Thursday February 29, 2024

Fazl shoots down possibility of PDM-PTI dialogue

"How can there be negotiations with a person who should not even be in politics?" asks PDM president

By Web Desk
April 20, 2023
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — ONLINE/File
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — ONLINE/File

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) President Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday shot down "any possibility negotiations" with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, in spite of the Supreme Court's recent directives to hold negotiations a day earlier.

In a hard-hitting press conference in Islamabad, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader declared that: "How can there be negotiations with a person who should not even be in politics?"

Earlier today, the apex court directed the embattled ruling and the opposition political parties to immediately create a consensus on the date of elections and update the three-member bench by 4pm. However, the head of the ruling coalition party held the presser by 4:30pm.

It is pertinent to mention here that PTI Senior Vice President Fawad Chaudhry, ahead of appearing before the bench once again, had confirmed that the PDM had not yet contacted the Imran Khan-led party for talks. 

In the hard-hitting conference, the PDM chief slammed the Supreme Court of being partial in the matter.

He asked: “Is this a court or a panchayat?”

Maulana Fazl said: “The court wants us to agree on a date for the elections. According to the Constitution, it is mandatory to hold elections within 90 days, but if Imran Khan agrees on a date, then it is right.”

He added, “The court should clarify its position on the matter.”

The JUI-F chief declared that the apex court should abide by the rules set by parliament. “The authority under which the court is pressuring us is no longer its authority.

Parliament has no confidence in the bench, he added. “More than one resolution has been passed and the Attorney General has informed them that we have no confidence in the bench.”

“Should I appear in front of the bench on which there is no confidence?” he demanded.

Discussing the apex court’s role in the election fiasco in the country, the PDM chief called the SC’s behaviour as “oppressive”.

“We are not ready to accept this oppression of the court,” he said. “We call this entire process a non-political process.”

He demanded to know how long people would have to continue being misled and blackmailed by these things.

He further said: “There was a time when it was said to talk under the shadow of a gun. Today, we are being forced to negotiate in front of the hammer.”

“We accept justice, we will not accept your hammer,” he said.

“Bilawal Bhutto visited me yesterday to offer his condolences on the death of Mufti Abdul Shakoor,” the JI leader said.

He further added that he had met Bilawal in person and had spoken to PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on the phone, adding that he had also held telephonic conversations with PML-N leadership and ministers.

The PDM chief said that if the apex court tried to impose decisions by force, they would turn to the “people's court.”

If they are willing to be such biased parties, he said, they should come into politics. "Then we will know how much water they are in."

Maulana Fazl then lambasted the PTI chief and said, “Imran Khan is facing four/five cases in various courts and he may be disqualified soon.”

“He should tell us about his performance during his three-and-a-half years in power.”

Lamenting on the state of the country and the debilitating economic crisis, he said the nation is stuck in a swamp.

“The State Bank has gone to IMF, which has the power to fluctuate prices,“ he said.

Claiming that strong legislation alone could provide people relief, the PDM chief said: “It is no longer in your power to increase or decrease the value of the rupee.”