Isteqlal Party chairman faced severe criticism for calling for equal rights for Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis. PHOTO: ZAHOORUL HAQ/ EXPRESS
Members of political and religio-political parties held an All Parties Conference (APC) on Monday where they denounced Pakistan’s ties with the US and urged the government to review its policy on the “war against terror”. The meeting was called by the Defence Pakistan Council (DPC).
In a joint statement issued after the meeting, the APC said that it was the need of the hour for political leaders to unite and convey to the US that they would resist any ‘direct or indirect attack’.
“The president’s house is chained by America and is ruining the supremacy of national institutions through secret contracts”, said the joint communiqué, which was read out by DPC Chairman Maulana Samiul Haq of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-S).
It further demanded of the federal government to make all ‘secret contracts’ public and take the nation into confidence.
It further demanded that the Supreme Court direct the government to pay compensation to the families of “3,315 Pakistani drone victims”.
Earlier, while addressing the conference, former head of the ISI Gen (retd) Hameed Gul said the whole nation should convey to America that they would no longer follow its policies. Similarly, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan said that Pakistan should stop providing logistic support to Nato forces, adding that the “war on terror” was not Pakistan’s war.
The aim and benefits of the US and Pakistan are contradictory as the US wants to strengthen India and make China weaker, he added.
Muslim League head Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed went on to add that ‘no one would dare’ attack Pakistan owing to the ‘danger’ present in the country. With the presence of people like Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan, India would never attack, he said.
Minority rights overlooked
While the APC called for unity among all leaders, Istiqlal Party Chairman Manzoor Ali Gilani, ironically, faced severe criticism for calling for equal rights for Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis and for an equal participation for the country’s development.
Majlis-e-Ahrar Leader Maulana Ataul Muhaiman criticised Gilani by saying that being Muslims they “could not treat Qadianis like others”.
Gilani conceded by saying he was also against those who are ‘negators’ of the constitution, in order to pacify the heated audience.
Representative of the Christian community Abraham Daniel said that the Christian community always played its role in the defence of the country. However, he added, without ensuring equal rights and justice for everyone, the defence of the country was impossible.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2011.
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