JUI to resist hanges in blasphemy laws

May 26, 2004

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LAHORE, May 25: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, whose amir Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been appointed opposition leader in the National Assembly, declared on Tuesday that the party would not allow the government to make any change to the blasphemy laws or the Hudood Ordinance.

In case the ruling party took any such step, the JUI would take the matter to the electorate, the party's central and provincial executives decided at a joint three-day meeting In Nathiagali.

According to a press release issued in Lahore, the party decided to step up its struggle to make the entire 1973 constitution Islamic and democratic. Maulana Fazlur Rehman told the meeting that under the 17th constitutional amendment, Gen Pervez Musharraf was bound to quit as army chief by the end of the year and if he did not honour his word, the JUI would launch a movement.

Referring to the elements who are advising Gen Musharraf not to don off his uniform to ensure stability of the country, the JUI chief said such people wanted to take the country off the democratic course.

The participants expressed concern over the law and order situation, saying murders, dacoities and the price hike had thrown the nation into a state of depression. The Maulana said that the MMA was the real opposition and it would play its role in the parliament.