ISLAMABAD, Aug 13: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed held a three-hour long meeting with President Gen Pervez Musharraf to “discuss national and international matters.”

The meeting, according to party sources, was not a scheduled one as the JI chief was busy in the Mutahidda Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) central parliamentary board meeting when he received a call from the president’s house.

During the meeting, which continued from 1pm to 4pm, the president discussed a host of issues “with Qazi Hussain Ahmed, including national and international matters,” a party press release said.

When asked about the circumstances leading to the meeting, a party leader said: “Qazi sahib was in the meeting with other heads of the MMA, as such, he certainly would have met the president with their consent and advice.”

The MMA had in past taken the stand on invitation from the president that the entire leadership of the six religio-political parties would together meet him. It is not yet clear whether the JI chief enjoyed the confidence of other five heads of component parties while meeting the president.

A three-line press release by JI’s Islamabad office was the only written thing about the meeting. No official handout was issued. Qazi was not available for the newsmen after the meeting, and his office said: “He was away with his family and may have left for Nowshera, his hometown.”

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