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November 14, 2019

Fazl announces end to Islamabad sit-in, expands protests

Top Story

November 14, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) decided on Wednesday to swing into action with its “Plan B”, as party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman announced ending its nearly two weeks’ long dharna (sit-in) in the federal capital and spreading the protest across the country.

Addressing the protesters, the JUI-F chief said: “We will be leaving here tonight and will stand beside you (protesters), so the Azadi March proceeds successfully. Your presence here has pulled out the roots and the next step will be to root out the stem. Give one more push to the already falling walls.”

He appealed to the people who could not join the march to now come out when the protests spread across Pakistan. He said peaceful protest against this government would continue as he cares for both his workers and law enforcement agencies. “It is true that we would exert pressure on the government by blocking roads but we do not want to create problems for common public…We are fighting for the whole country.”

Earlier, the JUI-F held a consultation meeting under supremo Maulana Fazl on Wednesday, where it devised its future strategy. According to the Plan-B, the JUI-F would end the Islamabad sit-in and block main highways across the country.

Following the development, Azadi March participants started to dismantle their tents and began gathering their belongings to leave the H-9 venue in Islamabad.

Addressing the Azadi March participants, JUI-F leader Atta-ur-Rehman said implementation of Plan-B had already begun. “According to our Plan-B, we have staged a dharna on the Quetta-Chaman highway. We will also block Chakdara Chowk in Lower Dir and Indus Highway according to our plan. Besides, Shahrah-e-Resham (Karakoram Highway) was blocked as well by the Azadi Marchers. We will close Indus Highway at the Link Road,” he said. “In Punjab, we have blocked GT Road at Buzdar.” He added the JUI-F workers would start implementation of Plan-B from Thursday (today) at 2:00 pm.

JUI-F leader Rashid Soomro also spoke to the Azadi March participants and urged them to gather at Hub River Road on Thursday at 2:00 pm. “Workers should not carry sticks to the sit-in protests,” he said. “Ambulances must be allowed to pass through.” Soomro said one should not think that the Azadi March was nearing its end. He said the protest was inching towards success with each step. “From 2:00 pm tomorrow (Thursday), the motorway in Sukkur will be blocked,” he said. “At the same time, the road linking Ghotki to Punjab will also be closed.”

Provincial JUI-F leader Maulana Abdul Wasay said “Plan-B” was underway in Balochistan with the highway being closed for traffic. On the other hand, a large contingent of levies force had reached the spot and they were negotiating with the protesters to open the highway.

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