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November 4, 2019

Azadi March: Joint opposition to decide future course of action

Top Story

November 4, 2019

Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Opposition parties leader Shahbaz Sharif, and PPP leader Nayar Bukhari and others waving to activists during an anti-government march at H-9 Ground, Peshawar Morr in federal capital.-Online 

ISLAMABAD: JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman on Sunday said they would decide their future action plan in consultation with the opposition parties and made it clear that the march would not be called off unless there was progress on their demands.

“We will return from here only after making progress,”he said while addressing protesters at the H-9 Sector here after chairing a party meeting. “Today, Islamabad is closed and tomorrow the whole country may shut down,” he said.

The JUI-F chief said their future action plan would be decided in consultation with heads of other opposition parties on Monday (today). However, he made it clear that they stuck to their demand that Prime Minister Imran Khan must step down.

He said it was not a matter of resignation of a single person but of the sanctity of vote. He said the movement would gather more strength throwing Imran Khan out of power.

“We consider it sinful to retreat after taking a stance and moving forward. The issues are very serious … it’s not an easy situation. Today all parties and every segment of the society is present here and all are pinning hopes on us,” Fazl said, adding that he won’t disappoint them.

He also maintained that the religious segment stood by the Constitution and democracy and would not take any wrong decision. “Do not try to instigate us. We can take our decisions in a better way,” he said, adding that they were more serious and experienced politicians than the rulers.

Fazl advised his workers not to believe in rumors being spread by the media and the social media but their leadership. “Whatever decisions are taken by us will be your journey,” he said.

The JUI-F chief pointed out that they never talked about staying here for 126 days, for two months or four weeks. “Who are you to instigate us? We can take our decisions in a better way,” he maintained. He said they were in contact with the heads of all the political parties and decisions would be taken jointly. “But I promise you that we will not retreat and will continue to move forward,” he said.

About moving towards the D-Chowk, he said the venue had a narrow space. “It is a place of evils where sins were committed for 126 days and women were humiliated.” He said if they decide to move towards the Prime Minister’s House, nobody would be able to stop them. “But, we will not so,” he added. Fazl said so far they were following plan A and they still had plans B and C. The JUI-F chief said they were being advised to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) but the ECP was so weak that it had not been able to complete the foreign funding case against the PTI in the last five years.

He said a parliamentary committee had been constituted to probe into allegations of rigging in 2018 general elections but it had not met in the last one year. He said despite rigging, the opposition parties secured more vote bank than the parties in the government.

“The whole ruling party is corrupt and it should be held accountable,” he said. Flanked by Mahmood Khan Achakzai and other party leaders, Fazl said it were Israel and Qadianis who were afraid of a big gathering in Islamabad. “Now after this gathering, nobody will be able to talk about recognising Israel for the next many years, while all efforts to declare Qadianis as Muslims have also failed,” he said, adding that a big gathering had foiled all such plans.

Referring to a report published in an Urdu daily in May 1996, he said it was reported that Israel would enhance its scope to this region and for this purpose a cricketer would be used. "But now we have foiled all this planning by gathering here," he said.

Fazl reiterated that they did not want a clash with institutions but the institutions should also end their interference in general elections and let people decide their fate with the power of vote. Meanwhile, chairing the party meeting, he asked the Rahber Committee convener to arrange the opposition’s All Parties Conference for chalking out the future strategy. PML-N President Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has also called a meeting of the party senior leaders to discuss the scope of further cooperation with the JUI-F.