PESHAWAR - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that solo flight in holding negotiations with Taliban would damage national unity and stressed the government to outline a strategy in consultation with all political parties and stakeholders to initiate talks without any delay.
"The persistent US drone air strikes were a major obstacle in initiating result-oriented negotiation with Taliban aims at establishing sustainable peace," Maulana Fazl said this while talking to media persons here at a programme "Guest Hour" organised by the Peshawar Press Club on Saturday.
He said that peace talks with Taliban always hampered due to persistent drone attacks in tribal areas and occurrence of certain incidents in the recent past.
On the occasion, JUI-F Senator Maulana Gul Naseeb, Senator Ghulam Ali, party provincial secretary information Jalil Jan, and other provincial leaders were also in the attendance.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman also stressed the need to accelerate collective efforts to establish durable peace in the region, instead of opting for solo-flight.
As individual efforts would not yield positive results in bringing Taliban to the negotiating table, rather all the political parties and key players must be taken on board before initiating the peace talks. "We made efforts in the parliament as well as outside by taking the respective tribal elders on board," he claimed, adding the incumbent PML-N led federal government was serious in holding meaningful talks with Taliban.
About the presence of foreign militants in FATA, the Maulana commented that there was no pressure from any foreign force, which could sabotage peace efforts. He urged both the Taliban and the security forces to calm down their guns and should think for betterment of the country. Peace could only be restored if the country was rescued from the clutches of foreign tyranny, he said.
Besides, commenting on the political situation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, he said that JUI-F has never wanted to destabilise the incumbent government in the province. "People have mandated Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and the JUI-F respects the opinion of masses," he added. He, however, said that PTI-led coalition government has no vision to tackle the issues being faced by the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Maulana further said the provincial government was being run by NGOs. "We don't expect any betterment and welfare of people from the PTI-led coalition government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa," he added.
To a query about JUI-F alliance with other political parties ahead of the upcoming local government elections, he hinted that his party has initiated negotiations with Awami National Party but final decision was yet to be taken in this regard.
Regarding his party’s demand of holding another All Parties Conference, he clarified that they didn't make any such demand rather asked to take solid steps for durable peace in light of the consensus developed in APC.
While commenting on the role of religious parties in establishment of peace, he said all religious forces have been taken steps for the betterment of the country, and played a vital role in maintaining peace in the society.
The JUI-F chief also criticised all the successive governments for failing to formulate a sovereign and independent foreign policy, adding for sustainable peace and economic development within the country, foreign intervention would have to be stopped.
Online adds: After Muttahida chief Altaf Hussain's call for a separate country for the Urdu-speaking, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said he did not know whether or not Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would remain part of Pakistan due to the prevailing security situation in the province.
Talking to media, Fazl said there was no government at all in the province that ruined the situation.
Terming PTI’s NATO supply lines blockade a drama, Fazl expressed surprise that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf that had taken dollars and euros in aid from the United States, was now blocking NATO supply lines.