ISLAMABAD: The interior ministry denied on Monday that Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan had made any commitment with Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) leader Allama Nasir Abbas for ending a hunger strike.

Commenting on a statement of Allama Abbas, a ministry spokesman said the interior minister had not made any promise to the MWM chief.

Chaudhry Nisar had gone to a hospital on Aug 5 to inquire after the health of Allama Abbas, the spokesman said, adding that he had only pledged to help the MWM take up its issues with the provincial governments, without any pre-conditions from the party.

He said Chaudhry Nisar was trying to find a solution to the MWM’s demand for ending the protest while also guiding the government in tackling the national issues.

However, giving a wrong meaning to the good faith of the minister was deplorable, he said.

The statement was a reaction to the MWM leader’s claim that he had ended the hunger strike after 86 days following a commitment by the federal government.

It came days before the MWM’s plan to stage a sit-in outside the Chief Minister House in Lahore against what it called corruption, lawlessness and repression. It also warned that if the demands were not met before Sept 2 — the proposed date for the protest — the MWM would consider other options, including collaboration with other parties.

Main demands of the MWM include a national operation against the involvement of ‘Takfiri terrorists in Shia genocide’, action by the state and military against widespread killings of members of the community, immediate action against banned groups operating with new names, referring cases of attacks against Shias to military courts, lifting the ban on intra-district travel of scholars and withdrawal of ‘invalid’ FIRs against them.

Published in Dawn, August 30th, 2016

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