Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) chief, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, on Wednesday met the leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan and Grand Democratic Alliance to seek their support for the September 4 presidential election.
Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman is one of the three candidates who are in the run. The two others are PTI’s Dr Arif Alvi and PPP’s Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan.
The ruling PTI is confident that Alvi will win the election comfortably. PTI enjoys the support of the MQM, PML-Q, BAP, GDA, BNP, AML and other parties.
The opposition is divided. It has failed to agree on a joint candidate due to differences between the two major opposition parties, the PML-N and the PPP.
But talks are underway between the opposition parties. Fazal-ur-Rehman, whose Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal is also part of the opposition, seeks the support of both PML-N and PPP.
Today, he arrived in Karachi and met the leaders of two major PTI allies, the GDA and the MQM.
During the meeting, GDA chief Pir Pagara, who is also the leader of Pakistan Muslim League Functional (PML-F), did not assure his support to the JUI-F leader.
Later, Fazl-ur-Rehman met an MQM delegation.
MQM leaders Amir Khan, Faisal Sabzwari, Waseem Akhtar, Kanwar Naveed Jamil and others were present in the meeting.
“My request was heard sincerely. I hope that MQM will consider it,” the JUI-F leader told reporters after the meeting.
Amir Khan did not immediately assure the support, saying that the party will decide after consultation in its top decision-making body, the Coordination Committee.
The presidential election will be held on September 4, five days before the expiry of the five-year term of President Mamnoon Hussain.
Mr Hussain, elected in September 2013, was a nominee of the PML-N.
The president is elected by the members of the National Assembly, the Senate and four provincial assemblies.
In Pakistan, the President is considered a symbol of the federation and head of the state and exercises all powers on the recommendations of the prime minister.