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Fazl demands Nawaz’s release after video leak

Updated July 13, 2019

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Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — Dawn/File
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — Dawn/File

PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Friday called for the immediate release of the jailed former premier, Nawaz Sharif, after the emergence of videos involving an accountability court judge.

Talking to reporters here at his party’s provincial headquarters, the JUI-F chief said following the release of a string of judge’s videos, Nawaz Sharif’s sentence and cases against PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari had lost meaning, so they should be scrapped.

He said the removal of accountability judge Arshad Malik was an admission of the judge’s weakness on part of the judiciary.

Says those detained by NAB are political prisoners

Mr Fazl said the recent events had exposed accountability courts’ judgments and therefore, no one would call the NAB a fair accountability body.

He said those detained by the NAB were political prisoners.

“The state apparatus, including NAB, has lost its moral standing,” he said.

Regarding the opposition’s bid to remove the Senate chairman, the JUI-F chief said the opposition had majority in the Upper House of Parliament, so it had the right to move a no- confidence motion against the chairman.

He said the opposition’s right to remove the Senate chairman should be acknowledged and that no institution should intervene in the entire process.

Regarding the ruling PTI’s no-trust motion against the Senate’s deputy chairman, Mr Fazl said the government didn’t have minority in the house, so it didn’t the right to move such motion.

He said the government was resorting to horse-trading.

The JUI-F chief said his party would fully support the traders’ countrywide strike against taxes today (Saturday) and directed his party’s workers to support protesters and participate in demonstrations.

He said the opposition parties were united and their workers should step out together with people against the oppressive government.

Mr Fazl said the ‘third force’ shouldn’t stand with the PTI government.

He questioned the logic of deputing the army soldiers inside polling stations in the merged tribal districts elections and said it was meant to intimidate voters and influence balloting.

“Perhaps, all this is meant to repeat the July 25, 2018, election rigging,” he said.

The JUI-F chief said fair and free polls couldn’t be expected under the PTI government and in the presence of soldiers in polling stations.

He said though it was of no use, his party was contesting elections in merged districts just to stay in touch with the people.

Mr Fazl said the PTI government was not legitimate, so the ruling party had no right to stay in power.

He resented media curbs and said his party stood with journalists in their struggle for media freedoms.

Published in Dawn, July 13th, 2019