ISLAMABAD            -           The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazal (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman once again is making extensive efforts to unite the opposition parties to give a tough time to the government.

For this purpose he has held meetings with many senior leaders of different parties, including Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari.

Former President and Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) leader Asif Ali Zardari on Friday said that Imran Khan was not ‘competent’ to run the country’s affairs and the people were now looking towards opposition parties to rid them of the ‘selected’ government.

The former President passed these remarks in a meeting with Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, who called on him and the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at Bilawal House in Karachi. According to the PPP spokesman, the meeting lasted for one and a half hour.

Zardari said that no compromise would be made on National Finance Commission and ‘anti-people’ budget.

“I had warned about locust threat in the Parliament last year but the federal government didn’t pay heed to it just for the sake of its ego. The country may face shortage of food items, if the locust issue is not tackled immediately,”

 he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Bilawal said that a ‘record surge’ in corruption was witnessed during Imran’s premiership, adding that the incumbent Prime Minister and Pakistan cannot go further simultaneously.

Accusing Imran of carrying out political victimisation, he said the Prime Minister was using the National Accountability Bureau to target politicians belonging to opposition parties.

“During first two years of his government, Imran didn’t do a single thing for the betterment of the people. All opposition parties are on same page against this selected government,” the PPP Chairman claimed.

Speaking at the meeting, the JUI-F chief said that the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth went into negative for the first time ‘as the federal government had pushed Pakistan’s economy to the wall’.

“Every political party has to come on same page, to face the selected rulers,” said Fazal-ur-Rehman. During the meeting, he also inquired about health of Zardari who had been out of active politics due to his health conditions.

Top leaderships of both parties agreed not to show any sort of flexibility on the 18th Constitutional amendment and the NFC.

-            Courting government allies -

Besides the PPP, the JUI-F chief has also approached the allies of the government, including Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) and Mutahidda Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) in order to convince them to part ways with the government coalition.

According to sources within JUI-F, Maulana Fazal is also likely to hold a meeting soon with Chaudhry brothers in Gujrat.

Meanwhile, according to Tariq Baloch a close aide of Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, a few members of the top JUI-F leadership were still reluctant to trust the two major parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People Party (PPP), in giving a tough time to the government.

He told The Nation that while they were going to give a tough time to the government on the matter of 18th amendment, NFC awards and many other related matters, many leaders in JUI-F were not in favour of trusting PPP and PML-N.

While answering a question he said that JUI-F had lost its trust on these two parties during the Azadi March but many leaders in JUI-F were still convincing Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman to trust them once again.

He maintained that all the opposition parties were on APC, the JUI-F’s first demand will be to ensure the trust and unity within the quarters of the opposition parties against the government in upcoming weeks.

While commenting on lack of trust among the opposition quarters, PPP leaders said that they had also lost trust in JUI-F during the Azadi March, when Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman met the Chaudhry brothers without the consensus of the rest of the opposition parties.

He maintained that they were still waiting for the details of the meetings that took place between the Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and Chaudhry brothers during the Azadi March.

It is pertinent to mention here that the JUI-F formed Rehbar Committee had expelled the PPP, PML-N, and ANP allegedly for giving favours to the government in many legislations in the past.