Fazl, Bilawal hold huddle to discuss anti-govt movement

Updated 23 Sep 2020

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BILAWAL Bhutto-Zardari and Maulana Fazl share a light moment during Tuesday’s meeting.
BILAWAL Bhutto-Zardari and Maulana Fazl share a light moment during Tuesday’s meeting.

KARACHI: Two days after the opposition’s multiparty conference in Islamabad, seasoned politician and chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman held a meeting with Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday and discussed with him the planned anti-government movement.

Maulana Fazl visited Bilawal House in Clifton along with his party leaders Rashid Soomro, Maulana Obaidur Rehman and Aslam Ghori. Mr Bhutto-Zardari was assisted by PPP leader Naveed Qamar during the meeting.

A brief PPP statement issued after the meeting said that both leaders discussed the overall political situation in the country. It added that Mr Bhutto-Zardari and the JUI-F chief also discussed the issue of launching a movement against the government.

The meeting comes after reports emerged the maulana was unhappy over his MPC ‘blackout’

The meeting comes against the backdrop of reports that Maulana Fazl was not happy with the PPP as it did not allow live telecast of his speech during Sunday’s MPC. Maulana Fazl had himself protested during the MPC over the “media blackout” of his speech and the PPP claimed that the speech was not telecast live on his own party’s request.

It appears that Tuesday’s meeting between Mr Bhutto-Zardari and Maulana Fazl was aimed at quashing rumours that the opposition’s newly formed alliance — the Pakistan Democratic Movement formed as a result of Sunday’s MPC — had developed cracks moments after it was launched.

The country’s major opposition parties had announced launching of a three-phased anti-government movement starting from next month with countrywide public meetings, protest demonstrations and rallies in December and a “decisive long march” towards Islamabad in January 2021.

The MPC also issued a 26-point declaration in the form of a resolution demanding an end to the establishment’s interference in politics, new free and fair elections after election reforms with no role of armed forces and intelligence agencies, release of political prisoners, withdrawal of cases against journalists, implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism, speeding up of the projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and across the board accountability under a new accountability law, etc.

Rabbani calls on Bilawal

Former Senate chairman and senior PPP leader Senator Raza Rabbani called on Mr Bhutto-Zardari and discussed with him the country’s political situation.

Senator Rabbani briefed the PPP chairman about legislation in parliament.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari, who is also a member of the National Assembly, and Senator Rabbani held a detailed discussion on different parliamentary bills and their certain clauses, said a party statement.

It added that Mr Bhutto-Zardari praised the performance of his party’s lawmaker and said that PPP’s performance in both houses of parliament was “impressive”.

Published in Dawn, September 23rd, 2020