PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday ruled out the possibility of negotiations between the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement’s leadership and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan over next elections.

“We [PDM] won’t speak to him [Imran] at any cost,” the JUI-F chief told a party meeting here.

Mr Fazl said that since Mr Imran’s long march had become a “furlong march,” the march slated to be staged on Islamabad turned to Rawalpindi, and the sit-in on “Gate No 4” was made a one-hour show at Faizabad, the PDM didn’t take the PTI chief’s ultimatums for its government on next elections seriously.

He said usually, the government invited the opposition to talks but in the PTI case, it was the opposition, which was asking the government to sit down with it.

Says prolonged PTI rule has left KP bankrupt

The JUI-F chief said he welcomed the military establishment’s decision that it would focus on its professional responsibilities.

He said the PDM’s was a national government and was working to bring the country out of crises caused by the Imran government.

Mr Fazl said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif-led federal government was struggling to restore the confidence of Pakistan’s allies in the country that was shaken by the PTI rule.

He said that the national kitty had just $2.5 billion when the PTI government was ousted in the centre.

“Pakistan faces serious crises, especially economic one, after the ruling PTI’s dismal performance for four years,” he said.

The JUI-F chief also said the nine years long rule of the PTI had left Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bankrupt.

He said that the province’s debt totalled Rs70 billion at the end of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal government and Rs110 billion when the Awami National Party quit power, but it had reached the Rs1 trillion mark during the last nine years rule of the PTI.

Mr Fazl said that when political parties held power for a long time, they carried out reforms but the PTI government did exactly the opposite as the province was left with no money even to pay the salaries of its employees.

He said that PTI chief, in a bid to hide his failures as the PM, was threatening to dissolve assemblies.

The JUI-F chief directed his party’s workers to reach out to the people.

“Our party is the future of KP,” he said.

Mr Fazl also lashed out at the US for what he said keeping Pakistan in the list of countries with poor record of religious freedom during 2022.

He said such US moves amounted to going against Pakistan’s sovereignty.

The JUI-F leader said that the US imposed a war on Afghanistan for two decades and branded Muslims as terrorists.

He wondered why the US was silent on human rights violations in the India-held Kashmir and the maltreatment of religious minoroties, including Muslims and Dalits, in India.

Mr Fazl said that Pakistani parliament was supreme and had the power to make any law, so the US or any other world power had no right to interfere in Pakistan’s internal affairs.

Published in Dawn, December 6th, 2022

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