Zardari asks Shujaat to persuade JUI and MQM to rejoin govt
Last Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011, 21:27
Lahore: President Asif Ali Zardari has asked PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to persuade Maulana Fazlur Rehman's Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to join a proposed "national reconciliation government", political sources said on Thursday.

Zardari telephoned former premier Hussain yesterday and asked him to use his influence to persuade Rehman to rejoin the federal government.

Rehman's party quit the PPP-led government last year after one of its ministers was sacked for indiscipline.

The president also asked Hussain to talk to the MQM's leadership and to allay their concerns.

"Both the leaders agreed to meet once the JUI and MQM issue is settled to finalise the modalities for the new national reconciliation government," said a PPP leader who did not wish to be named.

"The PPP's efforts could not bear fruit in wooing the JUI and MQM. Now the PPP leadership believes that Hussain enjoys good relations with Fazlur Rehman and he can also act as a guarantor between the PPP and the MQM," the PPP leader said.

Hussain has reportedly agreed to convince Rehman but he did not make any promise about the MQM, the political sources said.

A PML-Q leader said Rehman had great respect for Hussain and the former would find it difficult to say no to the latter.

So far as the MQM is concerned, Hussain does not want to become a "guarantor" on the PPP's behalf though Hussain would talk to the MQM's leadership, the PML-Q leader said.

Farooq Sattar, deputy convener of the MQM's central coordination committee, said his party had strong reservations about the way in which the federal government is being run.

"There is a need to take steps to end violence and extortion in Karachi. Sustainable and people-friendly economic policies should be framed and the budget document for 2011-12 should not be conventional," he said.

However, Sattar did not set any conditions for rejoining the PPP-led government.


First Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011, 21:27

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