Top ministers decry JUI-F's Azadi march

Azam Swati says Fazl’s anti-govt protest portrays ‘Modi’s narrative’


​ Our Correspondent October 24, 2019
Azam Swati. PHOTO: PPI

ISLAMABAD: Top government ministers criticised Wednesday the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)’s ‘Azadi March’ and expressed concern over its repercussions, as it could “divert attention” from the Kashmir cause.

“With a heavy heart, I have to admit that the JUI-F’s sit-in projects the narrative of [Indian PM] Modi,” Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Senator Azam Swati said while addressing a joint news conference with Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan in Islamabad.

Swati said: “There is no point that the government or Prime Minister Imran Khan will make a deal with the JUI-F. The government would welcome the protest if it is being held within the ambits of the law. Protection of people’s life and the property is our responsibility. We want to thwart extremism.”

The federal minister said the government would not allow anyone to exploit laws, adding that those thinking to gain from hurling abuses at the armed forces are mistaken. “The protest will miserably fail.”

On the occasion, Khan said Azadi march was being held to divert attention from the Kashmir cause. He said: “Everyone knows whether this march is benefiting Pakistan or India”.

The ministers also said they support the committees, which operate in both the houses of parliament. They also observe the parliamentary activities of the PM, while also assisting five advisers.

Right after assuming the office, PM Imran inaugurated a citizen portal where people can file their complaints. “So far, we have received 1.36 million complaints out of which 1.2 million complaints have been resolved while the remaining ones are being processed,” said Swati.

The lawmakers have strictly been told to address the complaints filed at the citizen portal, he added. He said that the government received applications from all over the country.

“People in Quetta were extremely happy when we went there for the resolution of their problems. We will try that the prime minister is also apprised of your issues,” said the minister of state.

Separately, Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed also slammed JUI-F chief for using seminary students in his protest and not supporting the government in its measures for bringing reforms

He said when the government talked about giving opportunities to 2.5 million seminary children, Fazl stood up.

“Fazl does not know why he is coming to Islamabad. He is coming for Islamabad, not for Islam,” said Saeed while speaking at a seminar titled “Challenges to Enforcement on National Highways and Motorways” arranged by National Highways and Motorway Police.

The JUI-F chief as the chairman of the Kashmir Committee never spoke about Kashmir, claimed Saeed.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul said JUI-F chief Fazl has distracted media’s attention from highlighting the Kashmir cause.

“Fazl only thinks about himself as his political career is over,” said Gul while talking to media after a seminar on controlling smoking at a local hotel in Islamabad.

“He [Fazl] didn’t get any vote from his area… two rented parties with him. I congratulate such parties for choosing a wrong time for the protest,” said the minister.

She added that Fazl has already been successful by damaging the long-standing dispute between Pakistan and India through his protest.

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