Pakistan government ready to talk with JUI-F chief

Islamabad: The PTI-led government’s negotiating team, headed by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, has decided to hold direct talks with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at his residence on Monday.

During a meeting of the negotiating team at the residence of Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Sunday, the members agreed to take on board PML-Q’s Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Ilahi in order for the talks to be successful, the Express Tribune reported.

Besides Khattak and Sanjrani, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri, PTI leader Asad Umar, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, Special Assistant to the PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, Leader of the House in Senate Shibli Faraz and Minister for Education Shafqat Mahmood were in attendance.

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Sanjrani and Qaiser had suggested to take on board the Chaudhry brothers to which the members of the negotiating team unanimously agreed.

Sanjrani said, “We should hold earnest negotiations with Maulana Fazl to resolve the issue. We should talk. Maulana Sahib is still following the agreement so we should talk to him. We should show patience.”

On the law and order situation, the minister said, “All [security] forces are ready if any untoward situation arises.”

The defence minister said, “We are always ready for negotiations.”

It was decided in the meeting that the doors to negotiations with the opposition would always remain open. The meeting also discussed the future strategy of the government.

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