Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said on Monday that his party will not support the 21st Constitutional Amendment bill in its current state.
“Although we were not in support of this (military courts) in principle, we accepted them when the government and state institutions said that it was an extraordinary situation. But we were not taken into confidence when the draft for the constitutional amendment was prepared,” he said while addressing reporters at Parliament House.
“We believe that strict measure should be taken to control terrorism in Pakistan. But if only religious institutions are targeted, then it becomes controversial,” said Fazl, who is the leader of the largest religious political party in parliament.
The JUI-F chief said that all religious institutions were backing the military in the fight against terrorism, but he stressed that the bill for the constitutional amendment should be debated over and not be “bulldozed” in the parliament.
“Are these terrorist only caught from seminaries? Are they not arrested from hostels of colleges and universities? Were these terrorist involved in attacks on Musharraf and GHQ from madrassas?
“They say themselves that 90 per cent of madrassas [are not involved in terrorism]…only 10 per cent are. But this bill appears to be an ‘anonymous FIR’ against 90 per cent of seminaries [in Pakistan],” he said.
Fazl said that his party was ready to debate over the bill in parliament if needed, but stressed that they will not support the amendment in its current form at any cost.
Later on while addressing the National Assembly, the JUI-F leader reiterated the same stance, saying that seminaries were the target of the proposed amendment.