Fazl fails to convince Nawaz to attend APC

Arshad Waheed Chaudhry
Usman Ahmed Bhatti

LAHORE: Former premier Nawaz Sharif will not attend the All Parties Conference (APC) hosted by Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman, sources said on Sunday.

Maulana Fazl met the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) quaid at his Jati Umra residence earlier today to convince him to attend the APC scheduled for October 31. 

"However, Maulana Fazl failed in convincing Nawaz to attend the APC," sources said. The former premier decided against attending the conference himself despite the JUI-F's chiefs repeated requests, they added.

A high-level delegation of the PML-N will attend the conference instead, sources continued.

Opposition Leader in the Punjab Assembly Hamza Shehbaz and senior PML-N leader Pervaiz Rashid also attended the meeting between Nawaz and Fazl which lasted two hours, sources further said.

Nawaz to decide on APC after consulting Shehbaz: Fazl

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman while speaking to media said that Nawaz Sharif will make a decision to attend the APC after holding consultation with party chairman Shehbaz Sharif.

Fazl said that there is no reason for Nawaz and Zardari to not sit together and discuss matters. 

He further said that fundamentally, they do not think that the government is legitimate, as it has a ‘fake mandate’.

He said that there can be contention over political issues but the matters of the public take precedence.

Fazl said that they are focusing now on the social and economic issues which the people of the country are facing. 

While responding to a question regarding the alleged Israeli jet arriving in Pakistan, Fazl said that the government has not given a clear answer and technical details were given so the issue cannot be clearly comprehended.

“I already said if PTI government is formed then it will take side with the Jewish lobby,” said Fazl.

A day earlier, PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said they have agreed to attend the APC hosted by Maulana Fazl and he was also willing to meet Nawaz.

However, sources told Geo News that Nawaz has been reluctant to hold a one-on-one meeting with Zardari. The sources said that Nawaz has reservations over PPP's role following the July 25 polls.

Inside report of meeting

According to sources, Nawaz during the meeting told Maulana Fazl that he has not initiated political activities since his release and thus "cannot immediately meet Zardari".

"Shehbaz is now the party president and he is currently in NAB's custody which is why he could not be consulted over the matter," Nawaz was further quoted as saying. "The PML-N president will attend a National Assembly session tomorrow where we will consult him over APC and will inform you regarding the decisions taken," the former premier told the JUI-F chief as per sources.

Further, sources claimed that Nawaz said, "PML-N does not immediately want to be part of any movement which is anti-government. The government is digging their own grave and their performance is in front of everyone so we want to give them the opportunity to show their failures to the nation."

Sources also said the Nawaz expressed reservations over PPP's role in PTI forming the government in Punjab.