Fazl asks army to leave merged districts, shun role in politics

Published May 10, 2024
JUI-F activists hold party flags at a rally in Peshawar on Thursday. — White Star
JUI-F activists hold party flags at a rally in Peshawar on Thursday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said here on Thursday that the army should leave merged districts and put an end to its role in politics.

He was addressing a big public gathering arranged by JUI-F on Dalazak Road to protest the alleged rigging in February 8 general elections. He subjected military and its political role to harsh criticism.

The JUI-F chief said that army should now leave the merged areas. He said that time was over for expressing sympathy in the garb of military operations. He said that tribesmen were destroyed in the name of restoring peace during 15 years long military operations.

Mr Rehman said that he had been opposing military operations since day one. He said that if he was wrong in opposing military operations then why terrorism and terrorists were still there.

JUI-F chief announces holding next public meeting in Punjab on June 1

He said that Pakistani government fenced the Pak-Afghan border and claimed that it would stop the movement of terrorists. He alleged that 40,000 people went to Afghanistan to fight there and then returned to Pakistan by destroying the fence.

Responding to the press conference of ISPR director general, Mr Rehman said that the official spoke for about three hours but there was no clarity as to what he was saying. He said that ISPR director general was though giving the impression of addressing someone else, however, at the same time he was trying to respond to his [Mr Rehman] criticism.

“He is saying that army has no role in politics but I want to tell him that Constitution, laws and rules do not allow him to discuss politics,” he said. He added that army men became a subject of criticism when they violated their oath and took part in politics.

“I have been in politics for 45 years. I claim that you have taken part in politics, therefore, you are not soldier of Pakistan and thus do not earn my respect,” said the JUI-F chief. He said that army had no role in creation of Pakistan as it was built by people.

“Your role is in the breakup of the country in 1971 which brought the infamy to this nation,” he said. He added that army should stop taking part in politics role and return to its original role.

Mr Rehman said that his fears regarding the Fata merger had come true. He said that Fata could neither become settled nor remained tribal after its merger with the province.

He said that federal government promised to spend Rs1 trillion on development of the region over a period of a decade, however, in eight years only Rs100 billion was spent in former Fata.

The JUI-F chief said that Pakistani government failed to make a proper statement on the Gaza war. He said that Israel was bombing civilian areas and killing innocent women and children. “More than 40,000 people have been martyred in indiscriminate Israeli bombing of civilian population,” he added.

He said that his party rejected the assemblies and government, which came into existence owing to rigged elections. He also announced a public meeting in Muzzafarghar area of Punjab on June 1.

Other JUI-F leaders including Maualana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Maulana Attaur Rehman, Rashid Mehmood Somroo and Asad Mehmood also addressed the gathering.

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2024

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