Fazl insists PDM stands united

Published March 18, 2021
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said the opposition’s alliance stands united. — DawnNewsTV
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said the opposition’s alliance stands united. — DawnNewsTV

PESHAWAR: Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said the opposition’s alliance stands united and will announce new date for anti-government long march after receiving the response of the Pakistan Peoples Party on the issue of quitting assemblies en bloc.

After holding a marathon meeting in Islamabad, the 10-party PDM had announced the postponement of the March 26 long march on Thursday due to differences over resignations.

The PDM chief told a convention of the JUI-F lawyers here on Wednesday that the PPP had been given time for consultation to review its decision on resignation issue and the alliance was waiting for its reply.

He said in the first phase, the option of the opposition quitting the National Assembly could be considered.

“It would make no difference if we resign from the National Assembly in the first phase,” he said.

Says new date for long march to be announced after PPP response on resignation issue

Mr Fazl said the PPP should respect opinion of nine political parties and he prayed that the PPP understands the issue and stays in the PDM.

He said the PPP was a democratic party, so it should respect the opinion of majority in the PDM.

The PDM chief said the opposition had mobilised people against the government from the alliance’s platform and held massive rallies and public meetings.

He said at the time of the PDM formation, it was decided that the opposition parties would resign from assemblies en masse and it was never mentioned that the resignations would be used as a ‘last option like atom bomb’.

“In Tuesday’s meeting, only PPP didn’t favour resignations and it sought more time to discuss the matter in the party’s CEC,” he said.

Mr Fazl said the long march was postponed after deadlock over resignation and the PPP had been give time to reconsider its decision.

He said the erstwhile Fata was merged with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2018 but the federal and provincial governments didn’t fulfil its commitments with the people of merged tribal districts.

The PDM chief insisted that the government didn’t allocate funds for development schemes in the merged tribal districts.

He said before the Fata-KP merger, it was announced that Rs100 billion would be allocated annually to bring tribal districts on a par with settled areas of the country.

“The sitting government has backed out from its commitment,” he said.

Mr Fazl said his party (JUI-F) had opposed the merger plan at that time as it was against the ground realities.

He said the merger had created administrative vacuum in tribal districts and land disputes had surfaced among tribes in every district.

“Land settlement records in merged districts don’t exist sparking armed clashes among tribes and families. All political parties except JUI-F supported merger because it was a foreign agenda,” he said.

About reforms in seminaries, the JUI-F chief said religious forces were not against imparting modern and contemporary education to the students of seminaries.

He, however, said some forces were trying to weaken seminaries in the name of reforms and his party would not accept it and rulers were following foreign agenda.

Mr Fazl said the Council of Islamic Ideology had studied more than 6,000 laws and regularly submitted its recommendation about laws to parliament but they’re not incorporated in the Constitution.

Published in Dawn, March 18th, 2021

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