ISLAMABAD: Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur while levelling serious charges against Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief told a presser on Friday that Maulana Fazlur Rehman had contacts in British intelligence agency MI6 and was allegedly involved in anti-state activities besides corruption.
Addressing the press conference, which revolved around the convener of the opposition’s Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Mr Gandapur along with federal Minister for Information Senator Shibli Faraz described the JUI-F chief as the “rejected politician wearing a religious cloak to hide the wealth that he has amassed through corruption”.
In a tirade against the PDM convener two days before its planned Lahore show, Mr Gandapur, who had defeated Maulana Fazl in the 2018 election for the Dera Ismail Khan seat (NA-38) of the National Assembly by a huge margin on a Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) ticket, also challenged him to contest a re-election in his constituency if the latter believes that the 2018 general elections were rigged.
Calling him the ‘Chief of Thieves’, the minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan said: “Only the person who has the capabilities to gather wealth through illegal means and has expertise to park that ill-gotten wealth will be made the chief of the thieves.” These abilities had made him the “ring leader” of opposition party’s supremo Nawaz Sharif and others, he remarked. “I present him four sets of questions and demand that the Maulana answer them in the upcoming public gathering [of PDM in Lahore] on December 13,” Mr Gandapur said.
He asked the Maulana about reasons for allegedly keeping contacts in the British intelligence agency, MI6, and in what capacity he had met them. The JUI-F chief was further challenged to deny if he had not met the Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval while JUI-India’s Maulana Mehmood Ahmed Madni too was present in the meeting. “You should tell the nation about the contents of that meeting.”
Mr Gandapur then asked about the JUI-F’s Azadi March of November 2019 that he said harmed the cause of Kashmir due to its timing. He asked Maulana Fazl to tell the nation about his contacts with the international forces before and during the march.
The minister then touched the sensitive issue of sectarianism in Pakistan, blaming the Maulana for his involvement in pitching one sect against another.
Published in Dawn, December 12th, 2020