ISLAMABAD: Putting an end to his dilly-dallying policy over the opening dialogue with the chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday formed an inter-ministerial committee to open a channel with the defiant maulana.
“During the cabinet meeting, the prime minister and his ministers discussed in detail the option of a dialogue with the JUI-F chief and finally formed a committee to open dialogue with the religious cleric,” a source within the government told Pakistan Today.
“Some cabinet members and chief ministers of KP and Punjab are included in the committee,” said the source and added that the committee is tasked to open dialogue with the maulana, beginning Tuesday.
It merits mention that the prime minister on Friday had asked his close aides to keep open a channel of dialogue with Fazl.
A spokesman of the prime minister had told media-persons that the prime minister had directed for opening a dialogue with the JUI chief.
“The prime minister’s response was clear that there is no harm in reaching out to the maulana to avoid any deadlock,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said the prime minister was of the view that the JUI-F chief was “toeing the line of the two main opposition parties” — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP).
Previously, the premier had decided to form a mediating team comprising of Minister for Interior Brig. (r) Ijaz Shah, chief ministers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Minister for Religious Affairs & Interfaith Harmony Noorul Haq Qadri among others.
However, Qadri said on Saturday that he had not been assigned the task for mediation. Later, the government also claimed the prime minister did not form a team for mediation and there was no plan to reach out to the JUI chief.
However, sources in the federal government claim that the prime minister had reviewed his previous decision to engage the Maulana after some input from ‘concerned quarters’.
‘STICK AND CARROT POLICY’:
In a dramatic move, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Mehmood Khan has directed the formation of lists of staunch JUI-F workforce so as the action could be taken when needed.
At least two sources have confirmed that the KP CM has directed action against JUI-F workers and its baton-wielding force to ensure peace in across the province.