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November 8, 2019

No talks taking place, just passing time: Maulana Fazlur Rehman

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November 8, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman Thursday said negotiations with the government were not taking place and they were just passing time.

In an interview, he said that the Azadi Marchers would sustain bullets, render sacrifices, lift the dead bodies but would not leave Islamabad without resignation of the prime minister.

He said, “We want elections and our demand would be met by them at all costs.” He said that media has stopped coverage of the Azadi March. He said the Senate elections had made it abundantly clear that there was no use of bringing a no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

He said a particular force must "rid itself of the troubles" it was put into by the government time and again. He said the problem started when the government called in a particular force (during elections) under the guise of security and then they entered every single polling booth.

"Then people vote under the shadow of their presence and then people speak against them. So we say, that force should rid themselves of this trouble.” He further remarked that Nawaz Sharif’s move to call in that particular force for negotiations in the 2014 sit-in “was a wrong move”.

“We all wish to see that the force holds a respectable position and for us to shout slogans in their favour,” he said. Talking about the “detailed planning and efforts involved to pull off a campaign of this magnitude”, he said the movement had begun the very day after the July 25, 2018 elections.

“We have worked constantly since July 26. In nine months, we pulled off 15 ‘million marches’,” said the JUI-F chief. He said every political party had “actively pursued this” in their own way.

“If the prime minister had shown some competence and had put the economy on the path of improvement, people would have said: ‘Well, even if he is illegally installed, he has taken the country towards progress, the youth are gaining employment, investments are taking off.’ But the country continues to sink. If we continue to give them time, every single day will cost us.”

The JUI-F chief says the opposition leaders will never be willing to “squander the emotions of the participants and end the ongoing anti-government protest”. He said the protest participants who belonged to all walks of life and represent all political parties were determined in their resolve and “there is no telling until when they wish to continue”.

The Maulana said the protest “which has the nation’s support and which represents the voice of the nation cannot be sidelined”. He said those who had the competence to rule the country were all behind bars.

The JUI-F chief told the government not to “bother with negotiations” if the prime minister’s resignation is off the table. “There is no need for negotiations then. No need to come to us. When you come, you must come with the intention of leaving the corridors of power behind.” Addressing the prime minister, Maulana Fazl said: “You are at a dead end now and now you must decide whether you want to continue to remain there or come out and give back the people their right.”

Fazlur Rehman censured the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf for employing “delaying tactics” in the foreign funding case pending with the Election Commission of Pakistan. “Why is your foreign funding case still pending with the ECP for the past 5 years? Your own senior leadership has gone to the commission and have said funding came from India, Europe and many other places. You submitted 60 petitions in the court to delay the case. Every petition by the government has been rejected. Why has the election commission not been able to decide the matter?” The JUI-F chief questioned why “when the entire party is a robber brigade” it is being allowed to continue.