Former Prime Minister and President of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Shehbaz Sharif, held a meeting at his residence with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and leader of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). This gathering occurred in the backdrop of reported disagreements between the former coalition partners regarding the timing of the next general elections in Pakistan.
The meeting followed Maulana Fazl’s recent criticism of the PPP and PML-N. He accused both parties of endorsing the results of the new census during a cabinet meeting and now pressing for immediate elections as new constituencies were being defined based on it. The Maulana also expressed reservations about holding the general elections in January, citing concerns about extremely cold weather in northern regions, which could hinder voter turnout.
During their discussion, the leaders addressed the broader political landscape and shared perspectives on the need for transparent, free, and fair elections. They emphasized the importance of moving forward through consultation and cooperation, emphasizing that national challenges could be overcome through unity.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman extended good wishes for the return of PML-N’s supreme leader, Nawaz Sharif, to the country. Shehbaz Sharif acknowledged the Maulana’s role in averting a sovereign default and stressed that political parties had not solely focused on their interests in the past 16 months but had aimed to safeguard the state. He underscored the potential for Pakistan to overcome crises through unity, consultation, and collective efforts.
The PML-N president also noted that Nawaz Sharif’s return would strengthen the country’s political and democratic system. Fazlur Rehman regarded Nawaz Sharif’s return as positive news for Pakistan and highlighted the politically motivated persecution faced by the three-time prime minister. He characterized the targeting of political leaders as a form of political engineering, emphasizing that Nawaz Sharif had accepted the PTI’s mandate in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but was unjustly ousted from the political landscape. This chapter of unjust persecution, he stated, would leave a dark mark in the nation’s history.
The meeting included the presence of PML-N Secretary General Ahsan Iqbal, former National Assembly Speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar.