ISLAMABAD   -    Jamiat Ulemma-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazl Rehman on Wednesday said that what happened with Irfan Siddiqui was very sad and tragic because such a respected citizen was never supposed to face this incident.

Maulana Fazl Rehman stated this during a meeting with Irfan Siddiqui, advisor to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, at his residence to show solidarity with him.

Talking to journalists after the meeting, the JUI-F chief said that a thorough investigation must be made into the incident and the report should be made public so that reality could be known to all.

He said that some people were arrested on the pretext of smuggling of drugs while others were arrested on violation of tenancy law, which was very disappointing.

He said: “Irfan Siddique through his articles criticised everyone, including me but I have learnt many things from his mature criticism.”

Answering a question, he said that they were protesting and asking for their rights within the premises of constitution and it was their basic and fundamental right to protest against the wrong policies of the government. He added that they were not armed protesters but peaceful citizens to fight for their constitutional and legal rights.

He said that if traders community launches protest against the taxes imposed by the government then no one can call it terrorism because it is their basic and constitutional right to protest peacefully.

He thanked the media for supporting Irfan Siddiqui during and after his arrest. Declining the rumours regarding a meeting with Chief of Army Staff, he said that neither such meeting was expected with COAS nor he was invited by him.