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October 18, 2019

JUI-F likely to start ‘Azadi March’ from Sindh


October 18, 2019

Although the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl has kept its plans for its ‘Azadi March’ secret, it has plans to start the anti-government march on Islamabad from Sindh, The News has learnt.

Interviews with various JUI-F leaders suggest that the party leadership has been busy in discussing ways to prevent the federal government’s expected crackdown on the marchers. They say that the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s provincial governments, which are ruled by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, might create hurdles by arresting the party’s supremo, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, before the march.

In view of the situation, the party leadership has decided to take out the long march from Sindh where the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party would not create hurdles. “Sukkur and Karachi are the two cities from where the party may initiate its Azadi March and the party’s provincial leadership has advised all district leaders to start preparations,” said a JUI-F Sindh

leader, who has requested anonymity because he is not authorised to share the details of the march, while talking to The News on Thursday.

JUI-F Sindh Secretary General Dr Rashid Soomro would lead the rally from Karachi to Sukkur and rallies from Balochistan would join the march from Karachi. From Sukkur, the party supremo would lead the Azadi March towards Islamabad.

Although the JUI-F has currently no parliamentary presence from Sindh, the party has a strong support base in the province, especially in Karachi and northern districts. “In the presence of a large number of party workers, it will be difficult for the Punjab government to arrest Maulana Fazlur Rehman on his entrance in Punjab from Sindh,” the party leader told The News, adding: “If the plan works, the Azadi March will stop in Multan.”

The JUI-F Sindh leadership has also asked district leaders of the party to ensure the madrasas situated on the main Sindh-Punjab highway are prepared to host the marchers. The JUI-F has also asked the deputy chiefs of the party to get themselves mentally prepared to lead the party in the case of the JUI-F chief’s arrest. Maulana Muhammad Yousaf for Punjab, Maulana Qadir Qasimi for Balochistan, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Halejvi for Sindh and Maulana Fazal Haqqani for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the party’s central chiefs.

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