JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman alleged that the government itself had created controversy over the commission on Abbottabad raid in order to avoid investigations. – File Photo

ISLAMABAD: JUI-F leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman has reneged on his party’s support for the Independent Commission on the Abbottabad US raid, and said that in his “personal opinion” it is against the “national interest”.

“If the commission finds the military in the wrong it will be Pakistan that will suffer, not the military leadership,” he said while talking to reporters on Sunday outside his official residence in the Ministers’ Enclave after a meeting of his party’s central majlis-i-shoora.

He alleged that the government itself had created controversy over the commission in order to avoid investigations.

Maulana Fazl said he had not attended the May 14 joint session of both houses of parliament which had adopted a resolution asking the government to set up the commission. Had he attended the session, he would have opposed the resolution, he added.

The government announced on May 31 the setting up of a five-member commission headed by Justice Javed Iqbal of the Supreme Court to investigate the May 2 covert US commando operation.

However, the announcement triggered controversies, it was rejected by the PML-N, Justice Javed Iqbal said he would head the commission only if Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry allowed him to do so and Justice (retd) Fakharuddin G.

Ebrahim said he would not like to be its member.

The commission is expected to start its work because the government has already set up its secretariat.

The JUI-F chief said if the commission blamed the armed forces for being negligent, it would result in isolation of the defence forces.

Maulana Fazl said the process of reconciliation being pursued in Afghanistan through a Pakistan-Afghan commission should also be initiated in Pakistan. He said the JUI-F believed that the policy of using force to eliminate terrorism had failed in both countries.

He warned against a military operation in North Waziristan.

“The army will launch a suicide attack on itself if it launches the operation,” he said.

Maulana Fazl called for a review of the foreign policy and the policy of war against terrorism. He said the government would be responsible for “bloodshed and lawlessness” in the country if it did not review the policies.

The JUI-F chief said that the revival of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal had become indispensable. Despite having reservations over the attitude of the Jamaat-i-Islami, he said, the JUI-F had authorised him to contact leaders of the component parties of the non-functional alliance and he would soon convene an informal meeting. It will be the first formal attempt to revive the MMA since the JUI-F quitting the government in December last year.

Efforts made earlier to revive the alliance had failed because the Jamaat-i-Islami put the condition that the JUI-F should first leave the ruling coalition.

Contacts between the two parties were revived in May last year in the wake of a three-day meeting of Deobandi leaders held in Lahore as part of reconciliation among religious parties. About 150 leaders representing different Deobandi groups, seminaries and political parties attended the meeting.

The objectives of the conference, according to some participants, were to discuss factors which engendered terrorism, “organise a movement for the enforcement of Shariat through peaceful and democratic means” and “draw public attention to the need for defending Pakistan’s sovereignty and security”. The meeting failed to reach a unanimous stand against suicide attacks in the country.

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