ISLAMABAD: The polite refusal of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman to again mediate between the government and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has forced Premier Sharif to look for other options to convince MQM to return back to the parliament. Fazl on Tuesday met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to discuss some of the matters relating to his party’s role as junior coalition partner and the arrest of a central leader of his party, Mufti Kafayatullah, on accusations of delivering hate speech a few days ago in Chiniot, a source in JUI-F informed The Nation.

He said that PM Nawaz Sharif wanted to see MQM part of the parliament and once again requested JUI-F chief to use his good offices for it. But Fazl excused from again playing the role of a mediator, saying he was leaving for Saudi Arabia to perform Haj and would stay there for at least two weeks, the source added.

Some other sources in JUI-F said that even after his return, Fazl won’t be the part of any negotiations with MQM because only a week back he faced severe criticism from within the party over his mediatory role. The role of mediator played by JUI-F chief was not taken well by his party and in its Shoora meeting the members raised questions on it and Fazl had to give explanations, a JUI-F Shura member informed The Nation.

Sources said that Fazlur Rehman told the Shura that he succeeded in his task as he had brought both the parties on negotiation table and the deal between the government and MQM team was almost final when abruptly the government side went silent over the agreement on formation of Grievance Redressal Committee and despite his several attempts he could not meet the prime minister.

Political analysts see little chance of any agreement between the government and MQM over the resignations issue and it would not be possible for the ruling PML-N to keep the matter in limbo for long owing to political and legal pressure. Premier Sharif has not much to offer to MQM in the given situation further griming the chances of any deal.

These analysts said that being the shrewd politician Fazlur Rehman has dissociated himself from the talks as he knew that chances of any deal are minimal. Sources aware of the meeting between PM and JUI-F chief informed that relations between the ruling PML-N and JUI-F as coalition partners also figured in the meeting and the prime minister assured Fazl that whenever he expands cabinet, one of his party MP would be taken as minister on the seat vacated by Abdul Ghafoor Haideri after his election as Senate deputy chairman.