Govt hopeful of meaningful talks with Maulana: Khattak

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 19 (APP):Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak Saturday expressed his optimism that the government’s reconciliation committee would have meaningful negotiations with Jamait Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The defence minister said the government had already constituted a reconciliation committee comprising senior politicians from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and allied parties to hold negotiations with the JUI-F for peaceful resolution of their demands.

The government was in constant contact with the JUI-F and other opposition leaders to avert the march and was receiving positive response in that regard, he said while addressing a press conference.

Flanked by Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood, he said the inclusion of senior politicians in the committee from PTI and other parties showed the government’s seriousness towards holding talks with Maulana.

To a query, Pervaiz said they were also considering the addition of Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan in the committee.

He said the government had unveiled all its cards for negotiation process and was expecting Maulana to join the talks to strengthen democratic process in the country.

Khattak said the PTI had held sit-in at the federal capital due to high inflation and corruption at that time.

The minister said the peaceful protest was constitutional right of every political party and urged Maulana Fazlur Rehman to disclose his legal demands before the government for their amicable solutions.

He said the JUI-F chief should refrain from launching so-called Azadi March and warned that strict action would be taken if protestors damaged the public property.

Pervaiz urged all the political parties to develop unified stance on Kashmir cause, instead of holding demonstration that would ruin the national economy.

Pervez Khattak said Maulana Fazlur Rehman should come to the table if he was a democratic person. Otherwise, his Azadi March would be considered as a conspiracy against the country.

He said Indian media was also giving coverage to Maulana’s addresses that indicated the involvement of foreign forces behind the March.

“If talks fail, the responsibility will lie upon the opposition parties,” he said while expressing the resolve that the government would not let the marchers to challenge the state’s writ.

Shafqat Mehmood on the occasion said Maulana should not utilize the students of Madrassas for his own political gains.

Source: VNS Islamabad