Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Thursday said that while he respected the courts, he must question the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s suo moto notice over Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s “legitimate authority” to transfer government officials.
“With due respect, I want to make a complaint and raise a question for the respectable apex court and its judges,” he said. “What prompted you to take suo moto notice? Who asked you to do this? You never took notice when one of your own judges was raising so many questions during the previous government,” he said, referring to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led government’s reference against Justice Qazi Faez Isa. “You never took notice when former FIA chief, Bashir Memon, disclosed the pressure from [former prime minister] Imran Khan for false cases against opposition leaders. Through such moves, you are undermining your respect and dignity,” he added.
Addressing a rally in Karachi to condemn the harassment of government ministers by PTI supporters at the Masjid-e-Nabvi, he said courts should decide all issues in accordance with law and the Constitution, and should not come under any pressure. “If you have to take notice of the speeches at rallies, then what will happen if people from other political parties also come?” he questioned.
Accusing Khan and the PTI of deliberately “creating chaos” through fake narratives and propaganda, he said the coalition government was under immense pressure due to the “mess created by Imran Khan,” adding this could only be resolved through the unity of all “democratic political forces” and “support from the state institutions.” If, he warned, state institutions did not support its efforts, the government would not be able to proceed as needed.
“We can only come out of these crises when state institutions and true democratic forces come up with coordinated cooperation,” he said, adding that there was no need to panic. “We don’t need to come under pressure. We don’t need to get impressed by such [PTI] rallies. Things will take time, but ultimately, this country would be back on track,” he emphasized.
Directing his ire at the ousted prime minister, Rehman reiterated his allegations of Khan being “an agent of Israeli lobby” who had been “installed” in the country to change its geography. “Two things are crucial to change any country’s geography,” he said. “The first thing is political instability and then economic instability,” he said, referring to the Panama Case that eventually led to the ouster of then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif. Saying it was “staged” to provoke political instability, he claimed some “forces” had then installed Khan as Pakistan’s prime minister, which had led to economic instability.
“The nation is thankful to the character showed by the country’s political leadership, which caused this conspiracy to fail and brought down the Imran Khan government through parliamentary process,” he said.
Noting that the JUIF had always demanded that the Army should remain neutral and not interfere in the country’s politics, he slammed criticism of the armed forces over its stated policy. “Today, when the Army is within the neutral constitutional limits, certain circles are calling it animal,” he said, adding that the Army was the guardian of the state, not of any government. “The people, the Constitution, and the democratic system are the watchdogs of the government,” he said, adding that his party workers would always stand by the Army whenever needed for national security and protection of borders.
Referring to Khan’s claims of an assassination plot against him, the JUIF leader his party’s leaders had been targeted in assassinations and assassination attempts. “Imran Khan is talking about his security even after getting the security of over 300 police and Rangers personnel,” he alleged.