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JUI-F offers conditional support to ‘N’ in centre

May 28, 2013

PESHAWAR, May 27: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday said his party would support the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz-led government in the centre only if its priorities were endorsed as part of the national policy.

He, however, didn’t elaborate on the priorities of his party. “JUI-F has put up its priorities to PML-N, which is set to form the government in the centre. If PML-N agrees with us, then we will join the government in the centre,” he told reporters after attending a meeting of the JUI-F parliamentary party here.

Irritated by media reports that JUI-F had been demanding specific ministries and chairmanship of some standing committees of parliament from PML-N for joining the new government, Mr Fazl said media had launched smear campaign against his party to tarnish its image.

“Media reports about JUI-F talks with PML-N are absolutely rubbish,” he said, adding that media should change its attitude and should not malign his party.

The JUI-F chief denied reports that he had asked Nawaz Sharif to give him such portfolios in the federal cabinet. He said his party’s four-member team had discussed policy matters with PML-N.

Mr Fazl declined when reporters asked him to explain his priorities presented to PML-N.

“I am telling you that JUI-F has never demanded any ministry or chairmanship,” he said.

He said details of power-sharing formula would be made public once talks with PML-N reached its logical end and therefore, media should avoid spreading disinformation.

However, insiders said JUI-F, which had secured 10 seats in the National Assembly, had presented a charter of demands to PML-N and they included implementation of recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology and interest-free economy.

They said the ball was in the PML-N court and JUI-F was waiting for final response.

“The committee has done its work and is waiting for Nawaz Sharif, who has yet to respond,” said one aide of Mr Fazl.

About the alleged rigging in polls in the country in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular, the JUI-F chief said his party was not satisfied with the results and would protest its legal and constitutional rights.

“Our party will protest manipulated results but will not make Pakistan Algeria or any other country,” he said, adding that rigging in polls had encouraged the forces, which did not believe in democracy.

Mr Fazl said his party workers protesting bogus election results were being arrested and victimised.

He said JUI-F workers had been arrested in several parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, but such tactics could not stop people.

Without mentioning Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, which is to make the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the JUI-F chief said new forces were created to dilute Pakhtun culture and promote western values in the society.

“But it will never happen and will be buried here. No power should think about bringing Jewish culture to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” he said.

Mr Fazl said the meeting the US ambassador had with him was a courtesy call and that he had apprised him of reservations about the US policies in the region.

When asked about JUI-F role in talks with banned Pakistan Tehreek-i-Taliban, he said PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had already supported the grand tribal jirga for peace in tribal areas.