PESHAWAR: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief and head of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Saturday said the opposition is against the government, not the establishment.
Fazlur Rehman said the Transparency International findings about corruption in Pakistan and Broadsheet issue had exposed the real face of the government. He said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government should be ousted from power at the earliest to pave the way for fresh elections.
Addressing a news conference here, the JUI-F chief said the government had failed on all fronts. “All the institutions in the country have suffered badly during the government’s so-called harbinger of change,” he said.
“Poverty and price-hike had broken all the records of Pakistan’s history and the very existence of the state looks in danger,” Fazlur Rehman said, adding that the country was on the verge of collapse owing to the wrong economic policies of the PTI government.
He maintained that the Transparency International in its recent report had shown the actual face of those claiming to be the champions of anti-corruption. He said the Broadsheet issue also exposed the performance of rulers. “This group of incompetent rulers has caused huge losses to the country,” he alleged.
The Maulana said the PDM was united and moving towards its goal in a successful manner. “A big gathering would be arranged in Muzaffarabad on February 05 to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir under the aegis of PDM. Another big gathering would be arranged in Hyderabad on February 09,” he added.
The JUI-F leader said the PDM arranged big power shows from Bannu to Loralai and they would stand united till the achievement of their common goal. He maintained that the PDM was fighting for a national cause and for the purpose they were ready to render every sacrifice.
Fazlur Rehman said the opposition parties were at war with the government, not the establishment. “Though we have grievances, we are not fighting with the establishment rather it is fighting with us. We request it to stay away from this fight and perform its constitutional role as an institution. It should not take sides in the political struggle,” he added.
The Maulana said they had complaints against their own army and not against the army of the enemy. “If the institution is doing something wrong, we would point it out and it is our right to do so. We have similar complaints against the Election Commission, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the army,” he pointed out.
About the upcoming Senate elections, he said the PDM initially believed that when all the opposition parties tender resignations and Sindh Assembly would cease to exist the electoral college for Senate would be dissolved and new general elections would be held. “When we consulted the legal experts of different political parties and found out that the electoral college for Senate won’t break with the dissolution of one assembly, therefore, we changed our strategy and decided to take part in the Senate elections as well as the assembly by-polls,” he explained.
The Senate was an important institution in the federation and by staying away from the elections, the PDM doesn’t want to give a walkover to the incompetent rulers, he said, adding that the Senate will be filled with the same incompetent people if the opposition did not contest.
About the foreign funding case of the PTI, he said the ruling party was telling lies about it. He said their petition was still there in the Supreme Court in which they have sought an in-camera trial of the case. He said the Election Commission too has confessed that they cannot make the case public owing to pressure from the PTI. “We are not afraid of accountability. They are caught in the web of accountability and would have to face consequences,” the Maulana argued.
To a question about possible repealing of the 18th Amendment, he said any such bid may cause disintegration of the country and contribute further to the sense of deprivation in the federating units.
The Maulana also spoke again the merger of tribal areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said that mere names have been changed as the system remains the same. He stressed that the decision of merging the tribal districts with the province should be revisited.
Fazlur Rehman also criticised the foreign policy of the current government and claimed it had isolated Pakistan. “China is not happy with the government policy about the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The new administration in the United States also wants promotion of democratic values in the country,” he maintained.