Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi announced on Wednesday the government's decision to "engage with Fazlur Rehman" in response to the statement by the head of the JUI-F to march on Islamabad on October 31.
The minister said a small political committee was formed "to get in touch with Maulana Fazlur Rehman," which will be headed by Defense Minister Pervez Khattak.
"We are a political party and we are fully capable and willing to offer a political solution to political affairs," said Qureshi, during a press conference in Islamabad.
The chancellor said that if something that the JUI-F chief says during the resulting talks "has political weight, we are ready to listen to it and if a reasonable solution arises, we will give it that priority."
"It's not that we are afraid, I must emphasize this.
"If someone thinks that with a dharna, governments can be sent to pack, then we have a 126-day experience in this […] we are not newbies in the matter, "said Qureshi, with a slight smile.
He reiterated that a political solution to the conflict should be sought, explaining that Pakistan is now fighting for the cause of Kashmir in international forums and that a unified stance must be presented in this regard.
"October 27 is that negligible day when Indian forces landed in Srinagar and captured Kashmir, "he said, pausing to emphasize the word to highlight the solemnity that must be given to the day.
He said that, therefore, the government Kashmir Cell had decided to observe the day with due respect and in solidarity with the cashmere.
"So we have to see if we damage this broader purpose in the search for a narrower local agenda," he said.
Qureshi said the other consideration is that the government has just overcome a major economic challenge in the last 13 months and has returned Pakistan to stability.
"When our government took charge of affairs, all macroeconomic indicators were painting a very serious picture, be it the fiscal deficit, the current account deficit, the trade deficit, the investment levels, the unemployment figures, the exports , imports, or debt service capabilities.
"So now we have begun to witness an economic change, and at this moment if there is an indication of instability, it will negatively affect our economy," said the Foreign Minister.
He said that taking into account the aforementioned factors, the government had decided in favor of political commitment. "Let's see what answer we get."
Meanwhile, at a press conference in another part of the city, Rehman completely rejected any possibility of talks with the government "before a resignation occurs."
"We are not aware of this committee and have not contacted us," he said.
"Before any conversation takes place, the resignation is mandatory, so that the post-resignation situation can be debated," said the head of the JUI-F. "You cannot negotiate on the condition of a waiver."
In a parallel development, the Punjab Lawyers Council, the Islamabad Lawyers Council and the Rawalpindi Lawyers Council announced their support for the JUI-F march.
A delegation of lawyers met with Rehman at his residence and assured him of his full participation. "The current government was selected, it is totally incapable and has failed us," the lawyers said.
The president of the Awami Raj Party of Pakistan, Jamshed Ahmed Dasti, also declared his support for today's march, having previously held a meeting with the JUI-F chief previously.
He said the decision had been made to file a protest over the continuing "illegality, economic devastation, unemployment and the problems of farmers and workers."
& # 39; Dark clouds of war dispersing & # 39;
Qureshi, in his press conference, also spoke of the Prime Minister's visit to Saudi Arabia and his individual meetings with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman a day earlier.
He said that all Saudi senior leadership, including the Foreign Minister, the Minister of State, the national security adviser was present during the meetings.
"We present Pakistan's point of view, discuss the needs of the region and convey Iran's feelings," said the Foreign Minister.
He said that the heart of the conversation that took place can be summed up this way: "Now I can see the dark clouds of war and conflict looming over our heads slowly dispersing."
"Pakistan's number one objective was this: that we don't end up suffering another conflict."
We realized that there was no easy solution to the conflict, which had seen many interventions by Pakistan and the international community in the past, said the minister.
"Yesterday's meeting was very encouraging and I think the only thing we agreed was that preference will be given to a diplomatic and peaceful process. And all the misunderstandings must be resolved through dialogue," said Qureshi.
He said that a mechanism to move forward is currently being deliberated.
With additional reports of Javed Hussain in Islamabad and Mohammad Ali in Muzaffargarh.