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The Express Tribune

Published Date: Apr 19, 2013

English, Urdu versions of manifesto termed incongruent

While
the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) wants to transform Pakistan into an
Islamic welfare state, analysts raised concerns over mentions of Jihad in its
manifesto and differences between the document’s Urdu and English versions.

In
the sixth seminar of its series, the Sustainable Development Policy Institute
(SDPI) hosted a discussion on the JUI-F manifesto in Islamabad on Thursday.

Political
analyst Hassan Khan pointed out a stark contrast in the contents of JUI-F’s
Urdu and English manifestos.

“The
English version is more enlightened and inclusive, while the Urdu version has
conventional religious undertones,” Khan said.

He
noted that the chapter on Sharia was missing in the English version while a
chapter on women rights was missing in the Urdu version.

JUI-F
Deputy Secretary-General Malik Sikandar Khan said the party had pledged to make
Pakistan an Islamic welfare state.

He
said JUI-F would transform the current system by making changes in accordance
with Islamic laws.

Khan
referred to the welfare state model under Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and during
Hazrat Umer’s rule and added that society made socio-economic and cultural
progress when Islamic laws were implemented in true spirit. “The state will
ensure the provision of every citizen’s basic needs and ensure that their
safety is ensure,” Khan said. Analyst and TV anchor Saleem Safi appreciated
JUI-F’s willingness to work with liberal and progressive political parties, but
advised the party to focus its energy on implementing its own manifesto’s
points.

Safi
raised questions as to how the JUI-F would abolish interest-based banking;
questions which went largely unanswered.

He
also criticised the mention of compulsory Jihadi training in the manifesto,
arguing that such actions would only create more chaos in society.