Feb 20, 2009

‘Bullet rather than ballot brought Swat Sharia deal’

Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that the proposed implementation of Nifaz-e-Sharia in Swat has conveyed to the world that legislation is not tolerable through democratic ballot, but by use of force.Speaking at the Meet the Press programme at Karachi Press Club on Thursday, he said that the enforcement of Nizam-e-Adal was not a new development in the country. Sharia Tehreek was started in 1994 after PATA (Provincially Administered Tribal Areas) regulations were repealed, and an agreement was signed to implement Sharia, he said. In 1999, an agreement was signed and the then NWFP government tried to enact legislation through parliament, but the Musharraf government challenged it in the Supreme Court, which omitted some clauses.In 2002, the MMA government introduced the Hasba Bill in the NWFP Assembly, but it was highly criticized by the powers that be, he said. “We had introduced the Hasba Bill after marathon consultations with all stakeholders, and we had made ensured that none of the clauses of the bill clashed with injunctions of the Constitution of Pakistan or provincial laws.” He added however that so-called democrats had torn copies of the Hasba Bill when it was passed by the parliament. Rehman said that the government has no writ in any area of the NWFP, even in Peshawer, since it has failed to control the law-and-order situation in the province. “Law enforcement personnel have to hide their identity to save their own lives”. He said that those terming Sharia as “Moulvi’s martial law” are making a mockery of democracy.Welcoming the Nizam-e-Adal system in Swat, he questioned why the system could not be implemented across the country, as he claimed, Pakistan was created in the name of Islam. “The government has signed a deal with the people of Swat, and we hope that it would be implemented in letter and spirit,” he said. “The announcement of the peace accord in Swat has cast a positive psychological impact on the people and they are celebrating the ceasefire in the valley.” Regretting that the new generation of the country was unaware about Sharia law, he demanded that the government implement Islamic laws in accordance with the recommendations of Council of Islamic Ideology. The JUI-F chief said that when MMA was in power in NWFP, conventions were held in all four provinces, while the Ulema Council also adopted recommendations passed by the Council of Islamic Ideology. He added that the Lal Masjid incident complicated issues, and put the country’s stability at stake. He denied the impression that they supported Musharraf. “We had in fact defeated him in Balochistan.” He recalled that had he not supported Nawaz Sharif at the All Parties Conference, the event would have been sabotaged. “We want issues to be resolved, we don’t want to complicate them”. Rehman said that Pakistan and the international community were facing lawlessness, and citizens across the world desired peace. “Muslims are being targeted everywhere, and instability is prevailing across the world,” he said. He said that the US believes in the use of force for the resolution of crises, but President Obama should adhere to his slogan and ensure that change is visible across the world. He said that similarly, General Musharraf was forced to leave but the proponents of democracy should ensure that democratic change is positive. “Democratic governments never dissatisfy people, and the politics of hope should prevail,” he said, adding that there should be clear difference between the attitude of a dictator and democratic rulers. Sharing details about talks he held with a retired US general, Rehman said that when he asked the general why the Kashmir issue was not being resolved in accordance with the UN resolution, as had happened in the case of Kuwait, the general replied, “Kashmir has no oil, and US works for its own interest”. He said that no one has addressed the basic root cause that lead to insurgency in Kashmir and Palestine. “These people are sacrificing their lives for their land after suffering brutal suppression at the hands of Zionist and Indian forces. They have taken up guns for their survival and now they are being declared as terrorists, which is shameful,” he said.Commenting on the parliament’s decision to rename NWFP as Pakhtoonkhwa, he said that his party accepted the decision. Rehman also offered Fateha for the correspondent of The News and Geo, Moosa Khan Khel, who was shot dead while reporting from Swat. However he refused to comment on the assassination, only saying that “in certain situations, the involvement of a third party could not be ruled out, as nobody has taken responsibility of killing him. “

No comments:

Post a Comment