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Maulana Samiul Haq never given 'peace mission': Govt

24 January, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister's House on Thursday disowned Maulana Samiul Haq's assumed 'task' for initiating negotiations with the Taliban after three weeks of his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The government spokesman in a statement said that there was a general discussion with Maulana Samiul Haq on cooperation to address the issue of terrorism and use of his good offices in this regard, and he had not been given any specific mission by the government when he had a meeting with the prime minister early this month.

It was also agreed that whom Maulana Samiul Haq could contact whenever required. He denied the impression by the Maulana that the government did not hear him. "Even three weeks after the meeting, he has not informed about any progress," the spokesman added.

The Maulana, who is viewed as an old buddy of Prime Minister Nawaz in political arena, in utter disappointment surrendered his self-proclaimed facilitator capacity for talks a day earlier.

The Maulana has alleged that the government has started a military operation against the Taliban on the behest of the United States while the government has denied the initiation of any such operation. Incidentally, in between the first meeting of Maulana Sami and his "disassociation" with the efforts for dialogue with the militant outfit, a conspicuous development has taken place with regard to another Maulana, who is his arch rival in political and religious leadership fields as well.

Maulana Sami met the prime minister in the first week of this month at the time when Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of his own faction of the JUI-F, was maintaining distance from the government due to some reasons. Now after three weeks, Maulana Fazlur Rehman is part and parcel of the government under Nawaz Sharif and his ministers are members of the federal cabinet.

The development in question is an important factor in the disassociation of Maulana Sami, who is also heading his own faction of the JUI-S.

Well-placed sources told here on Thursday that Maulana Sami had won the sympathies of the Taliban through his announcement as a facilitator while the other Maulana had to hurriedly rush to announce support for the dialogue with the Taliban for winning their sympathies.

Maulana Sami, who had been closely associated with Nawaz Sharif right from the beginning of his politics and even in his first two stints as premier, supported him and was interested in political gains for playing some role in the matter. The same wasn't fulfilled by the government, the sources said.

End.

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