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Fazl seeks PPP help

LAHORE: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday said opposition parties had nominated him as their “joint candidate” for the slot of president.

The JUI-F chief who was flanked by leaders of the opposition parties, including PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, said he wanted a candidate “mutually agreed on by the opposition” to contest the elections.

“The parties have expressed their confidence in me. I thank them for their support. PPP should’ve agreed on joint opposition’s presidential candidate today as it is quite easy for them to withdraw their candidate,” he added. “The PPP should accept the joint opposition’s choice. Shehbaz Sharif wants to continue the contacts with the PPP,” Fazl said.

He said the rival parties were making efforts to convince the Sindh’s ruling party on one candidate.

Fazl said the joint opposition should contest the competition collectively. He blamed that the PPP was making the PTI win the presidential election by fielding its candidate. “The PPP nominated me convener of all-parties, so it is easy for it to withdraw its candidate,” he said. Fazl sighted his nomination for the presidential race as a solution to the rift between the PPP and the PML-N. Hamza said they would win over those parties which were not supporting the opposition. He said they would play the role of a complete opposition in the parliament.

Earlier in a media talk, PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira expressed optimism that the JUI-F will drop out from the race and convince the PML-N and other opposition parties to support Aitzaz Ahsan for the presidential office. Kaira said Ahsan will be president if the JUI-F chief agreed to their demand. He said his party tried to convince Fazl during a multi-parties conference and a separate meeting to persuade all other opposition parties to agree on the name of Aitzaz Ahsan. Khursheed Shah earlier said that the option of two presidential candidates was in favour of the government. He said that the PPP leadership, including co-chairman Zardari and Kaira, were supporting Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan Shah expressed hope that Maulana Fazlur Rehman would accept the request to withdraw as candidate for the slot of president.

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