ISLAMABAD - Rejecting the government’s proposal to grant extension to the military courts in the country, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that such a move would further undermine the civil courts.

Addressing a press conference on conclusion of two-day meeting of party’s Shura on Sunday, the JUI-F chief along with party’s secretary-general Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and federal minister Akram Khan Durrani said the political parties now opposing the existence of the military courts had earlier helped government pass the 21st Constitutional Amendment to pave way for the formation of those courts.

The JUI-F chief said that they believed that the military courts had undermined the civil courts and granting extension to the military courts would further marginalise the civil judicial system in the country.

To a question, he said that if the government wanted to grant those courts extension, then it should call an all parties conference to convince the political leadership across the spectrum on the grounds and reasons necessitating the extension.

On the issue of the Fata reforms, the JUI-F chief said that proposal of its merger with Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa was rejected by all and sundry, and stressed the need of holding broader consultation in this connection, and deciding the matter in accordance with the wishes of the people of those areas.

Expressing serious concern over the demands to bring amendments to the blasphemy laws, the JUI-F chief made it loud and clear that they would not let anyone to make amendments in blasphemy laws.

“No changes in 295-C, dealing with the cases of blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) will be accepted,” JUI-F chief said in categorical terms.

Putting his party’s weight behind the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the JUI-F chief said that the project would bring progress and prosperity in the country.

The project would also free the country from the shackles of Western economic dependence and would become a real economic game-changer in the region, Fazl added.

To a question about Pakistan’s leading role in the coalition army of Islamic states to combat terrorism, the JUI-F chief said that no such formal proposal or request was made to Pakistan in this regard but he desired that being the custodian of two Holy Mosques, Saudi Arabia should lead such an alliance.

JUI-F chief stressed the need of the role of the OIC in diluting the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran adding that the forum should be made more vibrant and active to address the problems facing the Muslim Ummah.

To a question about the disappearance of some rights activists from Islamabad and elsewhere, the JUI-F chief appealed to the Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch to take notice of the disappearances.

He also criticised the world rights bodies for their silence over the human rights violations in Burma and Syria.

To a question about former president Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s plan to contest by-polls from Sindh to enter the National Assembly, the JUI-F chief with a broad smile on his face said that his party would not leave the ground open and would contest on any by-polls from Sindh.

He further said that his party’s decision to contest against Zardari and his son would not affect his friendship with Zardari.

JUI-F chief announced that in connection with the grand centenary celebrations of his party it will be holding a grand convention on April 7 and 8 in Peshawar, which would be attended by Imam-i-Ka’aba, Minister for Religious Affairs of Saudi Arabia, eminent scholars from the country and abroad.