Pakistan cannot afford any constitutional crisis at this stage: Maulana Fazlur Rehman

Arif Qureshi

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Ameer Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) said that 18th Amendment in the Constitution or the clauses dealing with the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award were passed by all the religious and political parties with consensus and they will not allow the government to make any amendment or change in that.  He warned the Government saying any action to change 18th Amendment will damage the national unity.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman held a series of contacts in last two days including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chairman, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), president Shahbaz Sharif, Senator Professor Sajid Mir, president Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith (MJAH), Mehmood Khan Achakzai, head Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PMAP), Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, head Qaumi Watan Party, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo , National Party of Pakistan, Jamiat Ulama-e-Pakistan (Noorani),  leader Maulana Awais Noorani and Awami National Party (ANP), central general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain.

After consultation with the major political parties, Maulana Fazlur Rehman released a video statement in which he announced to form a joint strategy to tackle the possible plan of the government to review of the 18th Amendment and National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

Calling it a joint declaration of the of the opposition parties of Pakistan, JUI-F chief said that Pakistan has made experiments of presidential form of government and martial laws which failed and Pakistan cannot afford any new experiments at this stage.

The 1973 constitution was a consensus document which had been passed by all the religious and political parties after a broad national consultation and all the parties had agreed that the country would be run through democratic and parliamentary form of government.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said any attempt to alter 18th Amendment or NFC Award at this stage may ‘sabotaging’ national unity.

“God knows whose agenda is being followed through talks about repealing or changing the 18th Constitution Amendment? This will create political and constitutional crises in the country. And the country cannot afford any constitutional crisis at this stage, Fazal Rehman Added.

Maulana Fazal Rehman also expressed his surprise over the timing of such a debate, saying that on one hand, the government was asking the people to show solidarity and national unity to fight the coronavirus pandemic and on the other hand, it was touching contentious issues.

The Maulana was of the view that a new constituent assembly would have to be created if basic structure of the constitution was changed.

“If any article of the constitution’s basic structure is repealed then there will be a need to form a constituent assembly to make a new constitution. It will be a tough test for the nation,” he said. Referring to the prevailing situation in the country in the wake of the spread of coronavirus, the Maulana said they could not afford to put the country into more difficulties and “neither will we allow anyone to put the nation into further difficulties and push them into darkness”.

Arif Qureshi is Editor Daily Online “The Fortress” he can be reached at arifqoreshi@gmail.com

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