emir Maulana Fazlur Rehman in Islamabad wherein both leaders agreed on fulfilling the role of opposition in the National Assembly as well as on the constitution of a political committee to address various issues between them and formulate a political strategy.

Both parties have also found common ground in their opposition to the recently announced anti-terror drive titled “Operation Azm-e-Istekham” announced by the Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led government.

During the said meeting, the PTI and the JUI-F leadership maintained that military operation was not the solution to the problems and stressed the role of political parties in achieving peace and stability in the province.

But speaking to the media in Islamabad a day earlier, Fazl said that the party’s Majlis-e-Shura — the top decision-making body — has decided against becoming part of any alliance for now and has expressed “serious reservations” over the PTI in light of the reports that the two parties were on a verge of joining hands against the coalition government led by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

“Our stance and reservations against PTI are very serious,” he said, adding that the decision-making body had reviewed JUI-F’s meetings with other political parties and declared it nothing more than a “political process.

Speaking about the prospects of dialogue, the politico said that his party welcomed PTI if they wanted to hold talks.

However, he said that the PTI still “lacked consistency”, he added.

“Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) chief ruled out an alliance with JUI-F. These are two contradictory opinions which we are finding difficult to establish a stance on,” Fazl said while referring to the possible dialogue with PTI and the reluctance of its allied party to enter talks.

The JUI-F chief further stated that different delegations hold consultations on behalf of the jailed PTI founder but the party hadn’t yet decided on a team for holding the dialogue.

He said that his party did not have any hesitation in creating a “better political environment” and it stood by the positive approach towards its political rivals.

The politician called on the PTI and SIC to remove the confusion regarding their position on holding a dialogue.