LAHORE, Dec 2: After striking a deal with the Pakistan Muslim League-Q the other day, Sahibzada Fazal Karim, the controversial chairman of Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), has also managed to woo the Pakistan People’s Party.
Federal information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, along with Punjab PPP leaders Manzoor Wattoo and Munir Ahmed Khan, visited Mr Karim’s office here on Sunday and held over an hour-long meeting with him and other SIC leaders.
Jointly briefing the media after the meeting, the participants said it was decided that the PPP and the SIC would contest the general election together.
Mr Kaira said modalities of the electoral cooperation between the two parties would be decided by a joint committee to be formed shortly.
Though the joint declaration distributed among journalists on the occasion said the two sides had agreed on “seat adjustments” in the elections, Mr Kaira clarified that they had agreed on election alliance only but correction could not be made to the document’s copies for lack of time.
He said both the PPP and the Council had similar approach towards terrorism, extremism and sectarianism and had decided to work together against these evils, adding that other parties would also be taken along.
Wattoo said his team had reached an understanding with the SIC leadership and pledged the PPP would work in consultation with the religious parties alliance, representing over 20 groups of Barelvi school of thought.
Mr Karim, who had been twice elected MNA and thrice an MPA from the PML-N platform, said he had buried his past association with Nawaz League.
To a query about the revolt he was facing within the SIC for forging an alliance with ‘secular’ parties, he said Majlis Shoora (consultative body) of the council had empowered him to make electoral alliances with other political parties.
Saying the parties believing in the Constitution of the country could not be termed secular, Mr Karim maintained his party could not cooperate with the parties that abhorred religion.
He said other parties would also be taken along in the fight against terrorism.
An SIC faction led by Syed Mahfooz Mashhadi has earlier suspended basic membership of Mr Karim for entering into an alliance with the PML-Q.