Fazl says his party not interested in PA opposition leader’s slot

Published February 28, 2024
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks to reporters at the provincial secretariat of his party in Peshawar on Tuesday. — White Star
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks to reporters at the provincial secretariat of his party in Peshawar on Tuesday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday said his party would neither become part of any government nor was it interested in the opposition leader’s position in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Talking to reporters at the JUI-F’s headquarters here after the meeting of the party’s provincial leadership, Mr Fazl said his party didn’t want to join the government.

“It is our principled stance that we will not become part of any government,” he said.

The JUI-F leader also said his party was not interested in the opposition leader’s position in the KP Assembly.

He said his party would stay away from the presidential polls as well.

Insists the ‘system’ will collapse

“We have not been pushed out of the system, and rather, we have decided to stay out of it,” he said.

Mr Fazl said his party didn’t want to “see politicians rely” on the security establishment.

He, however, said the establishment wielded authority and was determined to see both assemblies and their members of their own choosing.

The JUI-F chief added that the establishment was even asking political parties to field particular candidates for key slots.

He said parliament should represent the people and not the establishment.

Mr Fazl said the upcoming government won’t be able to steer the country out of crises.

“This system will collapse,” he said.

The JUI-F leader said his party had fought for the country, but the establishment treated it badly.

“The establishment is to blame for rigging in the Feb 8 general elections,” he said.

Mr Fazl said if polls weren’t rigged, then what happened to the “May 9 narrative” and that the powers-that-be should acknowledge that the nation had voted for a “rebel.”

When asked about the JUI-F’s disassociation from parliamentary politics, he said only the party’s central general council had the powers to make such a decision.

The JUI-F chief said views of the party’s all four provincial chapters would be placed before the general council in its next meeting.

To another question, he said it was not wise to involve the International Monetary Fund in Pakistan’s every issue, as the way the global lender had handled the country so far was not good.

Regarding his party’s engagement with the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Mr Fazl said he welcomed the PTI’s move.

“We have differences about them [PTI] and have reservations regarding their agenda and ways. We both have many obstacles to overcome,” he said.

He said whenever a political force showed willingness to address the other’s reservations, dialogue took place.

“There is a long way to go before we [JUI-F and PTI] resolve our differences, but it is a good beginning, “he said.

Mr Fazl said he never liked to see politicians go to jail.

He claimed that the people did not subscribe to the notion that voters had rejected his party.

“We know our strength,” he said.

Without naming names, he said those having issues with his party’s Islamic credentials did not want to see its members in large numbers in assemblies.

The JUI-F leader insisted that the establishment and the ruling elite were opposed to the introduction of Islamic laws in the country.

He said his party helped spread anti-Americanism in the region after 9/11, and therefore, world forces were not interested in seeing its members go to assemblies.

Mr Fazl also claimed that his role in brokering peace between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban didn’t sit well with the West.

Published in Dawn, February 28th, 2024

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