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ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday accused the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief of using foreign funding for the ongoing ‘long march’, and alleged that he was implementing the Indian, American and Israeli agenda of destabilising Pakistan.

Addressing a press conference here, he said that in 2014 when China was going to launch the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor by investing billions of dollars, Imran Khan started 126 days’ sit-in in Islamabad, which resulted in the postponement of Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan.

He said that now when Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammad Bin Salman was coming to Pakistan, the PTI chief announced to take up the long march to Islamabad which was only designed to sabotage the Saudi crown prince’s visit to Pakistan. Imran Khan successfully attained his objective as the visit has been postponed.

“Until the date of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s visit to Pakistan was decided, Imran was not even announcing the date of the long march. As soon as Imran Khan came to know that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will visit in November, he started the long march in the same month,” he alleged. “We have independently investigated whether one country is funding the long march. The drama of the long march has been staged to sabotage the visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan,” Maulana said.

“Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman was bringing big investments to two or three countries of South Asia including Pakistan. In 2014, Imran staged a sit-in to sabotage the visit of the Chinese president. Imran Khan has taken every step which is against the interests of the state of Pakistan,” he deplored.

Maulana Fazl, who is also the head of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), said that unveiling the conspiracy behind the long march was a requirement of the national interest. He added that Imran Khan’s party was ruling in four provinces and he was attacked in Punjab where the PTI is the ruling party but instead of lodging a FIR against the people involved in the attack, Imran Khan started blaming national institutions, especially the army.

He said that the enemies of Pakistan, since long, were trying to destabilize Pakistan by maligning national security institutions but were unable to get significant support within Pakistan, now they have found a strong ally in the shape of the PTI chief. He said that Imran Khan’s only complaint with the Pakistan Army is why as an institution it was not backing Imran Khan in pushing him into power.

“Imran Khan’s long march has now become a furlong march,” Maulana Fazl made a sarcastic remark. “Imran Khan also made the appointment of Army Chief controversial. Just like America has no future, Imran Khan also has no political future,” he asserted.

He said that the PTI marchers will not be allowed to enter Islamabad at any cost. While challenging Imran Khan, he said that Khan’s marchers would not bear the heat in the federal capital. He added that they want peace in Pakistan and to spend their lives in accordance with the Constitution and law.

He alleged that Imran Khan had “lied” to the nation and waved a “fake cypher” during a rally and later misguided the state regarding the diplomatic cable. Fazlur Rehman asked the federal government and the interior minister to not show any relaxation to the PTI protestors. He added that no tolerance will be shown against the PTI protestors and the government will resist their moves.

Responding to a question regarding the appointment of the next army chief, Maulana said that since the return of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif he has not held a direct or indirect meeting with him, so he was unaware of the developments as the PM was suffering from Covid-19. He further said that there was no need for the PM to take JUI into confidence on the appointment of the military chief as it was the PM’s constitutional right.

“For now, there is no need to take action against Imran Khan. His backing away from the US conspiracy narrative and cipher is part of the same process,” he pointed out.

He said that Imran Khan as a policy ruined Pakistan’s economy and foreign relations. He further blamed Imran Khan for introducing and promoting the politics of accusations, blame, and use of derogatory remarks against opponents which created serious divisions among the masses.

He said that the PDM government amended the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) ordinance to stop the use of the NAB as a tool of oppression against political opponents, adding that the PDM government has the best chance to take Imran Khan and his party leaders to task by using the NAB law but the present ruling alliance do not believe in the politics of revenge, therefore, the NAB ordinance was amended.

He acknowledged that Pakistan was facing serious economic challenges but the government was taking all required measures to put the economy on the right track. He said that within the past six months Pakistan was excluded from the grey list of the FATF and now the international community has started trusting Pakistan.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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