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Army operation in North Waziristan faces debacle, says JI chief

Updated December 27, 2013

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Jamaat-i-Islami chief Munawar Hassan. — File photo
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Munawar Hassan. — File photo

MANSEHRA: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Munawar Hassan on Thursday warned that the army would suffer a debacle if it continued with the military operation in North Waziristan Agency.

“I want to make it clear to the government that North Waziristan is not like of South Waziristan, Buner and Swat and if it (government) doesn’t stop military operation there, then the military is bound to suffer a disastrous failure and thus, harming national interest,” Mr Hassan told participants of a condolence reference here.

The reference was held in the memory of JI leader Younas Khattak, who had died of cardiac arrest the other day.

The JI chief said the government had launched the North Waziristan offensive to please the US though it was against the national interest.

He said no military operation carried in the country since its creation had produced desirable results.

“Though our soldiers are highly skilled and have high morale but whenever it began operation against own people, it suffered setback whether it’s West Pakistan, Balochistan or Karachi,” he said.

Mr Munawar said instead of resorting to military action at the US behest, the government should initiate talks with the Taliban to end militancy in the country.

He also called for the convening of an all parties conference by the government to make an effective strategy to address militancy, inflation and foreign policy issues.

“The recommendations of the proposed APC should be acted upon in letter and spirit to achieve desirable results,” he said.

The JI chief said the government had been implementing the International Monetary Fund agenda to secure loans, adversely affecting the national economy and further squeezing the people’s purchasing power.

He said inflation had increased so much that the people were unable to afford even basic necessities of life.

Mr Munawar said the number of people living below poverty line was on the rise due to the government’s steps being taken in the name of the economy’s revival.

He said when the government increased general sales tax and gas, electricity and oil prices, then inflation skyrocketed in the country.

The JI chief praised Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for agitating against inflation and said it was the basic responsibility of the government to contain escalating prices of consumer goods.

He said Pakistan’s dialogue with India to settle disputes wouldn’t succeed until the latter accepted the former by heart.

Mr Munawar said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family wanted to promote relations with India to promote own business.

“Sharifs want to sell sugar to Indians and import onion and tomato from them to promote their businesses,” he said.

The JI chief accused Finance Minister Ishaq Dar of being involved in money laundering and said if the prime minister was sincere in addressing the people’s economic problems, then he should first change his finance minister.

“First, Ishaq Dar is not an economist but a man with experience of commerce and second, he is involved in money laundering. In this light, he shouldn’t be the country’s finance minister,” he said.

Mr Munawar said though blockade of Nato supplies by PTI and allied parties didn’t restrict drone strikes in tribal areas, it highlighted the issue internationally.

Earlier, he paid tribute to Younas Khattak saying the deceased acted upon the true teachings of Islam and spent his entire life serving the people.

He said Younas Khattak worked very hard for the people’s welfare and women’s education.

Other speakers, including JI leader Shabbir Ahmad Khan, Dr Tariq Sherazi, Dr Siddique and Munir Lughmani, showered praise on Younas Khattak over his services for Islam and society, and work for the relief and rehabilitation of the 2005 earthquake’s victims.