LAHORE: Vowing to protect rights of workers and landless peasants as pledged in its manifesto, the JUI-F organised an impressive political show at Minar-i-Pakistan on Sunday.
“We have brought a manifesto of Islam that guarantees rights of workers and haris,” the chief of the party, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, said at what was termed “Islam Zindabad Conference”.
The meeting, JUI-F’s first show of power in Lahore in a decade, was attended by a large number of people, most of them students and teachers of madressahs in Lahore, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalpur, Faisalabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Maulana Fazl severely criticised the previous government for “formulating flawed policies which have led to a severe energy crisis. “It is not the shortage of gas and electricity but a matter pertaining to management of resources. We have adequate gas reserves for at least 20 to 25 years. But incompetent rulers, instead of exploring or utilising these resources, signed a gas agreement with Iran, only to pocket heavy commissions,” he alleged.
Similarly, he said, the country had sufficient resources for generating electricity but the “corrupt” rulers preferred agreements with foreign companies and sold electricity at heavy rates.
“Our rulers are never punished despite being incompetent and corrupt,” the JUI-F leader said.
He blamed the incompetence of the rulers who allowed India to construct dams on Pakistan’s rivers.
Criticising the foreign policy, he lashed out at the previous government for concentrating on terrorism.
“Kashmir has become an issue of least priority… As chairman of the parliamentary committee on Kashmir affairs, I am witness to this deviation.”
He said better relations with India should be subject to resolution of the Kashmir issue. Talking about minorities’ rights, he said only a welfare state as envisaged by Islam could protect the rights of minorities. He said his party wanted an Islamic welfare state which would ensure that the minority communities lived peacefully.
About the taxation system, he claimed that his party wanted to introduce a system to help poor people instead of letting them only to pay heavy taxes.
The rally was addressed also by Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Ali Sher Haidri and Akram Khan Durrani.