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ISLAMABAD: Non-political forum formed to promote national thinking

Politicians belonging to different parties, retired army generals and members of civil society Monday created a non-political forum – Centre for Discussions and Solutions (CDS) – with ex-Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed as its convener to promote national thinking on national issues and the problems being faced by the country.

The first meeting of the forum was held at the residence of Qazi Hussain Ahmed. Those who attended the meeting included four retired generals including ex-army chief General (retd) Aslam Baig, three ex-DGs ISI Lt. General (retd) Hamid Gul, Lt. General (retd) Asad Durrani and General (retd) Ehsanul Haq who also served as chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, PML-Q leader Mushahid Hussain Sayed, JI senator Professor Khurshid Ahmed, PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq, Roedad Khan, JI secretary general Liaquat Baloch and others.

“We have invited those retired army officers who in the past played a role in the formulation of political policies, politicians and members of civil society to create national thinking among people,” Qazi Hussain Hussain later told a press conference.

He said in the very first meeting, the participants were unanimous that the rule of law was the basic need and a pre-requisite to pull the country out of the present crisis. “In this connection the participants of the meeting observed that the Supreme Court should be respected and its verdicts to be implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed said the participants also appealed to all political parties and masses to extend support to the apex court and respect its decisions. The meeting also called for an end to foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country and sought basic changes in the foreign policy.

To a question, he said the forum would work above political and sectarian considerations, and safeguarding national interests and a strong Pakistan would be its top priority. Qazi said PPP leader Mian Raza Rabbani was also invited to the meeting but he could not come due to illness of his sister.

To a question about any political motives and politics of ‘Dharna’ by the newly created forum, Qazi Hussain Ahmed maintained that there was no political agenda of CDS. To another question, the ex-JI amir said they might also invite MQM to attend the CDS meeting. The News

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