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NOWSHERA/BUNER, Dec 25: Former Jamaat-i-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad on Tuesday said Pakistani Taliban should be allowed to open an office in the country to clear their position on acts of terrorism.

Mr Qazi told reporters after a public meeting here that if the US could allow Afghan Taliban to set up an office in Qatar, then the Pakistan should give the same facility to local Taliban on its soil.

“In my personal opinion, Pakistani Taliban should have a proper office in the country as it will help the world learn about their stand on acts of terrorism taking place in Pakistan or abroad,” he said.

The ex-JI chief said the US was holding peace talks with Afghan Taliban, Hizb-i-Islami and other groups but ironically, Pakistan was not allowed to hold dialogue with Pakistani Taliban.

He said the lasting peace in the region could be ensured by the withdrawal of the US and Nato forces from Afghanistan.

Mr Qazi blamed the US presence in Afghanistan for acts of terrorism in Pakistan. He said if the government wanted peace, then it should stop following the pro-US policies.

The ex-JI chief said his party would support the all parties conference on counterterrorism if it was called to hold meaningful discussion. He added that violence couldn’t be stopped by the use of force.

Mr Qazi supported religious scholar and Minhajul Quran International chief Tahirul Qadri’s call for electoral reforms, but rejected his call for giving the army and the judiciary participation in the interim setup created for the next elections.

He said if the Constitution was followed, there was no room for the army and judiciary in the caretaker government.

The ex-JI chief said his party was trying to force the government to hold general elections on time and that it wouldn’t support any attempt to delay the imminent polls.

He urged the Election Commission to follow articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution before holding elections.

JI leaders Sirajul Haq and Qazi Luqman also addressed the public meeting.

In Swari area of Buner, provincial JI chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim on Tuesday addressed a party meeting and said the current rulers were pursuing the US agenda in the garb of anti-terror war whose sufferers were innocent people.

He said the US had never been a trusted friend of Pakistan but even then, the rulers and military generals were loyal to the US.

Mr Ibrahim said his party believed in adherence to the Constitution and would come to power through democratic process. He said JI was striving for the enforcement of Islamic law in the country.

The JI leader urged the party workers to prepare for the imminent elections.

JI district chief Mohammad Hanif and religious scholar Dr Fazali Azeem also spoke on the occasion.

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