ISLAMABAD - The Jamiat Ulema Islam is trying to get back its portfolios in upcoming interim cabinet and forwarded its demands to the quarters concerned.
The JUI-F had four ministries in Shehbaz Sharif-led cabinet including Ministry of Communications and Postal Services, Ministry of Housing and Works, Ministry of Religious Affairs and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions. The portfolio of the Ministry of Communications and Postal Services remained with Moulana Asad Mehmood—the son of JUI Chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman while the Ministry of Housing and Works was controlled by the Moulana Abdul Wasy.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Religious Affairs was under the control of Mufti Abdul Shakoor since his death few months ago in a road accident when the additional charge was given to Senator Talha Mehmood, who was already holding the portfolio of the ministry of the States and Frontier Regions. Sources inside the JUI-F and circles concerned revealed in background discussions that after the selection of caretaker prime minister, the JUI-F had accelerated its efforts to get back the lost ministries again in caretaker government and the demands had already been forwarded to the circles concerned.
However, according to reliable sources, the demands of the JUI-F remain unheard so far as there are strong perception in the capital that the caretaker cabinet would have more technocrats than the politicians. To substantiate their claims, the sources argue that after getting a cold response from relevant quarters, Fazl has decided to increase pressure on the public front. The JUI-F Central Secretary General Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haydri on Tuesday had criticised on a possible selection of the cabinet and termed it unfair distribution. He not only demanded free and fair elections but also stressed to hold them on time.
Meanwhile, Fazl also received Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday followed by a meeting with Sardar Akhtar Mengal on Wednesday, who is openly criticising the selection of Mr Kakar as head of the caretaker setup. Though, the caretaker premier apparently visited Moulana Fazlur Rehman to condole the deaths of party workers in recent a terrorism attack on a public gathering of JUI in Bajour, however the timing of this visit, straightforward statement by party’s secretary general and a meeting with Mr. Mengal have its own importance in present political scenario. The spokesperson of JUI Aslam Ghouri was tried to be contacted for his viewpoint on these developments but he was unavailable to respond till filing of this report.