DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Poverty spawns frustration that leads to agitation when the rulers are not willing to improve the lot of their people, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) said on Sunday.
“When the poor suffer, they are bound to agitate. But when they take to the streets they are called terrorists,” he told participants at the Islam Zindabad Conference in Haq Nawaz Park.
The “inept” rulers motivated by self-interest are not ready to take steps for changing the socioeconomic condition of the people, Maulana Fazl told the gathering where people had come from South Waziristan, Tank, Lakki Marwat, and Bannu.
He said he was not against the moneyed class but wanted a better deal for the poor. “We told the landlords that we are not against your wealth and industries, but we want a change in their attitude,” he said.
In financial terms, he said, we are handing over an instable Pakistan to the new generation.
The government has failed to provide a secure future for the next generation. Bloodletting and shrinking economic activities have left little hope for the future, he said.
Politics of hope
There seems no end to the bloodshed in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). “We have nothing except weeping in K-P and Fata,” he told an emotionally charged crowd calling for serious efforts to heal the scars of war.
“Let’s save this time, and do politics of hope instead of fear in Pakistan and give hope of true freedom to the new generation,” Fazl said.
He also highlighted the sufferings of the people of Balochistan. The rulers were trying to appease the people of Balochistan with Haqooq-e-Baluchistan package, but there is still a sense of deprivation in the youth of that province.
He said that oppression by the centre in shape of repeated army actions and widespread crackdowns has been such that the people of Balochistan feel deprived of their basic rights.
Relationships on equal basis
He said Pakistan must not blindly follow the dictates of USA. “We never accepted to be slaves of America in the past and will not accept to become in the future also,” Maulana said.
“We want a relationship with America on equal footing,” he said. Fazl said that JUI-F’s message to the international community is that it wants Pakistan to have friendship on equal basis.
Next govt in K-P
Former provincial chief minister Akram Khan Durrani said JUI-F will form the next provincial government in K-P after the elections.
He said people are living in miserable conditions under the rule of PPP and its coalition partners. “The people want peace in the country but the government has badly failed on this front,” he added.
Durrani said that the JUI-F stance is clear from the beginning that there is no solution to militancy through use of force, negotiation is the best answer. “Even USA is holding talks with Taliban, therefore, we should also hold negotiations with Taliban,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2013.