LAHORE - Indirectly criticising what he claimed the meddling of country’s security establishment in political affairs, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Thursday that army had no role in politics.

“I’m proud of the professional combat capabilities of Pakistan Army but want to say it has no role in politics,” said the head of the JUI-F while addressing a meeting of party’s Lahore district chapter here at Darul Uloom Madina Rasool Multan Park.

Later, Fazl also addressed an event organised by his party at Aiwan-i-Iqbal late night.

Addressing party workers, he said JUI-F had always believed in peaceful parliamentary struggle and doing efforts to bring change through peaceful means. He said JUI-F rendered countless sacrifices to free the country from colonial rulers. He said the party was not satisfied with the role of state institutions which, he claimed, were working as agents of global colonists instead of serving the interests of the nation. He said, “We have always been on the right path, but the state institutions should correct themselves.”

He said the party had been in contact with PML-N leadership. He defended the ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, saying when Kulsoom Nawaz was ill, Nawaz was accused of trying to find excuses to flee from the country. “Now when she is dead and Nawaz is in mourning, he is being accused of getting out after making a deal.”

He termed the PTI government a product of rigging. He said government was devoid of public recognition, claiming an organised attempt was made to enslave the nation through rigged elections. He warned that JUI-F along with other opposition parties had been trying to counter the conspiracy to save the public from slavery. He said, “We will continue our struggle and would never bow down before opponents pressure. The contest will be fair only if the coward elements leave our path to create level playing field.”

He said government had disappointed the poor masses by providing no practical relief despite making tall claims of eliminating poverty in 100 days. He said taking U-turns in policies on public reactions had been the hall mark of the PTI government so far. He alleged that government was trying to hand over country’s economy to Jews and Ahmedis to please its masters. He warned that Ahmedis were allowed to openly carry out their conspiracies against Muslims. Fazl said US and western powers had been maligning Islamist groups in the country as terrorists and extremists with the help of media. The JUI-F chief said seminaries’ students and teachers, besides the Islamic identities like beard, turban and attire, were being portrayed as symbols of terror. He stressed that JUI-F was not against the inter-faith dialogue but warned that no negotiations could be held on gunpoint and bombing.