Talks put on Hold between Maulana Fazlur Rehman and MQM
KARACHI: Government sent JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the ‘Nine Zero’ headquarters of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on Tuesday to persuade the party legislators to withdraw resignations, but were put on hold in the wake of an attempt on the life of MQM's MNA Rashid Godil.
The two sides agreed to put the talks on hold for a while and start the process again in a couple of days in Islamabad.
It was the first visit by the JUI-F chief to the MQM headquarters where he and members of his delegation were warmly welcomed by Muttahida office-bearers and workers and showered with rose petals.
Dr Farooq Sattar and other leaders of the party held talks with the JUI-F chief and MQM chief Altaf Hussain joined them over phone from London.
Maulana Fazl also met heirs of the killed and missing MQM workers.
He said that the prime minister and the leader of opposition in the National Assembly had asked him to hold talks with the MQM.
“I came to your house for the first time and in our tradition guests are not sent back empty-handed,” he told Mr Hussain, according to an MQM statement.
“The MQM should take back its resignations and if its reservations are not addressed it can again submit resignations from parliament,” he suggested.
Dr Sattar informed Maulana Fazl about the reasons that compelled the MQM to take the extreme decision of quitting parliament.
A participant of the meeting said that when the talks were under way Mr Hussain himself informed Maulana Fazl about the attack on Mr Godil.
The JUI-F chief told newsmen that the assassination attempt on Rashid Godil was an act of cowardice aimed at sabotaging the talks. He prayed for his quick recovery.
He said when a dialogue process began it moved gradually and, in between, certain elements tried to sabotage it.
He praised the MQM for not changing its “positive attitude” despite the tragic incident. “They are still willing to play their role in steering the country and the political system out of the crisis. We will take the talks forward with the same passion and positive attitude in Islamabad.”
Dr Sattar said Maulana Fazl had come to the ‘Nine Zero’ as a mediator and the MQM and Mr Hussain trusted him.
He said the MQM chief never opposed the Karachi operation, but he wanted that it should be carried out in an impartial manner.
He said that the Maulana would move the process forward in Islamabad and the MQM hoped the issue could be resolved.
Dr Sattar said his party believed that the government and law-enforcement agencies would unmask the assailants involved in the attempt on the life of Mr Godil.
Both Maulana Fazl and Dr Sattar refused to identify those who wanted to sabotage the talks.
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