ISLAMABAD, Oct 9: The NWFP chief minister, Mohammad Akram Khan Durrani, on Thursday lashed out at the central government for conducting military operations against the alleged Al Qaeda operatives in the tribal areas.

He was talking to Dawn here at the International Islamic University (IIU) after attending a welcome party for new students organized by Jamiat Talaba-i-Islam (JTI).

“They (government) are killing innocent people who have nothing to do with terrorism and have been residing in tribal areas with their families,” the minister said.

Some of the foreigners killed during the military-backed operations, whom the government is claiming were Al-Qaeda members, were working for non-governmental organizations.

When asked about the role of the provincial government with regard to the ongoing campaign in the Tribal and Northern Areas against the alleged international terrorists, he said: “We have not been taken into confidence before starting this campaign, what to talk about collaborating with them.”

He criticized the centre for projecting the NWFP government to the outer world as fanatic, extremist and anti-women.

Industrialists and landlords have had held this country hostage for the last more than five decades and with the increasing popularity of the MMA, they are feeling threatened, hence have embarked upon a vilification campaign against the NWFP government, he said.

Earlier, during his speech, the chief minister urged the new students of the IIU to work day and night otherwise they would be left behind in this world of competition.

Being appreciative of the IIU for its wide range of subjects it offers to students, Mr Durrani said such institutions played an important role in nation building.

He asked the newcomers not to be impressed by western world’s unnecessary liberal ideas and advised them to stick to Islamic traditions.

Referring to the Shariat Bill which the provincial assembly had overwhelmingly passed, the chief minister said the provincial government was taking every possible measure to ensure that a person led his life according to Islamic principles.

He also spoke on the Legal Framework Order (LFO) and termed it a list of powers which had nothing to do with a democratic society. Sooner or later, it (LFO) has to go and the MMA will keep on struggling for the restoration of the 1973 Constitution, the chief minister said.

The IIU vice-president, Mehmood Ghazi, speaking on the occasion, lauded the NWFP government for taking bold steps to restore a true Islamic culture in the province.

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