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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Govt approaches Raisani for reconciliation with JUI-F

QUETTA, Dec 16 : The top leadership of Pakistan People Party (PPP) has approached Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani for reconciliation between Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F) and the federal government.

Sources said that Mr Raisani had contacted JUI-F leadership after getting a green signal from Islamabad. "Yes, the chief minister is in touch with our central leadership to ease the situation created after the ousting of Azam Swati from the federal cabinet," a senior leader of JUI-F confirmed to a private TV channel.

The sources said that Mr Raisani, who is in Islamabad, would meet JUI chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other leaders to discuss ways for a rapprochement. Mr Raisani had also played a role in reconciliation between the PML-N and PPP when the latter imposed governor's rule in Punjab.

The sources said that JUI would continue to support the PPP-led coalition government in Balochistan, despite its decision to quit the federal government.

"We are supporting Nawab Raisani, and not the PPP, in Balochistan," JUI sources told private TV channel, adding that the party would remain part of the provincial government till a decision taken by the central leadership.

Senior provincial minister and JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Wasey said that no decision had so far been taken by the party's central leadership to leave the provincial government. Talking to reporters earlier, he said: "We are waiting for instructions from the central leadership whether or not it should be part of the Raisani government."

Asked if the JUI-F had left the federal government only because of Mr Swati's removal from the cabinet, Maulana Wasey said that some other reasons were also behind the decision. He said the JUI-F had reservations over Sherry Rehman's proposed bill to amend the blasphemy law, non-implementation of a joint resolution seeking a halt to drone attacks and other demands agreed with the federal government.

The JUI-F leader said that Mr Swati had been sacked without taking the party into confidence. "The party was not informed or consulted by the government about the decision."

In reply to a question, he said that Maulana Mohammad Khan Sherani would not resign as chairman of the Council for Islamic Ideology. "The office of CII Chairman seat is a constitutional post and does not belong to the PPP. The same is the case with the Kashmir committee that has given to Maulana Fazl by parliament."

Referring to the alleged Haj scandal, Maulana Wasey said his party would not tolerate corruption in any ministry or department, adding that JUI-F would continue to play its democratic role in parliament.

The JUI-F has been part of all coalition governments in Balochistan since 1971. It was in the government of the defunct National Awami Party, headed by Sardar Ataullah Mengal, when it was ousted in 1973. JUI-F's Maulana Hasan and Maulvi Saleh Mohammad later joined the PPP and become ministers in the Jam Ghulam Qadir government.

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