Fazlur Rehman rejects Malik's request to rejoin Pak coalition govt

Islamabad, Dec 29 (ANI): Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has declined Interior Minister Rehman Malik's request to rejoin the Pakistan People's Party-led coalition government.

Malik had made the request during a meeting with Fazl at the latter's residence, the Dawn quoted JUI-F sources as saying.

Later on, a delegation of ten MNAs from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) also met with Fazl, requesting him to soften his stance toward Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

But he rejected their request as well, and said he would not change his position, as "the prime minister had sabotaged the Pakistan People's Party's reconciliation policy".

According to a report, Fazl's aide, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, said the JUI-F would rejoin the government only if President Asif Ali Zardari sacked Gilani, adding that the premier must be punished for stirring up tensions when he sacked a JUI-F lawmaker from his Cabinet.

The JUI-F has also refused an offer to nominate a Cabinet minister from its ranks as replacement, the report said.

"We will only consider working with the ruling party if President Asif Ali Zardari sacks Gilani," said Ahmad, following the JUI-F chief's meeting with Malik.

Fazl had demanded Gilani's resignation just hours after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) announced that it was quitting the federal cabinet.

"The prime minister should resign and the PPP should appoint a new one," Fazl was quoted as saying.

"He (Gilani) has sabotaged the process of reconciliation among coalition partners and his actions have caused political instability in the country," he said, adding, "The government is under pressure and the president will have to take this step." (ANI)

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