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October 11, 2019

Opp leaders to extend symbolic support to Azadi March


October 11, 2019

PESHAWAR: The opposition parties would extend symbolic support to the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) sit-in to be held in Islamabad on October 31, but would not take active part in it as far as their workers’ participation is concerned.

Awami National Party (ANP) central General Secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain told The News on Thursday that opposition parties own and support the JUI-F protest and their leaders would address the protesters in Islamabad.

“Although announcement of Azadi March was JUI-F’s decision, the opposition has decided to take ownership of the protest,” he said, adding, they were united against the government in principle.

He said it has been unanimously decided by the Rahbar Committee, which represents all the opposition parties, that the leaders of every party would take part in the march.

He said that all the opposition parties would have symbolic participation in the JUI-F protest and would express solidarity with it. However, he said, the political parties were not bound to take active part in the protest. “Maulana Fazlur Rehman has been trying for a long time to convince all political leaders to take a united decision about the protest, but the political parties had reservations over certain methods of the protest,” he added.

Mian Iftikhar said that leaders of opposition parties had told JUI-F chief that all of them should agree on every detail of the protest before announcing the date. “However, Maulana Fazlur Rehman made the decision on his own so it was technically the protest of JUI-F,” he maintained. “Every party has its own organisational structure and discipline and this was the reason more time was sought to make preparations for the protest as these other opposition parties were not as prepared as the JUI-F,” he said, adding, “ANP, PML-N and PPP sought more time for preparations.” JUI-F was making preparations for more than a year while other parties have only now started to mobilise their workers, he said. “Take the example of JUI-F’s million march for which they had prepared for more than three months,” he pointed out. However, he said, the JUI-F leadership believed that the weather would become cold in the coming months and it would be difficult to mobilise its workers and supporters due to the extreme weather.

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