Shaky coalition: JI threatens to stop supporting PTI over textbook revisions

Both parties had agreed in principle to undo alterations made by previous government .

Manzoor Ali September 21, 2014


In a thinly-veiled warning to the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), its coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) on Sunday hinted it would stop supporting PTI if changes made to textbooks by the previous government are not reversed.

Addressing a public rally arranged by party’s Peshawar chapter at Soekrano Square, JI Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief Professor Mohammad Ibrahim said his party had signed a deal with PTI to undo the changes made to academic textbooks by the previous coalition government of Awami National Party and Pakistan Peoples Party.

According to Ibrahim, several lessons related to Islamic topics and personalities were removed from the syllabus and replaced with other topics, and PTI and JI had in principle agreed to reverse those modifications.

“If the provincial government meets its promise, JI will continue to support it, but if it is hesitant, then our party will be independent to decide its future course of action,” said Ibrahim.

JI has been a coalition partner of the PTI in provincial government since its inception in May last year. The party has been voicing concerns about the textbooks revisions for the past few weeks. However, Sunday’s outburst came in a more pronounced manner, as JI’s chief Sirajul Haq was also present at the rally. Haq has served as a senior minister in the government.

Offering solutions

However, Haq did not touch upon the textbook issue in his speech and mostly talked about national politics. He said he will continue to strive for a positive solution to the Islamabad sit-ins. “I do not want to see marchers going back home dejected and heartbroken. I want to see them successful and I also do not wish to see an Egypt-like crisis,” said Haq.

According to Haq, his party’s suggestions to address the political deadlock in Islamabad were meant to give an honourable exit to all parties involved; the PTI, Pakistan Awami Tehreek and the federal government.

“The sit-ins are a type of public reaction against the existing political system. Rulers should change their ways and stop acting like royals,” added the former minister.

The disenchanted youth

Haq also announced a national conference to discuss Balochistan. Haq maintained the youth in Balochistan were unhappy and had “gone to the mountains to fight.” Haq explained that in the JI proposed national conference they would address the Baloch youth and try to bring them back to their homes.

All issues facing the country, including the situation in Balochistan and the Federally Administered Tribal Area, and the Islamabad sit-ins should be resolved through dialogue, the JI leader insisted.

It was also announced at the rally that the JI would launch a Tehreek-e-Pakistan movement from Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore on November 22-24 to make the public aware about the Islamic system of governance.

Meanwhile, JI Peshawar Ameer Baharullah Khan announced a sit-in on September 23 in front of Pesco headquarters against inflated power bills.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2014.



Moiz Omar | 8 years ago | Reply

As a Pakistani citizen, I want the JI immediately.

Ahsan | 8 years ago | Reply

I don't support PTI but on this issue, PTI should not undo changes because of black mailing by JI. They are ideological supporters of Taliban, dont pay heed to what they say. In my opinion more changes should be made to the curriculum.

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