LAHORE - Former president and PPP de facto chief, Asif Ali Zardari who is known among the political circles as master of reconciliation met with the PML-Q top leadership on Saturday to reverse at least Inqlab March but failed to get an assurance from Chaudhrys of Gujrat for convincing Dr Tahirul Qadri to withdraw the same under a workable political deal.
The PML-Q high command told the PPP leader that no talks could prove fruitful until the resignation of the ruling family and registration of FIR against the accused of Model Town tragedy.
PML-Q, which was a former coalition partner of the PPP, is believed to be the policy-making force of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Inqlab March plans and strategy. The ruling party which is facing the siege of PTI and PAT in the federal capital has failed to get a bailout even by involving the master of reconciliation, Asif Ali Zardari.
It is now nine days that the PML-N, despite employing different efforts, has been unsuccessful in extricating the Azadi and Inqlab March of Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri from Islamabad.
Close aides of PML-Q top leadership privy to the discussions of the meeting told this correspondent that it ended without any result.
The PPP team led by Asif Ali Zardari along with Opposition Leader Khursheed Shah, Aitzaz Ahsan, Rehman Malik and Raza Rabbani when reached Zahoor Elahi Lane was warmly welcomed by PML-Q chief Ch Shujaat Hussain and senior leader Ch Pervaiz Elahi. Chaudhrys’ close aides said that Zardari asked Shujaat and Pervaiz to play their role to end Inqlab March by convincing Dr Qadri under a reasonable political deal.
But the two top party leaders politely refused to consider any deal till the resignation of the ruling family and registration of FIR against the accused of the Model Town incident. PML-Q top leaders, however, assured the PPP leader Asif Zardari that they could convince Qadri to end March if he (Zardari) could make efforts for midterm elections under a bi-partisan caretaker setup.
They also told Zardari that they (PML-Q and their political partners in Inqlab March) could withdraw if they get an assurance of a national government by sending the incumbent home.
Meanwhile, Ch Pervaiz Elahi while talking to the media along with Ch Shujaat Hussain said the Inqlab March sit-in would continue till resignation of the Sharif government. He said PML-Q leadership has told the PPP mediation team that Inqlab marchers would not withdraw till the resignation of Sharif family and registration of FIR against the culprits of the Model Town incident.
Pervaiz said ruling family has never rendered any sacrifice for the democracy and they should resign in the best interest of the democracy and pave the way for a national setup. He said he had conveyed the message of Dr Qadri to Zardari.
PML-Q senior leader said they were in contact with mainstream political parties for new setup.
Pervaiz told the media that Zardari said he would inform the PML-Q about PPP line of action in the changing political scenario after consulting party leadership. He said democracy would not be derailed with the resignation of the Sharif family.
Meanwhile, Zardari has constituted a four-member committee for continuing contact with Jamaat-e-Islami leadership for finding the peaceful solution of the ongoing political turmoil. The committee comprises Opposition Leader Syed Khursheed Shah, ex-interior minister Rehman Malik, Senator Raza Rabbani and Senator Aitzaz Ahsan.
The current political crisis had brought together the forces who once used to had been arch rival as PPP top leadership on Saturday visited JI headquarters—Mansoora— after 37 years to discuss the way out of pulling the country out of political turmoil.
Before Zardari, the PPP chief Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto along with his wife Nusrat Bhutto had visited the JI headquarters in 1977 during the movement of Pakistan National Alliance against his government.
The PPP delegation held an hour-long discussion for the solution of the political challenges. During the meeting, both the sides exchanged views on the current political crisis and agreed upon making efforts to save democracy and to find a peaceful solution to the issue. During the meeting Zardari praised the efforts of JI in resolving the issue and negotiations between the government and the protesting parties and bringing them to the dialogue table. Zardari urged the JI leadership to continue its struggle and extended full support of his party. The two parties called for finding out a political solution of the crisis.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Siraj said the 180 million Pakistanis were greatly perturbed due to the sit-ins and wanted an early end to the crisis. The country’s economy had been ruined and its image abroad was suffering. He said whoever among the PTI and PML-N takes the lead in resolving the crisis would earn greater respect in the eyes of the nation. He said the whole nation and all political parties wanted to protect the country’s Constitution and the democracy at all costs and the two sides should be given a respectable way out so that the crisis could be over. Siraj appealed to the PTI to review its decision to tender resignations. He also urged the National Assembly Speaker to defer consideration on PTI MNAs resignations for the time being. He also set up a committee under JI Secretary General Liaqat Baloch which would meet the NA speaker and request him not to take a hasty decision on the PTI’s resignations.