Kashmir issue on top of today’s multiparty conference agenda

Updated August 19, 2019

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Maulana Fazlur Rehman will chair the MPC on Monday. — JUI-F Facebook/File
Maulana Fazlur Rehman will chair the MPC on Monday. — JUI-F Facebook/File

ISLAMABAD: The opposition’s another multiparty conference (MPC) is being held on Monday (today) but Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president Shahbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will not attend it.

The agenda of the meeting focuses on latest development on Kashmir dispute, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s one-year performance and a “lopsided” accountability being carried out allegedly to crush opposition leaders.

It will be the second such MPC in three months. The convener, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of his own faction of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), had called the first MPC aimed at finding ways to topple the government.

The fresh conference, to be held at 11am at a local hotel, has also been called by Maulana Fazl.

According to the PML-N, Shahbaz Sharif cannot attend the MPC due to some back injury that he received during a public meeting held on the occasion of Independence Day.

However, the party has announced a panel of its senior leaders to take part in the meeting. They are Khawaja Asif, Ahsan Iqbal and Ayaz Sadiq.

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari will not attend the MPC as he has to address a rally in Skardu. The rally was scheduled much before the MPC’s date was decided.

The PPP leaders who will attend the event include Yousuf Raza Gilani, Sherry Rehman, Farhatullah Babar and Nayyar Bukhari.

Maulana Fazl will chair the MPC.

The situation that arose after the failure of opposition parties’ no-trust move against Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani will be reviewed by the MPC and a future course of action will be devised.

In a late night development, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman rushed to Zardari House and met PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, apparently to convince the latter to attend the MPC.

Maulana Fazl was accompanied by JUI-F leaders Ghafoor Haideri and Akram Khan Durrani. PPP leaders Farhatullah Babar and Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar were also present in the meeting.

After the meeting, Mr Khokhar told Dawn that the PPP chairman would be in Gilgit-Baltistan on Monday and thus he would not be able to attend the MPC. “We had already told the Maulana not to hold the meeting on such dates because Mr Bilawal will have several engagements in Gilgit-Baltistan,” he added.

He said the JUI-F chief discussed with Mr Bhutto-Zardari the agenda of the MPC and the decisions likely to be made in it.

The senator said that a delegation of the Kashmir based political party — Hurriyat Conference — would also attend the meeting and brief the participants about the current situation India-occupied Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2019