PESHAWAR: The government on Friday was warned against caving to international pressure regarding Aasia Bibi, with any capitulation termed as disrespect to state institutions and the Constitution.
This was stated by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the chief of the eponymous faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) while addressing a workers’ convention in Lower Dir on Friday.
Maulana Rehman said that the acquittal of Aasia Bibi in the blasphemy case and the execution of Mumtaz Qadri — the self-confessed killer of former Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer —was a clear indication that governments had given in to the demands made by the ‘international Jewish lobby’ as he hit hard at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government.
“[Prime Minister] Imran [Khan] Niazi once said that he would happily commit suicide rather than beg for international financial assistance, now he has taken financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and China but has yet to follow through on his commitment to killing himself out of shame,” the JUI-F chief said.
He added that inflation and the currency exchange rates for the US dollar have soared to new heights but the PTI supporters continue to live in a fool’s paradise and deceive the people by playing with words.
Rehman said that they will not tolerate such a regime anymore and that soon the combined forces of religious parties will be on the roads to topple the PTI-led government. He added that the PTI government had been brought into power to fulfil evil designs.
Rehman’s comments came a day after his party led a ‘million man march’ in the port city of Karachi. The rally, under the umbrella of the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), was held on Shahrah-i-Quaideen, which leads to the Quaid’s Mausoleum.
Rehman, who is also the MMA president, had criticised the Supreme Court’s verdict which overturned Punjab Christian woman Aasia Bibi’s conviction for blasphemy because the prosecution did not do enough to prove their case.
The JUI-F chief had claimed that the decision to overturn her sentence and release her had been taken “only under pressure of international forces”.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 10th, 2018.