ISLAMABAD - Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) chief Moulana Fazlur Rehman yesterday stressed the need for serious review of National Action Plan, 21st Constitutional Amendment and the ongoing military operation Zerb-i-Azb, as sheer use of force to quell militancy seemed unyielding desired results.

Talking to media persons on the conclusion of two-day Central Governing Body (Majlis-i-Shoora) meeting of the party and earlier addressing Azm-i-Tahafuz-i-Harmain conference Moulana Fazlur Rehman said that the repeated acts of terrorism across the country over the past few months raised many questions whether use of force to quell terrorism would be enough to tackle this menace or the policy needed a thorough review.

He recalled that at the time of passage of 21st Constitutional Amendment he was the only person at the all parties conference (APC) who had raised the issue that just use of force would not be enough to contain this menace but nobody had listened to him at that time and now other political parties are feeling the need to review the policy.

He said that time had proved that there were a lot of loopholes in the use of force which resulted in the re-emergence of the incidents of terrorism across the country. He stressed the need for fresh review of the ongoing military operation, implementation of National Action Plan and 21st Constitutional Amendment so that the flaws in the mechanism could be worked out for achieving durable peace and tranquillity across the country.

Moulana Fazlur Rehman said that the Majlis-i-Shoora of the party was unanimous of the view that the incumbent government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa has failed to maintain law and order situation and in case of Bacha Khan University attack the government was responsible as when there was security alert why proper security measures for the university’s safety were not taken.

He was also critical of the crackdown on religious seminaries saying that in the name of operation against militants seminaries are being targeted and asked the government to sit with management of Wafaqul Madaris Arabia to devise a strategy to resolve the issue once and for all.

He blamed the government was out to close the religious seminaries to appease the Western powers and that was the reason religious scholars and seminaries are subjected to such coercive treatment.

He said that Ulema are barred from giving Jumma sermons by placing them in the fourth schedule which, according to him, was a sheer violation of the constitution and freedom of expression and speech. He said that such bars and curbs were not put on religious leaders even in the days of Martial Laws. To a question about besieging of Jamia Hifza and Lal Masjid, Moulana Fazlur Rehman said that though it was not on the agenda of the Shoora but added that such tactics were used to coerce religious seminaries.

To a question he said that they wanted enforcement of Islam through constitutional means and demanded of the government to do legislation on the recommendation of Council of Islamic Ideology, which according to him was requirement under the 1973 Constitution.

To a question about Moulana Mohammad Khan Sheerani who had said that Blasphemy laws need a review and amendment Moualna Fazlur Rehman said that though Moulana Sheerani is a senior member of his party but his stance on Blasphemy laws was personal and having nothing to do with party policy. “In my view, which is also party policy, there is no need to review Blasphemy laws,” he made it clear.

He further said that the party Shoora has welcomed the role government of Pakistan had played to dilute the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran and praised both Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and General Raheel Sharif for the initiative. The party Shoora expressed confidence in the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC and the decisions taken in the all parties conference and hoped that Pak-China friendship would grow in days to come.

The party Shoora also decided to show party’s unequivocal support to Kashmiris cause and observe Solidarity Day with Kashmiris on Feb. 5 in befitting manner.

The Shoora also endorsed the recommendations regarding the merger of JUI-Nazarati with the party and in case the party leadership require a General Body meeting of the party would be called in Lahore on March 12.