ISLAMABAD  -  Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) Chief, Maulana Fazlur Rahman, has said that efforts are under way in Syria to turn proxy war for a regime change into a sectarian conflict.

Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Monday also strongly condemned attacks on holy shrines. Proxy war is increasingly being turned into wider sectarian conflict, sucking elements from other countries. Targeting holy shrines of the two sects are part of this conspiracy, Fazl said in a press statement. Fazl said that on one hand, the US and regional allies are fanning civil war by arming rebels to pave way for regime change, while on the other, Russia and Iran are trying to counter US-led coalition and keep strategic influence over Bashar- Al-Assad regime.

Explaining the regional context, he said that regional Muslim countries are contesting on Syrian turf as part of long held geo-political rivalry in greater Middle East, through sectarian proxies. He said that proxy war is increasingly being turned into wider sectarian conflict sucking elements from other countries.

Regarding Bashar Al Assad government, he observed "He has no sympathy for Assad regime as it is led by a ruthless dictator but any Libyan or Iraqi-style regime change are in gross violation of international laws and norms hence JUI-F is opposed to it".

He appealed to all Muslims not to fall prey to the international conspiracy of dividing Muslims on sectarian lines. He said that sectarianism is the buy product of "divide and role policy" of international and regional powers. "But real battle beyond this policy, is for resources, strategic influence and exploitation", he added.

He also urged all powers in the conflict to find a peaceful solution by accepting the UN's Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi plan for Syrian crisis and help stop the bloodshed of civilians, misery and destruction of the country.