ISLAMABAD -  Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday failed to win over the support of JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and PkMAP Chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai as senators of both the parties opposed the constitutional 28th Amendment in the Upper House of the Parliament to grant two years extension to military courts.

Sources in the Parliament informed The Nation that after the opposition of PkMAP legislators to the military courts in the Lower House of the Parliament and JUI-F parliamentarians abstaining the voting on 28th Constitutional Amendment in National Assembly on Tuesday, the Prime Minister held separate meetings with both JUI-F and PkMAP chiefs ahead of the Senate proceedings where the same bill was tabled later in the day but failed to win over the support of both these leaders on the piece of legislation.

The senators of both these parties along with BNP-M sole member of the Upper House opposed the bill and as some of the ruling party senators were not present so the bill could not be put to vote as the members in favour of the 28th Constitutional Amendment were soft of the requisite two-third figure.

Sources aware of the developments taking place informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif discussed with both these leaders, who are part of the government, the circumstances which had compelled the government to go for extension in the military courts for another stint of two years and requested both Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Mahmood Khan Achakzai to extend support to the military courts as they were passing through an extra-ordinary circumstances which require extra-ordinary measures to handle things.

But both these leaders expressed their inability to extend support to the piece of legislation granting extension to military courts in the country as their party leadership was against it.

JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that his party was ready to swallow this bitter pill on the grounds the government would incorporate some amendments in the constitutional amendment by delinking religion and seminaries with terrorism but as their proposed amendments were put in the dustbin the party was left with no choice but to stay away from the whole exercise.

The JUI-F chief said that being part of the ruling alliance, his party MPs had not cast vote against the 28th Constitutional Amendment when it was put to vote in the National Assembly and they just stayed away by abstaining, which in his view was also a favour to the government, a source close to JUI-F chief informed.

Sources further said that JUI-F leadership was of the view that on one hand the government wanted them to support the extension of the military courts while on the other they were not even ready to listen to their genuine concerns on it what to speak of addressing the same about the direct linkage of terrorism with religion, sects and seminaries.

Similarly, the JUI-F leadership wanted some of their genuine concerns regarding the Madrassa reforms the government is going to implement, the sources added.

On the other hand, the PkMAP chief made it loud and clear to the Prime Minister that establishment of military courts was in direct conflict to the ideology of their party so they could not support it in negation of their political philosophy.

Meanwhile, according to the press release issued by the Prime Minister media section during the meeting between the Prime Minister and the JUI-F Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, matters pertaining to present political situation of the country came under discussion.

While during his meeting with PkMAP Chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai, the Prime Minister discussed with him matters of national significance and current political situation of the country. The ongoing development and welfare schemes in Balochistan were also discussed in the meeting.

The Prime Minister said that development and progress of Balochistan is the priority of the federal government, which is evident from the unprecedented development projects initiated in the province during the last three years. The people of Balochistan will be the prime beneficiaries of our major development initiatives, including CPEC and Gwadar Port, the PM added.