Senate Deputy Chairman Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said that the country was faced with internal and external challenges, and stressed a need for national unity to counter these challengers, especially repeated ceasefire violations by India.

Addressing a press conference at Jamia Qudsiya, Bahawalpur, Haideri, who is also a central leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F), said that terrorism had shaken the foundations of the country as the law and order situation has become very critical. However, he added, the situation was now far better than before due to progress in elimination of terrorism and restoration of peace which was made possible with national unity.

He said that after Army Public School incident in Peshawar, all the political, religious and defence leadership decided to get united to eliminate terrorism from its roots otherwise our schools, colleges and mosques will not be safe. The benefit of the decision could be seen as there was a progress in the war against terrorism, he said. Whoever challenges the writ of the government, action was taken against them, he further said.

He noted that the 21st amendment in the Constitution does not mean that police or other security agencies could break the boundary privilege of mosques and religious seminaries, conduct raids and harass the scholars by putting them in Fourth Schedule.

He said that through some “technical mistakes” in the National Action Plan, it has started losing its effectiveness. It seems that the plan has been made to put sanctions on the freedom of Deobandi and other religious institutions and freedom of speech, he added. He said that JUI-F thought that action should be taken against those challenge the government’s writ but under that cover, harassing the religious scholars and public would make the plan unacceptable.

He said that India commits ceasefire violations and kills the unarmed citizens of Pakistan thus against Indian aggression, national unity was required. If the nation stands behind the army as it was in 1965, the enemy can never even think of doing such thing again.

He added that due to the politics of resignations, foreign investment had reduced as it was a childish act. He said that PTI sit-in damaged the image of the country. He said, “The PTI sit-in disgraced the Constitution, parliament and all state departments even the democratic institutions while they abused the national politics and the judiciary.” He noted that if India violates the control line again, the nation should get united and be ready to defend their motherland. He expressed grief over the crane accident in Saudi Arabia and prayed for the martyrs and expressed solidarity with Saudi government.

He maintained that KPK’s former MPA Mufit Kafayatullah was arrested while he was returning from the Khatm e Nubuwwat Conference held in Chaniot accusing him of delivering hateful speech. However, Haideri said, Khafayatullah had been delivering such speeches for a long time. His arrest seems like that Government was empathising with the Qadianis. He demanded early release of Kafayatullah.

To a question, he said that efforts were being made to unite religious parties on one platform and everyone should fight against terrorism together. It terrorism is linked to religious institutions it will be condemned strongly, he said. He said that political parties should eliminate the corruption wherever it was found and bring the corrupt persons to book.