ISLAMABAD - In the face of stiff opposition for granting extension to the military courts, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz(PML-N) was facing difficulties to even woo the support of its coalition partners mainly Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam and Baloch nationalist parties on the issue.

Sources in the government confirmed to The Nation that after the failure of his close aides, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself held meeting with JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and requested him to support the government on the extension of military courts in the country for certain period to keep the momentum of the ongoing military operation Zerb-i-Azb but failed to convince him.

These sources said that JUI-F leadership had not extended support to the 21st Constitutional Amendment which had paved the way for one time establishment of the military courts for a period of two years. The people close to JUI-F chief when approached by some senior PML-N leaders, who were considered to be very close to the Prime Minister, Maulana Fazlur Rehman had made it loud and clear to them that his party would not help the government in getting extension for the military courts for another term of two years or the timeframe to be agreed by all the parliamentary parties.

The sources further said that the favour Maulana Fazlur Rehman could do to government would that his party would once again abstain from the parliamentary exercise to provide constitutional cover to the military courts for another stint. Sources said that Pakhtunkhawa Milli Awami Party led by Mahmood Khan Achakzai and National Party led by Mir Hasil Bezinjo, both in coalition with the ruling PML-N in centre and Balochistan Government, were also not sure to come in aid of the government in support of the military courts extension issue.

Sources in the power corridor informed that both these Baloch nationalist leaders in their meetings with the Prime Minister in the recent past had advised him not to go for extension in the military courts and come up with reforms of the judiciary to deal with the terrorist related cases on permanent basis.

Sources in the government said that the relations between JUI-F and PML-N, coalition partners did not go well over the past year or so because both sides had ditched each other on crucial occasions.

Sources further informed that though the Prime Minister was not happy over the way JUI-F had ditched the government on crucial times in the recent past, in the given situation was compelled to keep Maulana Fazlur Rehman along as it would become extremely difficult for the government to get the issue of military courts extension resolved amicably without the active support of right-wing coalition partner.

On the other hand, the opposition parties mainly PPP and PTI were not averse to the military courts and wanted to see ongoing military operation leading to its logical conclusion but in the given situation the ruling PML-N was not having even working relations with both these parties and would definitely be given tough time on the military courts extension issue and the other issues between the government and opposition.