Sunday, May 28, 2023

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman jets off to Thailand on 'private trip'

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — AFP/File
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — AFP/File

  • JUI-F chief takes time out to visit Thailand amid hectic engagements.
  • Spokesperson denies media reports that Fazl left for London.
  • PDM chief is also expected to meet Pakistani community in Thailand.

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has left for a private visit to Thailand, it emerged on Sunday.

JUI-F spokesperson Aslam Ghauri denied media reports that the party chief was left for London to meet Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif amid a prevailing political crisis in the country.

However, the spokesperson confirmed Saturday night that Fazl had gone abroad but his destination was not London.

According to him, Fazl, who is also head of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), is on a "private trip".

As per information gathered by this correspondent, Maulana Fazl has gone to Thailand as he was stressed out due to his hectic political engagements in the country.

During the visit, the PDM chief is also expected to meet the Pakistani community residing in Thailand — a popular tourist destination.

Earlier, the rumours about his visit to London sparked speculations amid ongoing political turmoil in the country which intensified after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan’s arrest on May 9 in the Al-Qadir Trust case.

Khan’s arrest triggered nearly three-day-long violent protests which saw unruly protesters allegedly attacking defence and public installations almost across the country with civil and military leadership announcing trying rioters under the Army Act.

Since then, dozens of PTI leaders and lawmakers have left the party over May 9 vandalism while thousands of workers have been detained over their alleged involvement in the riots.

A day earlier, the PTI announced the constitution of a seven-member team for negotiating with the incumbent government on the direction of its chairman.

The negotiation team comprises PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi, former defence minister Pervez Khattak, former National Assembly speaker Asad Qaiser, PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh, and former ministers Murad Saeed, Hammad Azhar, and Aun Abbasi.

Rejecting the negotiation offer made by the PTI, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb on Saturday said that talks could not be held with those who attacked the state.

The deposed prime minister had said he was ready to speak to "anyone who is in power" after his party's top leaders began jumping ship following the May 9 riots.

Reacting to his offer, the information minister said: “Dialogue cannot be held with those who set the country on fire, create chaos and anarchy, fills the minds of masses with hatred, and harbour armed groups.”