Home Latest News JUIF Chief Calls for Parliament of ‘Only’ Voters’ Representatives

JUIF Chief Calls for Parliament of ‘Only’ Voters’ Representatives

Fazlur Rehman says he is not ‘obliged’ to respect anyone who violates their oath as a soldier

by Staff Report
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman

File photo, courtesy JUIF

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Saturday continued his criticism of the security establishment, accusing it of interfering in politics and demanding Parliament be restricted to the people’s representatives and not any other group or institution.

The JUIF failed to secure significant numbers in the Feb. 8 general elections, resulting in Rehman “rejecting” the results and accusing the incumbent government of not representing the public mandate and demanding fresh elections free of any “interference.” Since then, the JUIF leader has refused to join the coalition government and maintained he would stage nationwide protests against the incumbent setup—though he has stopped short of joining a similar campaign of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Addressing a rally in Muzaffargarh, he said it was the public’s right to choose its own representatives and no one had the authority to interfere with this process. “You cannot keep making a mockery of people’s rights and disparage the value of their votes while sitting in the comforts of your palace,” he said in a message to “powerful quarters.”

Accusing the current Parliament of belonging to the “establishment,” he stressed the JUIF respected all institutions and wanted Parliament to primarily be a representative body of the people. Unfortunately, he alleged, the incumbent Parliament was not independent and did not represent democracy. Noting every soldier was required to take oath to stay away from politics, he said violating this negated their status as soldiers. “I am not obliged to respect you [in this situation],” he added.

Rehman also continued to defend Afghanistan, despite both the civilian and military leaderships repeatedly lamenting the terrorism against Pakistan that emanates from across the Durand Line. Alleging that security forces were blaming Afghanistan for their failure to eliminate terrorism to “cover up” their own deficiencies, he questioned why terrorists were not being stopped at the border.

Vowing to continue his protests across Pakistan, he said the JUIF would stage a “massive” rally at Minar-e-Pakistan in Lahore on Sept. 7.

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