In a bid to convince the JUI-F to return to the coalition, President Asif Ali Zardari held a meeting with Maulana Fazlur Rehman just after the state banquet hosted in honour of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

According to sources, soon after the banquet concluded and President Asif Ali Zardari went to see off the political leaders, he sought time from Maulana Fazlur Rehman and asked his personal aide Dr Qayyum Somoro to bring Maulana Fazlur Rehman to the Presidency.

The sources said during the meeting, President Zardari failed to convince Maulana Fazl to change his decision to part ways with the government. They said President Zardari discussed some new reconciliatory proposals with Maulana Fazlur Rehman, but the Maulana said he would respond to these suggestions after consultation with his party members.

The sources did not divulge the nature of proposals but said the meeting failed to produce any result.

Earlier in the day, Interior Minister Rehman Malik also failed to bring Fazlur Rehman and his party back to the coalition government ahead of Sunday’s joint sitting of parliament and the National Assembly’s session starting on Monday.

Rehman Malik on Saturday night reached the residence of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman to convey to him the message of President Asif Ali Zardari, but the meeting did not yield any result in favour of the government.

“Fazlur Rehman has refused to rejoin the coalition government, saying that he has closed doors for return,” JUI-F sources told The News.