Fazlur Rehman ‘endeavours’ to forge alliance


LAHORE: In continuity of his efforts to cobble together religious parties in an alliance, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazal) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday visited JUP President Pir Ijaz Hashmi and other leaders here. The Maulana had called on Jamaat-i-Islami emir Sirajul Haq on Monday. Talking to reporters after his meeting with Mr Hashmi, he reiterated his desire to set up a platform of Islamist parties to counter the ‘conspiracies being hatched to secularise the country’.

Says contacting religious leaders to resolve their mutual differences

Terming (PTI chairman) Imran Khan and (Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader) Tahirul Qadri the representatives of ‘western secular ideology’, he said to block them was the utmost responsibility of religious parties of the country.

He said religious parties had been cornered and were under pressure for being blamed for extremism in the country. A joint strategy was need of the hour to cope with the situation, he added.

The JUI-F chief said he was contacting religious leaders to resolve their mutual differences and create an atmosphere conducive to forging national unity and solidarity.

He said the prevailing political and security situation also figured in his talks with the JUP leadership.

Fazlur Rehman said peace negotiations with the Taliban had come to an end as a fierce military operation had been launched in North Waziristan in which scores of innocent people, including women and children, had been killed, while their houses, crops and cattle destroyed.

Saying that without the establishment’s nod no political government could hold peace talks with the Taliban, he added that so far the powers that be did not seem to be in a mood to engage the militants in talks.

Mr Hashmi regretted that successive governments frustrated the people by not enforcing Sharia and the Constitution, and adopting ad hoc policies for their own interests.

He said Nawaz’s visit to India would remain unsuccessful unless the core issue of Kashmir was resolved.

He said the present media crisis was the product of non-journalist anchors, who were alien to the norms of the profession.

jamaat: The Jamaat-i-Islami has demanded recovery of Pakistan’s money stashed in foreign banks and fixing Rs15,000 as minimum wages for workers.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Punjab JI chief and MPA Dr Waseem Akhtar demanded the government bring back more than $200 billion plundered from the country by corrupt politicians and bureaucrats and deposited in Swiss banks.

He also demanded raising the minimum wages to Rs15,000 and 50pc raise in salaries and pensions of government employees.

Seeking a change in taxation policy, the Jamaat leader suggested fixing 75 and 25 as the ratio of direct and indirect taxes, respectively. All kinds of income, including from farms, which was above Rs600,000 should be brought into the tax net while doing away with sales tax on agriculture inputs, he said.

Dr Akhtar sought interest-free loans up to Rs500,000 for unemployed youth and payment of Rs3,000 and Rs5,000 per month as unemployment allowance to graduates and postgraduates until they secured a job.

Meanwhile, Jamaat-i-Islami Secretary-General Liaquat Baloch criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to India, saying it proved counter-productive “as expected” and created more problems for the country.