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Fazlur Rehman Meets Zardari, Disuses Grand Alliance   

Islamabad (October 10, 2018): Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman Wednesday met with former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and agreed to give tough time to the government.

Sources said that the PPP and JUI-F leaders discussed the current political situation in the country. They also discussed the grand opposition alliance for giving tough time to the PTI-led government.Earlier on August 27,Pakistan Peoples’ Party co-chairman Asif Zarari had expressed displeasure ‘over the role of MMA President Maulana Fazlur Rehman’ during presidential elections.

The PPP met today to discuss the situation arising out of division in opposition parties over nomination of joint candidate for presidential election.During the meeting, sources said, the former president stated that there will always be a question mark on his role.

PPP had fielded Aitzaz Ahsan, while the opposition parties nominated Maulana Fazlur Rehman as their joint candidate against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Arif Alvi.

PPP had requested MMA chief to persuade PML-N president over Ahsan’s nomination, who met Shehbaz Sharif Sunday but failed to convince him.Surprisingly, the opposition parties nominated Fazlur Rehman which surprised the PPP.

Earlier today, opposition parties blame PPP for ditching them, however Zardari stuck to Aitzaz Ahsan as party’s candidate for country’s top office.

Earlier, talking to media in Islamabad, the chief of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and MMA president Fazlur Rehman on Monday expressed hope that PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari would reconsider his decision and have his party vote for him in the September 4 presidential election, despite increasing rift among the opposition parties.

Soon after senior PPP leaders blamed the PML-N and the media for the growing fissures within the opposition ‘alliance’, and seemed all but resigned to not reaching a consensus over a presidential candidate, Rehman — the opposition’s presidential nominee — said he would try and convince Zardari to back him.

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“The PPP did not vote in the prime minister’s elections, which resulted in Imran Khan becoming the PM by four votes,” Rehman said in a press conference in Islamabad. “The act of dividing up the opposition is not popular in the public.

“It will be our effort to take him (Zardari) in confidence and convince him to reconsider his decision so that a joint candidate could contest.”

The JUI leader said he “would like to meet Zardari today” to convince him to withdraw PPP nominee Aitzaz Ahsan’s candidacy in his favour.

Rehman said he and PML-N both “wanted the opposition’s prime minister candidate to be from the PPP.“However, the PPP people themselves said that the PM candidate should be from the PML-N. When a consensus was reached, then [the PPP] decided not to vote, which dispersed the opposition, and turned our hope — our decision to go into the parliament and turn the tables — into disappointment and despair.”

“We would not want to give the same disappoint to our members once again,” he added. “A joint position on this issue should be presented.”

With the grand opposition alliance failing to reach consensus on a single nominee, the PPP’s Ahsan and JUI-F’s Rehman emerged as the two candidates challenging Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Arif Alvi’s bid for the head of state’s office in the September 4 election.

The failure of the opposition parties to field a joint candidate is expected to provide a virtual walkover to Dr Alvi, an MNA from Karachi.

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