The future of more than 600 Pakistani politicians at stake
LAHORE - Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said on Saturday that closing doors of dialogue with the government by the JUI-F could damage democracy.
Speaking at a press conference at the Railways Headquarters here, he said that JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman had not yet announced any sit-in; however, he could not become a prime minister in any case. He said that more than 600 politicians would face consequences in case democracy was derailed due to the Mualana's protest.
He said that Fazlur Rehman's protest would damage Kashmir issue also by diverting the attention of people from atrocities of Indian forces in the occupied Kashmir.
The minister said that the government was ready to provide face-saving to the Maulana and Prime Minister Imran Khan had made a committee for dialogue with the JUI-F.
Sh Rashid said that the nation had not forgotten when the Maulana offered his services to the US for becoming prime minister besides resolving the Afghanistan issue.
He alleged that Fazlur Rehman used Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto Shaheed for his personal interests.
"I am not worried about Fazlur Rehman, I am worried about madrasas and the Ulema who are already a target of Western media," he said. The minister said that madrassas were symbols of Islam but what was Fazl expressing through baton wielders who looked like terrorists. He alleged that Fazlur Rehman had never visited the tomb of Hazrat Quaid-e-Azam (RA), but he considered it an honour for him when he visited Sikh's golden temple. He said that all politicians of opposition could be settled down if today Imran announced an NRO, which he would never announce at any cost. To a question, Sh Rashid said that time was an important factor in politics, adding that those institutions were worried about national solidarity as well as about the expected anarchy in the country.
"Whenever, Ulema ran any movement, martial law was imposed," he added. He said that politicians should use their brains that the current situation was not suitable for any protest. "I am representative of religion, but the all Muslim countries are under pressure currently," he said.
He hoped that some other way out would be found out before the start of the proposed 'Azadi march'. To another question, he said that Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari were supporting Fazl, but it would not bring about any change in the ruling set-up and Prime Minister Imran would complete his five-year term. He said that nothing was permanent in politics and political friends and foes keep changing in the changing times. He said that it was Imran who talked of the State of Madina for the first time in Pakistan, otherwise all political leaders always talked about bringing liberalism or something else. "It is also for the first time that Pakistan is enjoying pleasant situation when Prime Minister Imran and Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa are on the same page as far as running of the state affairs was concerned," he added. He said that National Action Plan was also under progress and everyone should be careful regarding national security.
The minister said that a new movement was being initiated in India, which would affect that country at large scale. However, he regretted that the opposition leadership in Pakistan was providing an opportunity to the Indian government to slow down that movement.
"No doubt there is inflation in the country, but Nawaz, Zardari and Shehbaz are responsible for this inflation, who destroyed the economy and looted the national wealth," he added.
However, he said that economy was showing positive signs due to efforts of the incumbent government. He expressed his optimism that economy would improve within three years.