JUI-F joins govt, backs Taliban talks

ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) has managed to get a slot in federal cabinet and the president has appointed its leader Akram Khan Durrani as a minister.

“President Asif Ali Zardari, on the advice of the prime minister, has approved the appointment of Akram Khan Durrani, MNA, as federal minister in terms of Article 92(1) of the constitution,” the president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said on Thursday.

The JUI-F recently joined the PM-N government and had been demanding a ministry at the centre.

According to media reports, the JUI-F wanted at least two ministries but the PML-N agreed to spare only one seat in the cabinet.

When contacted, JUI-F spokesman Jan Achakzai said the party had presented its demands, including one federal minister, a minister of state and the chairmanship of three standing committees in the National Assembly.

He said the JUI-F had not yet sought any specific ministry. “Our committee dealing with the issue will soon decide which ministries and standing committees we would like to get.”

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday and offered complete support for holding talks with Taliban.

He reportedly suggested that there must be a forum to decide which group of the Taliban would be engaged in talks.

An official press release said different political issues had come under discussion with particular emphasis on the law and order situation and terrorism.

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