ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday asked his political aides to keep open a ‘channel of dialogue’ with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman who has given a call for a sit-in against the government on Oct 31 in the federal capital.
PM Khan gave these instructions during a meeting with government’s spokespersons at the Prime Minister Office (PMO).
When contacted, a spokesman for the prime minister, who was also attended the meeting, said a proposal was floated that the government must reach out to the JUI-F chief to ascertain demands of his party and it should not go for a deadlock on the issue.
JUI-F chief will not be stopped from staging sit-in
It was also decided in the meeting that Maulana Fazl, who will kick off his agitation programme known as Azadi March from Sindh on Oct 27 and will reach Islamabad on Oct 31, would not be stopped from staging the sit-in in the federal capital, but in case protesters turned unruly they would be dealt with sternly.
“The prime minister’s response was clear that there is no harm in reaching out to the Maulana to avoid any deadlock,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said the prime minister was of the view that the JUI-F chief was toeing the line of the two main opposition parties — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
The spokesman quoted the prime minister as saying: “The Maulana is toeing the line of the PML-N and PPP because he is struggling for his own livelihood.”
The meeting noted that both the PPP and PML-N, which remained in power two and three times, respectively, had now reached a stage that they were compelled to seek help of smaller parties in the country.
The meeting observed that the JUI-F chief had used different cards on different occasions and this time the Maulana was using the religion card by bringing innocent students of seminaries to the sit-in, but expressed the hope that “this time the Maulana’s agitation plan will prove to be his waterloo”.
Meanwhile, federal Minister for Religious Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri on Friday clarified that he had not been tasked by the prime minister with holding talks with Maulana Fazlur Rehman.
In a statement, the minister said there was no truth in the news being run on the media that the prime minister had tasked him with forming a committee to look into the matter.
Media reports also hinted that Maulana Fazl would not be allowed to enter the federal capital and could be arrested in Punjab or Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It is believed that the Sindh government, where the PPP is in power, will facilitate the JUI-F chief to start the Azadi March.
Maulana Fazal is expected to unveil the next plan of action after reaching Islamabad. Thousands of students of seminaries are expected to take part in the protest.
Pakistan Citizen Portal
Separately, the PM Office announced that the Pakistan Citizen Portal (PCP) had emerged as an effective platform for redressal of public grievances, especially complaints relating to government offices where inordinate delay and apathy of officials hampered efforts for good governance.
Launched by the prime minister on Oct 28 last year, the portal received 1.23 million complaints from 1.173 million registered users so far within just 11 months of its existence.
According to data released by the PMO, most of the complaints received by the portal were related to municipal services (256,867 complaints), followed by the energy and power sector (210,259), education (124,362), health (71,562), law & order (70,066) and land and revenue departments (47,435).
From Punjab, the portal received a total of 447,921 complaints. Of these, 38 per cent complaints were related to municipal services, 11 per cent were about education and 10 per cent were about law and order.
From KP, a total of 109,806 complaints were received. Of these, 25 per cent complaints were made against municipal services, 19 per cent were about education and 12 per cent related to the health sector.
From Sindh, the portal received a total of 92,648 complaints. Of these, 47 per cent complaints were about bad municipal services, 10 per cent complaints were about citizen’s rights and only eight per cent complaints related to the education sector.
From Balochistan, 7,378 complaints were received and most of them were related to municipal services, education and health sectors.
The portal, connected with over 7,000 government offices, had helped address 1.057 million complaints so far and the rest were being addressed, the PMO said.
Several people giving their feedback seemed to be satisfied with the quick action taken by the authorities concerned to their issues registered at the portal, the announcement said.
Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2019