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October 31, 2019

March a movement for reforms, not a sit-in: Fazl

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October 31, 2019

LAHORE: The Azadi March comprising thousands of slogan-chanting and flag-waving JUI-F workers led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman left Lahore for Islamabad on Wednesday evening as he reiterated while addressing the crowd that the march would not end without sending illegal Prime Minister Imran Khan and his cabinet home.

Riding a lofty container on a truck amidst the front portion of a long motorcade, he told the charged crowd comprising party workers and members of affiliated youth organization Ansarul Islam at the final public meeting near Greater Iqbal Park, that the march was a movement for reforming the affairs of the state and not a sit-in since he never claimed it to be that, and warned that if the demands are not fulfilled after reaching Islamabad, the movement would take a stricter stance against the rulers. PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira and other PPP leaders Azizur Rehman Chan and Aslam Gill also addressed the public meeting, but strangely the PML- leaders were conspicuous by their absence despite that they were adding to the charged crowds at reception camps on the previous night.

Fazlur Rehman said the movement would put its demands before the government in Islamabad and then adopt the future strategy after seeing the rulers’ response. He vowed to send the PTI government packing, being within the ambit of the Constitution and law, adding that the marchers had remained exemplary peaceful and nothing was damaged during 1,300-km journey.

He said the PTI government came to power through the most-rigged elections in the country’s history and as such he and opposition parties never acknowledged its results, kept demanding resignations of the fake government and fresh elections to allow people to elect genuine representatives. He claimed though the PTI government is illegal as it was installed by rigged polls, it was also proved to be incompetent after 15-month rule, destroying economy, agriculture, industry and trade sectors, and pushing the nation to the brink of starvation. He said those claiming to provide ten million jobs to countrymen only provided jobs to two foreigners by appointing them as governor State Bank and chairman FBR.

He expressed gratitude for all the parties for supporting the Azadi March and without naming any party, he said those opposition parties which did not support it had some ‘serious compulsion’ which he knew very well. He said he thanked “all Jialas, Matwalas, protectors of Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, and those workers ready to lay down lives for protecting the country’s security, ideology and integrity”. He said the Azadi March has become the voice of the entire nation and brought the whole nation on one page. He said wherever the march passed, it received immense support and assistance. He lamented that Imran Khan’s policies forced even the affluent businessmen towards bankruptcy, while the small traders are facing starvation. He said the government violated the centuries-old code for Khatm-e-Nabuwwat, causing serious mental agony for the entire Muslim Ummah. He said teachers and doctors are being beaten by the police for demanding their due rights, while poor people are deprived of even voicing their pain and resentment.

He prayed for the early recovery of PPP Co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif. He asked the rulers how long the drama of victimizing opposition leaders in the name of accountability would continue.

PPP Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira warned that if the Plan A of the Azadi March failed, the Plans B and C would be implemented, adding that illegal rulers should be sent packing at all costs. He said the sooner the incompetent and illegal government was removed, the better it would be for the nation which was suffering under numerous plagues brought by the rulers. He expressed concerns that former president Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on mere allegations and without proof, and warned that his life was in danger due to serious illness. He demanded that Zardari be released immediately. He said it was not the opposition but the government which was damaging the Kashmir cause, by not taking any practical measure to provide relief to the besieged Kashmiris. He said the Indian army is committing genocide of Kashmiri Muslims while “our government is busy victimizing the opposition parties”. He asked the rulers to tell the nation how often they discussed Kashmir in cabinet meetings and chalked out any practical measures for solving the seven decades old issue.

He said the PPP’s march is already under way as Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has been holding public meetings in Karachi, Kashmore, Tharparkar and other cities. He would reach Kashmir for holding public meetings via Rahim Yar Khan and other cities of Punjab. He lamented that the country is not being run according to the Constitution. He said nobody is asking for NRO from Imran Khan but he has been raising false hue and cry over imaginary NRO demands.

Jamiat Ahle Hadith President Senator Sajid Mir said conquering Islamabad is necessary for enforcing Islam and meeting basic needs of people. Addressing the Azadi march while it passed through Azadi Chowk, Mir warned that the nation would not allow the army meddling in the country’s elections any further. He said Imran was not elected but brought through selection and people’s mandate was stolen. He said the entire nation was on streets protesting against the cruel, anti-Islam policies of the PTI government. He said the successful Azadi March from Karachi to Lahore is a referendum against the government.

JUP Secretary General Shah Awais Noorani said the nation has come out after realizing that only a handful people sitting in Islamabad have the power to play with the destiny of the whole nation. He said the march was not for reaching power corridors but against anti-Islam and anti-people policies of the PTI government.