LAHORE    -   Top leadership of the PML-N and the JUI-F put their heads together on Sunday to find a common ground in their approaches to pull down the government.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman along with his close aides visited Model Town residence of PML-N President Mian Shehbaz Sharif to have another round of talks on how to move forward on the anti-government agenda.

It was his second meeting in a week with the PML-N president to seek his party’s support for sit-in in Islamabad. The two leaders also had a meeting last week at the same place to work out modalities in this regard.

Senior PML-N leaders Ahsan Iqbal, Sardar Ayyaz Sadiq, Rana Tanvir Hussain and Marriyum Aurangzeb also attended the meeting.

A press release issued by the PML-N media wing termed it an informal meeting which discussed the country’s overall economic and political situation. “They also discussed the possibility of calling an All Parties Conference (APC) over the country’s rapidly worsening economic and political situation,” said the media release.

Insiders said that Shehbaz Sharif tried to convince the Maulana on the need for an All Parties Conference before the planned march on Islamabad. He also asked him to contact the PPP leadership in this regard. The PPP is opposed to the idea of holding sit-in and is in favour of building gradual pressure on the government through mass mobilisation by parties on their respective platforms.

Shehbaz also reportedly asked the JUI-F chief to defer his planned sit-in till November because of the dengue outbreak. Shehbaz reportedly also expressed his reservations over JUI-F’s move to mobilise the masses on the issue of Khatm-e-Nabuwat and a fund-raising campaign on religious grounds.

It is noteworthy that prior to his meeting with the PML-N leaders, Maulana Fazlur Rehman addressed Khatm-e-Nabowat Conference in Lahore to mobilise his supporters for the anti-government movement.

Fazlur Rehman, on the other hand, reminded the PML-N leader of July 2018 Islamabad declaration signed by all the opposition parties who had rejected results of the July elections. He stressed that all parties should adhere to this declaration and support his plan for lockdown of the capital.

The Maulana also insisted that Azadi March must take place not later than last week of October. He also briefed Shehbaz Sharif on the preparations his party had made regarding the planned sit-in. The two leaders also had discussion on the possible outcome of the planned move. The meeting continued well over two hours during which the leaders also had dinner.

Without giving any clear answer, Shehbaz Sharif told Fazl that he had called a meeting of PML-N’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) on September 30th to discuss the issue. The CEC will prepare its recommendations for presentation before the party Quaid Mian Nawaz Sharif.

While the two parties are in agreement to dismantle the present government which they believe has miserably failed on all fronts of governance, but disagreement exists over the mode of protest and its timing.

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman plans to start a decisive march against the government in October to pave the way for fresh elections. The PNL-N also thinks that PTI government has become a security threat for country’s economy and hence it should be thrown out of power sooner than later. It also believes that if the government remains in power for long it would be disastrous for the country.

According to a press release issued by PML-N’s media wing, Fazlur Rehman expressed grave concern over the current state of dengue epidemic in the country and lauded the measures taken by Shehbaz Sharif against this disease during his tenure as Punjab chief minister.