HYDERABAD: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) president and chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that a situation should not arise where “steps become inevitable and we involve institutions”.
He regretted that ‘institutions’ and ‘personalities’ were being named by the opposition and this situation should not have arisen.
He said it was high time Pakistan should be taken to real democracy as there was a greater need of creating a true people’s representative parliament.
He was talking to reporters after offering his condolences with JUI-F leader Maulana Taj Mohammad Nahiyoon on the sad demise of his brother here on Tuesday.
Answering a question about his position on former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s statement, Maulana Fazl said: “There are things people and journalists know regardless of the fact that someone says it clearly or not. Now the point is whether someone should be named or not.”
He said it was everyone’s belief that Imran Khan was a ‘selected’ prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf was a selected party.
“Now the point is who the selectors are,” he asked.
Says PDM doesn’t need help from any invisible force
The JUI-F chief vowed to take the PDM’s agitation forward in a legal and constitutional manner by maximising masses’ participation in it.
He said the PDM did not want to violate law or the Constitution.
“We don’t want to take help from any invisible force other than the masses,” he declared.
He said that the PDM-like movement was launched when promises made with him during his last year’s sit-in were not fulfilled. “If agreement was not honoured then the pace of this agitation would be accelerated and nobody should expect any politeness in it,” he warned.
PDM’s power shows in other cities soon
He said after the successful power shows of the opposition alliance in Gujranwala and Karachi, the PDM would hold similar events in Quetta, Peshawar, Multan and Lahore.
He said all component parties would ensure equal presence there to ensure supremacy of the Constitution.
When asked whether the narrative being built by him and Mr Sharif to name names would not reflect negatively on them, he replied: “We ourselves regret that institutions are being named. We also feel as to why such a situation has arisen and this situation should not have arisen in the first place.”
Still, he said, the opposition felt Pakistan should be taken towards a real democracy and there was a greater need to create a masses’ true representative parliament.
“It is our faith that the institutions should not be involved in politics be it establishment, bureaucracy and judiciary considering the fact that the Constitution has clearly defined their role and they should perform within its ambit,” he said, adding: “We respect the institutions as well as personalities. But, if someone with a powerful physique enters someone else’s haveli and takes it as his own, then even the weaker person of a locality would protest. Entering someone else’s area to play a role always leads to complaints.”
“We want to see national cohesion and integrity in politicians and institutions in the country,” he said.
People will send PTI govt packing
He disagreed with a questioner that the PDM as a last resort would ask some institutions to send PTI government packing. “People would send them packing,” he said.
He said the masses were fed up with the government as they were unable to make ends meet. “Poor are not able to feed their children, pay their school fees and electricity bills,” he added.
Referring to the press conference of the Sindh chief minister following the arrest and release of retired Capt Safdar, the PDM president said that a sitting government took all those steps that were legally correct and adopt the procedure accordingly.
“But, the good thing is the Sindh government has shown remorse over what had happened with Safdar and PPP regretted this,” he said.
“Now the point is when the PTI created a fuss at Quaid’s mausoleum nobody took notice of it but chanting vote ko izzat do by Capt Safdar is being equated with desecration,” he said.
“You [PTI] trespassed into his bedroom by breaking open the door where he was staying with his wife. Even woman’s privacy wasn’t kept in mind, which is neither sanctioned by law nor the Constitution,” he said referring to the police raid at the hotel room of Maryam Nawaz and her Safdar.
“Safdar’s mistake can perhaps be treated as ‘disrespect’ but in your [PTI] reaction you broke law and the Constitution. It is sheer hooliganism [Ye tu niri badmashi hay] and it can’t be accepted,” he said.
Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2020