Seemingly worried about the prevailing economic conditions, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUIF) chief Maulana Fazlur Rahman on Saturday said though some political parties were busy with their election campaign, the country was sinking into a quagmire.

“The country’s overall administrative structure is on the decline,” he said while speaking at a convention of party workers here.Fazl said the establishment and bureaucracy’s grip had weakened while the anti-religion forces were adding to their clout and influence. “We must think about the country,” he remarked. The country was facing a host of internal and external challenges, he said.The JUIF leader said they brought together various political forces on the platform of Pakistan Democratic Movement whose government saved the country’s economy. Saying the economy had fallen to such a level where it was difficult to revive it, he blamed the PTI government for it. “Pakistan would have been a member of the G-20 forum had the continuity of economic policies not been hampered over the years,” he added.Fazl said his party was ready to go to the election, asking the Election Commission of Pakistan if it did not know how the weather would be in January. “Half of the country will start receiving snowfall in the last week of January,” he went on to add.Fazl also expressed apprehensions about the “worsening” law and order, saying how could the election campaign be run under such circumstances. “How would the people come out to vote in the poor law and order situation?” he asked. He clarified that he did not want to get the next general election postponed but wanted to mention the problems. Fazl said he did not like giving speeches at gatherings at a time when his opponent was in jail. “If I am free, my opponent should also be free,” he said. “I want every politician out of jail.”However, he said that nobody was above the law. He recalled that former prime minister Imran Khan voted for him in 2002 and he (PTI leader) could not find a single flaw in him.The JUIF leader said that in Pakistan, many political personalities were loyal to the US. “In the past, we defeated the ones loyal to Israel, the US and the West and would do so in the future as well,” he vowed. “People fight for power and interests, but we have always fought for an ideology,” he maintained.Meanwhile, talking to the media in Sukkur, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that Maulana Fazl was a democratic politician. “I don’t think he is against elections. PPP is always ready for elections and will win the next polls,” he said. “A politician like Maulana Fazlur Rahman is not expected to make a statement on delaying the election.”He said that every democratic politician understands that elections are solution to all problems. “The biggest problem of the country at the moment is inflation and people are looking towards politicians to solve the problems,” Bilawal said. “The ECP and caretaker government do not belong to any party, and they only watch interests of individuals.”He said even if the caretaker government wants to, it cannot give relief to the people because it has neither the powers nor legal status. He emphasised the ECP and caretaker government should only see the benefit of the people and not of any party.In response to a question on the return of PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif, the PPP chairman said that his party had always maintained that Nawaz should return to the country.He said the PMLN activities on the return of their leader are not visible, adding that when Benazir Bhutto Shaheed announced to return home on October 18, 2007, zealous PPP workers had intensified their activities across the country. “Now Nawaz Sharif is returning but the PMLN is not showing that much spirit.”Bilawal expressed full solidarity with the Palestinian people and said Palestine is a global issue, and as the foreign minister, he raised his voice for Palestine at every forum. He said he was deeply concerned at the serious escalation of hostilities between the Israel occupation forces and Palestinians.He said Pakistan stands for a two-state solution in line with the international law and UN/OIC resolution. There is an urgent need for the international community to come together and work for halting all hostilities and protection of civilians in the Middle East, he said.

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