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Fazl yet to endorse PCNS recommendations

March 22, 2012

PESHAWAR, March 22: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that he will endorse the recommendations of Parliamentary Committee on National Security (PCNS) after discussing the same within his party and with other opposition leaders.

Talking to journalists here on Thursday, he said that he had called a meeting of opposition parties in Islamabad on Saturday to hold debate on the recommendations, which were presented in the joint session of the parliament.

"Definitely, I have attended meetings of the committee and put my signature on the recommendations, but it does not mean that I have given my full assent to the document," said Mr Rehman when asked as to why he had called a meeting to discuss the recommendations when he had attended all sessions of the committee and signed its deliberations.

“I have given my signature for attending meetings of the committee, not for endorsing the recommendations,” he remarked. He said that parliament was being used as a rubber stamp.

He said that parliament had already passed two unanimous resolutions but the result was nil. He said that opposition benches did not play their due role.

Mr Rehman termed it a positive sign that parliament had been given the task to chalk out guidelines for an independent foreign policy. He said that rulers had realised flaws in the policies. "This is very unfortunate that jingoistic culture is promoted in the country," he added.

The JUI-F chief said that he would discuss the recommendations with his party's parliamentary committee before meeting with the opposition parties. He was of the view that nation should not get emotional about those recommendations and should take political decisions.

Mr Rehman said that stopping drone attacks and restoration of supplies for Nato forces in Afghanistan were major issues, which had put America in trouble. He said that the US was pressurising Pakistan to allow supplies for Nato in Afghanistan, but leaders would have to face the pressure.

To a query, he said that parliament couldn't stop drone attacks in tribal areas. During a meeting of the parliamentary committee a letter of the army chief was circulated wherein he had ordered troops deployed along the western border to give matching response to the intruders, he added.

"Don't look behind and take action on the spot against intruders," said Mr Rehman while quoting the letter. He added that despite clear order there was no letup in drone attacks.

The JUI-F chief said that militancy would fade away if Pakistan parted ways with the US-led alliance formed in the name of war against terrorism.

He said that insurgents would have no justification for their activities, if Pakistan pulled itself out of the alliance. He said that Pakistanis should not be considered mercenaries.

He said that Pakistan had incurred over $70 billion losses and over 40,000 innocent people had lost their lives during the lost one decade. Mr Rehman lost his temper when a questioner quoted a recent gallop survey in America, saying Pakistan Tehrik- i-Insaf was ranked on top in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with 44 per cent followed by Awami National Party with 14 per cent and JUI-F on third place.

"These surveys are jokes with this nation. We live here and know everything better than others," he said and alleged that American and Jewish lobbies were active to bring its agents into power.

"People know about meeting between Imran Khan and Joe Biden," he remarked and claimed that his party was emerging major political force in the country. He said that masses considered JUI-F as a substitute for the future that was why people were joining his party.

Mr Rehman said that JUI-F had organised big show in Karachi that astonished political pundits. The JUI-F has planned to hold a rally in Peshawar on Sunday next. Preparations are underway for the rally and organisers are expecting participation of one million people.