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Maulana Fazl’s presser: Army guardian of state, not any government, says Fazl

By Zia Ur Rehman
May 13, 2022

KARACHI: Lashing out at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led previous government for its ‘incompetence’ and ‘corruption’, Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday said that the country’s 70 years of struggle was shattered in Imran Khan’s three-and-a-half year government, whose mess could not be cleaned in three days.

“The army belongs to all of us and we always talk of its neutrality. Today when the army is within the neutral constitutional limits, certain circles call it animal, watchman and Mir Jafar,” said Rehman, who is also the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement, while addressing the Karachi Press Club’s ‘Meet the Press’ event. He said the army was the guardian of the state, not of any government. “The people, the Constitution, and democratic system

are the watchmen of the government.”

The JUI-F chief asked all the parties to collaborate to drag Pakistan out of this crisis rather than destabilizing the system. “The common man is burdened with inflation and cannot afford food, medicine, and children’s school fees.” He also said that the government will have to shuffle the bureaucracy to achieve success and overcome the issues the country had been facing.

Rehman said that today Imran Khan has been marching with a new narrative which he imitated from them but people were now aware of duplicates. “The JUI-F had carried out 14 marches against the PTI government and Azadi March among them was significant,” he said. “Institutions also acknowledged that Imran Khan was not able to govern the country.”

The JUI-F chief said that the general election will be held at a suitable time but before conducting the polls, election reforms were necessary. “Everyone has the right to hold rallies but they should avoid creating divisions in institutions.”

Rehman also alleged that the PTI government’s failed foreign policy had alienated the country’s key allies, particularly Saudi Arabia and China, and made the country isolated on the diplomatic front. “Today, Pakistan has been facing a serious setback in its international affairs as Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relations have been strained, while China has withdrawn investment because of resentment,” he said. He also said that the JUI-F opposed the United States on the basis of a cause but the PTI has been opposing it as a card.

Commenting on the agreement inked between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the PTI-led government, Rehman said that the previous government was fake and did not represent the people. “Therefore, the PML-N-led new coalition government is not under the obligation to follow it,” he said.

“After the 2018 general polls, the JUI-F had suggested the political parties not to take oath in the assemblies. But we went to the parliament anyway due to the broader consensus of all opposition parties and later on, they accepted that our opinion was correct,” he said, adding that the PTI had nothing to show for their three- and-a-half-year government other than the fake letter, which has been rejected by the National Security Committee twice.

Rehman alleged that imposing the PTI first in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and then on Pakistan was part of a conspiracy to damage the country’s culture. “Today, when we stood in the way of a specific foreign agenda, the country’s elite class and retired military and civilian officers are in pain,” Rehman said.

Karachi Press Club President Fazil Jamili, Secretary Rizwan Bhatti, JUI-F Sindh Secretary General Maulana Rashid Soomro, spokesperson Aslam Ghouri, Qari Muhammad Usman, Sami Swati and others were also present at the event.