ISLAMABAD  - The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) government, currently facing plethora of issues including peace talks, has still not decided about portfolios to members of its coalition partner JUI-F.
The JUI-F members were inducted in the federal cabinet around one month ago. The ruling clique (PML-N) is in confusion to award portfolios to Akram Durrani and Maulana Ghafoor Haideri according to the wishes of religio-political party (JUI-F), which is main reasons behind this extraordinary delay, sources in PML-N shared with The Nation.
The two senior members of the party who took oath as ministers on January 16 after meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman.
The JUI-F got space in the federal cabinet after around six-month after formation of the government and now due to certain reasons their portfolios have not been decided.
It would not be out of place to mention here that Maulana Fazlur Rahman has recently distanced himself from peace talks, expressing serious reservation on PM Nawaz Sharif for not taking JUI-F into confidence on different important matters. He had reportedly commented that it was unfortunate that belatedly the prime minister admitted challenges in holding talks by saying that it was not for the government only to hold talks.
Sources said the JUI-F had negotiated the two cabinet posts with the PML-N in July last at the time of presidential election and as reward to their support to the ruling party candidate Mamnoon Hussain. Sources said Maulana Fazlur Rahman demanded some powerful ministries from PM with the threat to detach from federal cabinet if demand was not fulfilled. The PML-N might accept one of the wishes in shape of any important ministry’s portfolio, said sources.
The JUI-F after the gap of some weeks will again pressurise the ruling party (PML-N) to award ministries, as they are not pushing for its demand due to lot of issues including peace talks.
When contacted, JUI-F spokesman said that Prime Minister is busy in a lot of activities including peace talks issue. “No body is impatient. Its not a big issue as first priority is peace talks,” he added.
It is relevant to note here that JUI-F, which had also remained coalition partner of PPP in the previous government, had locked horns with it on the issue of ministries. As, in the mid of December 2010, Fazl had announced that his party was parting ways with the PPP-led coalition government at the Centre following the sacking of Minister for Science and Technology Azam Khan Swati.
Former PM Yousuf Raza Gilani had reportedly removed the JUI-F minister from the cabinet for ignoring his directives to stop accusing Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi for his alleged involvement in the Haj operation scam. In a strong reaction, following the sacking of the JUI-F minister, two more JUI-F ministers , Rehmatullah Kakar, Minister for Housing and Works, and Maulana Attaur Rehman, Minister for Tourism, had also tendered resignations.