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‘Azadi March’: PML-Q leader skips meeting of Khattak-led committee

LAHORE: PML-Q leader and Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi on Saturday skipped the first meeting of a high-powered committee formed by the government to hold talks with opposition parties to persuade them not to go ahead with their plan of marching on Islamabad later this month, reported ARY News.

Elahi, whose party is a coalition partner at the centre and Punjab, could not show up for today’s meet owing to personal engagements.

Federal Minister for Defence Pervez Khattak held a telephonic conversation with the PML-Q leader during which the latter assured the former of his participation at the next meeting of the committee scheduled for Tuesday.

Led by Khattak the committee comprises of National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Federal Ministers Shafqat Mahmood and Noorul Haq Qadri, former finance minister Asad Umar, and Punjab Assembly Speaker and PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.

Khattak had earlier said the committee has been constituted to hold a dialogue with opposition parties to prevail upon them to shun the planned anti-government march.

Earlier today, the federal government decided to ban Ansarul Islam, a militia force of the JUI-F under relevant laws.

The Ministry of Interior has got approval of the federal cabinet for action against the militia force of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), sources said.

The interior ministry has been empowered under Article 146 for consultations with the province.

The militia will be outlawed under Article 256 and section 2 of the related 1974 act.

According to the summary the provinces will be delegated powers through the interior ministry after consultation.

The provinces will be empowered to act against the entity for complete implementation of the directives issued by the federal government.

According to the summary, the JUI-F has constituted the armed wing, intelligence have reported.

The uniformed force recently marched in Peshawar with sticks, covered with barbed wires, summary said.

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