Amendments in Constitution a collective suicide attack on democracy: Fazlur Rehman

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Protest can be taken to D-Chowk

ISLAMABAD, Jan 8 (INP): Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said Thursday that the recent amendments made in the Constitution for setting up military courts in the country for a period of two years were a collective suicide attack on democracy by parliamentary parties.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Fazl said that his party had certain concerns after the amendments made in the Constitution.

The JUI-F chief added that constitutional experts should be consulted so that the cons of this amendment can be put forward, and the nation is given an explanation based on rationale and not emotions.

“We had demanded a law which was universal, defines the parameters of terrorism and becomes a tool to eliminate terrorism,” he said.

He added that, “A seminar will be held in Lahore on Jan 22 which will be attended by all national leaders so that a consensus can be developed on this ‘discriminatory law’. The country cannot afford any division in any case.”

“Our stance against terrorism should be understood. Terrorists have been given an escape route through this law. For instance if any terrorist shaves his beard off and takes off his turban renaming himself as Saulat Mirza or Ajmal Pahari, then terrorism would be accepted and the terrorist would not be presented in a military court.”

Responding to a question, Fazl said that in case the demands were not met, the situation could progress to a ‘D-chowk-type protest’.

Responding to another question regarding the reaction of PPP’s Senator Raza Rabbani, he said that each and every lawmaker’s conscience felt the same as Rabbani, but only the latter’s conscience was able to shout out what it felt.”

Answering another question, he said that his view did not seek to shelter those who had been sentenced to death while committing terror acts in the name of religion or sect, but rather he was seeking action against those who were committing terror acts on grounds other than religion and sect.

“Our demand is that there should be a definition of terrorism and extremism.”

Fazl claimed that the law is discriminatory since it links terrorism to religion. If religious institutions are going to be targeted under the recently passed bill it will create further problems by overlooking the real menace of terrorism.

To a question he said Jamaat-e-Islami leaders have also expressed apprehension over legislation saying that it could be used to target religious institutions.

INP

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