QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has termed the attacks on a Peshawar church a national incident, and said that it has made the nation bow its head in shame.
Addressing a press conference here, Fazl condemned the suicide attacks, calling the act malicious and discreetly timed to coincide with the departure of the PM to the United Nations to raise his voice against drone strikes.
“The incident was carried out to balance out this protest,” the JUI leader claimed.
He said that peace talks with the Taliban were about to be kicked off by all political and religious parties when two dastardly incidents were staged: one in Upper Dir which claimed the lives of three army personnel, including a major general and the other in Peshawar where two suicide blasts claimed more than 80 lives.
He said the purpose of the attack on the army was to keep the armed forces away from the dialogue process. “To my understanding, it is a well-orchestrated plan,” Fazl said, hinting at a grand conspiracy. He added that joint efforts were required to tame the volatile situation.
He said that peace was crucial for the nation but some elements did not want that in order to further their nefarious interests.
He said that a commission should be formed at the Supreme Court level to investigate the incident independently and those responsible should be taken to task.
He said that previously the APC, the Peace (Amn) Jirga and other measures had been made for peace in 2008 and they bore good results. Once again, he said, efforts are being made to restore peace, which is not only vital for Pakistan but also for the entire region.
“Pakistan and India should solve their problems through negotiations,” he said, adding that even the US now wants peace negotiations in Afghanistan as the war is posing a big threat and we must play our role to put out this fire.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2013.