JUI (F) leadership has called their parliamentary party meeting on August 12 to discuss the non-committing attitude of two major opposition parties to convene the proposed All Parties Conference and firmly endorse the demand for snap polls. This is not the only reason of Maulan Fazalu Rehman desperation to opt for a solo flight. He is also unhappy over the support given by the lawmakers of PML-N and PPP on the passage of FATF related bills in Senate as the codification of laws on these bills will make difficult the inflow of foreign funding to non-governmental organisations. During voting JUI (F), PK MAM and JI Senators did not vote for these legislations, which were mandatory to take the country off the grey list.
Before Eid, Maulana Fazlu Rehman had met with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N President Shabaz Sharif to persuade them on calling All Parties Conference and signing a written agreement to not let his party down again like on the occasion of JUI (F) led Azadi March. As a matter of fact, the mainstream opposition political parties were not inclined to support playing a particular card which JUI Chief still wants to play against the government.
It merits mention that last year Maualana Fazalu Rehman had repeatedly that December would be the last month of tenure of the present government notwithstanding his failure of so called Azadi March. A senior PML-N leader, Javed Latif had also said that consensus was being developed among the opposition parties for tabling the requisite resolution against the Prime Minister in the lower house and contacts with allied parties of the government were on. He claimed that 25-30 PTI members of parliament are in contact for achieving this objective. The exit of BNM (Mengal) from the ruling coalition and cool relationship of PML-Q gave some credence to this theory, which later turned out a disinformation campaign.
Like other opposition parties JUI (F) leadership desperately want shelving of NAB cases and closure of accountability watchdog. It will not be possible for the Prime Minister to abandon his stance on across-the-board accountability, which he promised to the people before 2018 polls. The same resolve of the government was reiterated by the Information Minister Shibli Faraz in a press conference. The minister corroborated it by referring to the Supreme Court directives to the Federal Law Secretary for setting up 120 more Accountability Courts. Similarly, again it is not possible for the present government to allow the menace of money laundering because of the binding obligations included in the UNSC resolutions 1267 and 1373.
The PTI government has decided to either repeal or drastically amend the 28 years old law titled, “Protection of Economic Reforms Act” (PERA) of July 1992 that had facilitated billions of dollars money laundering through foreign currency accounts in addition to tax evasion. It intends to bring a bill for new Investment Act. The draft of this bill has been prepared by the Board of Investment, which is reported to have been circulated for additional input among all relevant federal and provincial stakeholders. The proposed law may offend the main opposition party as PERA had been passed and enforced in the first tenure of Nawaz Sharif government.
In the current volatile situation in the region Pakistan cannot afford political instability and leaders of JUI and few other small opposition parties must be mindful of it.