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Monday June 24, 2024

JUIF protests not linked to May 9 mayhem: Fazl

“Neither the PTI nor we have changed our position so far,” says JUI-F chief

By News Desk
May 08, 2024
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — Radio Pakistan/File
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. — Radio Pakistan/File

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who has been eagerly voicing for the Imran Khan-founded Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) political rights these days, distanced himself from the former ruling party in connection with the May 9 riots.

Speaking to the Geo News programme Capital Talk host Hamid Mir, the JUI-F chief said: “Our Million March and Awami Assembly have nothing to do with the May 9 incidents.”

The May 9 violence were triggered almost across the country after the deposed prime minister Imran Khan’s arrest in the £190 million settlement case last year. Hundreds of PTI workers and leaders were put behind bars for their alleged involvement in violence and attacks on military installations.

During the protests, the miscreants targeted the civil and military installations including — Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military termed May 9 “Black Day” and decided to try the protesters under the Army Act.

In his fresh interview with Hamid Mir, Maulana Fazl said that his party had also staged a protest against the May 9 violence and the entire nation had taken notice of the attacks on the state property.

It is pertinent to mention here that Fazl, in March this year, announced launching a movement called “Awami Assembly” against the results of the general elections which he believes were “rigged”.

The JUIF chief, while lambasting the “establishment” for “constantly interfering” in politics, had announced million marches against the alleged rigging in the February 8 general elections. He had made the announcement while delivering his maiden speech in the National Assembly last month.

Responding to a question, Fazal asked: “Let us know whether the elections were rigged or not.”

Hailing the PPP’s stance over rigging, he remarked that despite the Bilawal-led party retained government in Sindh, it spoke against the alleged manipulation of electoral results. Moving on to his party’s protest movement, the JUIF chief vowed that they would not backtrack from their principled stance. He also said that the masses would have to hold those accountable who stole their mandate. He vowed to bring change to the country. To a query about differences with the PTI, Fazl said that there was not a wall but a mountain between the two parties. “Neither the PTI nor we have changed our position so far.”

Blasting the establishment in connection with the alleged manipulation of elections, the JUIF leader said that there is no need for the election process if seats are given by them. The JUIF leader also lambasted, saying: “What is the need for bearing hardship, running the election campaign and facing terrorist threats... Sit at their doorstep and beg seats in the assemblies.”

He continued that “politicians go through hardships and contest elections and in the last, the establishment tells them that they have to make the decisions about the seats”. “When we came to the field, we did not even know that the agency also had a role in the elections.”

Maulana Fazl clarified that if “my army wants to discuss any issue” with him then he is ready to meet the army chief. “I will speak according to my conscience,” Fazl added. Fazl also said that his party was denied a level playing field in the general elections. To query about the ruling party, the JUI-F chief said: “Our friendship with the PMLN is of such nature that we want to remain friends.” “They want me to go and meet them (join government) and I want them to come and meet us [join opposition benches]”

The former PDM chief said that he had advised PMLN supremo Nawaz Sharif to hand over the government to the PTI and join them on the opposition benches. “Nawaz Sharif should consider my suggestion.” He added: “I know that Nawaz Sharif is more worried about the election results than me.”