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November 5, 2019

‘At least Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation, at most assemblies’ dissolution’

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November 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman on Monday said their minimum demand was Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation and the maximum one was dissolution of the assemblies.

Talking to reporters at his residence here, Fazl said tabling a no-confidence motion against the prime minister and resignations from assemblies was also a constitutional option. "The government will be serious only when resignations come," he said, adding that there would also be no use of fresh polls without electoral reforms.

"What is the use of fresh elections if an army officer is present inside the polling station and a soldier is deputed outside?" he asked. However, he said better results could be achieved if the existing Election Act was implemented in letter and spirit. He said it had been decided at the All Parties Conference that those sitting at the Azadi March were not the worry of a single party.

To a question, he said no meeting was held with any important personality in the present situation. To a question, he said no guarantor would be required if an agreement was reached.

Fazl maintained that he had no personal differences with the prime minister rather it was a national demand. The JUI-F leader said he did not know whether or not Maryam Nawaz would address the Azadi March.

He said the corps commanders’ conference view that there existed no tension in the country was in fact admission of tension.Meanwhile, addressing the Azadi March, he said negotiations with the government would be held on the conditions set by the opposition parties.

“Thanks to the blessings of the Azadi March, the government has agreed to hold talks with the opposition but with a condition,” he said while addressing the Azadi March here. He said talks with thegovernment would be held as per conditions of the organizers of Azadi March adding that the opposition parties and not the government will present their demands.

“You have no right to come up with demands,” he added.

Terming Prime Minister Imran Khan ‘rejected’, Fazl said the PTI government that did not representative the nation would have to go and that was the only way to end unrest. “Imran Khan is not only selected, but he is also rejected,” he said.

Without naming Imran Khan, Fazl said he was alone when he was in the opposition and now he was alone when he was in the government. “He is not a representative of the Pakistani nation. We do not know whom he represents,” he said, adding that the illegal government should quit as early as possible.

“Today, the foreign policy has totally failed, while the country is also facing internal stability. All the institutions are worried about stability in the country. The incompetent government cannot address this unrest,” he added.

Fazl said the opposition parties were united and their demands were not against the Constitution. He said an ex-army chief had in an interview said that their demands were as per the Constitution.

“He talked wisely and we are thankful to him for his remarks,” he said. Fazl said they were moving closer to their objectives, while the opposition parties had also assured that they would not left JUI-F alone.

He said the religious leaders were dubbed extremists but it was a matter of fact that protection of rights of minorities and women was very much part of the JUI-F manifesto. “Female journalists who turned up here for coverage of the Azadi March said that they got respect contrary to humiliation, which they faced at 2014 dharna,” he continued.

Fazl once against criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for his remarks when he said re-election of Modi as Indian Prime Minister would resolve the Kashmir issue. He said economy had been handed over to the IMF and as such every single day of the incumbent government would be harmful to the national interests.

Meanwhile, the Rahber Committee of the opposition and the government negotiating team have decided to continue talks and will meet again on Tuesday (today). In their first meeting, the Rahber Committee forwarded the opposition’s demands to the government negotiating committee headed by Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak.

The government committee held a meeting with the Rahber Committee at the residence of JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman after the All Parties Conference (APC) decided to open dialogue with the government.

Talking to newsmen after the meeting, the Rahber Committee convener Akram Khan Durrani said a detailed discussion was held with the government committee in which they forwarded their demands and handed it their list of demands.

“We will meet again today (Tuesday) and they will come up with their response on our demands,” he said. Defence Minister Pervez Khattak said he was thankful to the Rahber Committee and the opposition for following the agreement.

He said when politicians sat together, the outcome was positive. “The first round of talks seems successful and I hope it will bear good results,” he said. He said they would go back and talk with their leadership and come up again on Tuesday (today) and was hopeful of a positive outcome.

According to sources, the Rahber Committee demands resignation of the prime minister, reforms in the election laws and activation of parliamentary committee on rigging, which had been in the sleep mode for the last one year.

Sources said the government negotiating committee had agreed to discuss the election reforms issue in the parliamentary committee to probe rigging. Sources said the Rahber Committee complained about not holding a meeting of the parliamentary committee in the last one year.

A member of the Rahber Committee proposed that army should not be deployed inside and outside the polling stations, otherwise the allegations of rigging will continue to be leveled in every election.