ISLAMABAD - Recommending the role of mediator for Pakistan in the Middle East crisis Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that any threat to the security and safety of Harmain Shareefain (two Holy Mosques) could not be tolerated and each and every Pakistani would stand up for their defence.

Talking to media persons after party’s Majlis-e-Shoora (central working committee) meeting here at his official residence in Ministers’ Colony, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that they would first listen to the government’s point of view on the ground reality in Yemen imbroglio and then would place their point of view before the government and whole parliament in joint sitting of the parliament scheduled for today (Monday).

He, however, made it clear that the sanctity of Harmain Shareefain (two Holy Mosques) is sacred for each and every Pakistani and for the safety and security of these holy places whole nation could go to any extent.

He said that they wanted to see Pakistan playing the role of a mediator in the crisis and help resolve the issue between Yemen and Saudi Arabia through negotiations. He further said that they wanted to know the actual position on ground and the point of view of government on it, and what Pakistan could do in the given situation remaining within the parameters of diplomacy and foreign policy for diluting the tension.

To another question he said that first of all they would listen to the government’s point of view on the issue and then would place before the government, parliament and people of Pakistan their party’s point of view on Middle East crisis.

To another question Maulana Fazlur Rehman came down hard on ministry of religious affairs for sending a new performa for getting the registration of religious seminaries, adding that they would only accept the already agreed mechanism of seminaries registration agreed between the government and Wafaqul Madris in 2005 and then in 2010.

He made it loud and clear that browbeating and intimidation of seminaries through agencies would only aggravate the situation and would not serve any purpose, adding that educational institutions could not be run like prisons.

He further said if certain people were misusing these institutions, the whole community could not be punished at their cost, asking the authorities to take action against those who were exceeding the limits of law of the land.

To a question about the party’s reservations on 21st Constitutional Amendment Rehman said that they have genuine concerns over the piece of legislation and have engaged other political parties to convince them on their point of view and soon would be coming up with some joint strategy on it.

He said that they had raised objection over the linkage of terrorism with religion and wanted deletion of this linkage in the 21st Constitutional Amendment because in their view religion or sect has nothing to do with terrorism.

To a question about the return of PTI in the Parliament Rehman in lighter vein said that they actually did not known whether PTI parliamentarians have tendered their resignations or not because when some MP tender his/her resignation, it would be accepted forthwith whereas PTI MPs resignations remained pending with Speaker National Assembly for well over seven months.

To a question about the election of Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri as Deputy Chairman Senate, Rehman said that he had stepped down for his party position soon after his elections as deputy chairman Senate.

PAKISTAN TRYING FOR NEGOTIATED

SETTLEMENT OF YEMEN: SARTAJ

Online adds: Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz has stated that Pakistan is trying its best to seek a negotiated settlement to the Yemen crisis.

In an interview with the State media, he said that despite all odds, we are continuing efforts to bring both the sides to negotiating table.

He warned that any further escalation in the prevailing security situation in Yemen could destabilise the entire region, affecting the Muslim Ummah.

Sartaj Aziz said that as a result of Prime Minister’s recent visit to Ankara, Turkey and Pakistan have agreed to intensify efforts for a peaceful solution to the Yemen issue.

To a question, the Adviser said Pakistan will take a final decision on how to move forward on the Yemen issue at the joint session of the Parliament on Monday (today).