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November 15, 2019

JUI-F holds sit-in on Hub River Road as part of Plan B

Karachi

November 15, 2019

As part of its Azadi March’s Plan B to put more pressure on the government for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Sindh chapter held a sit-in on Hub River Road in Karachi on Thursday.

According to the JUI-F’s provincial spokesperson Sami Swati, the party has decided to continue the protest, and the party’s workers and leaders will offer the Friday prayer at the venue of the sit-in. “After the Friday prayer, the next plan of action will be announced,” he told The News.

After the Zuhr prayer on Thursday, hundreds of party workers gathered on Hub River Road, in front of the Jamia Farooqia Phase-II to hold a protest sit-in.

JUI-F Sindh General Secretary Dr Rashid Khalid Soomro and the party’s District West chief and former MPA Maulana Umer Sadiq were also present on the occasion. Most of the party workers brought their blankets and quilts to spend the night at the venue of the sit-in.

On Wednesday JUI-F leaders had announced an end to their Azadi March that had been under way for 13 days in Islamabad. They said that according to the Azadi March’s Plan B, the anti-government protest would be spread across the country, and not only major arteries but roads and streets of the country would also be blocked starting Thursday.

Speaking to the protesters, Soomro said the party’s anti-government campaign would continue across the country. He congratulated the party’s workers for the achievements made under the Plan A of the Azadi March, which had begun in Karachi on October 27 and reached Islamabad on October 31.

“The role of the party’s Sindh chapter was crucial in the success of the protest,” said Soomro said. He said that only lockdown of main roads outside the cities was planned, and that the residents did not suffer from it.

He directed the party workers not to carry sticks to the sit-in protests, and said that ambulances, school vans, women and wedding motorcades must be allowed to pass through.

The JUI-F leader said the steadfastness demonstrated by the JUI-F workers had transformed the party into a political force to be reckoned with. Sadiq, Maulana Naseeruddin Swati, Maulana Ahsanullah Tikravi, Maulana Aminullah and other party leaders also spoke to the protesters.

In the rest of the province, the JUI-F has blocked three major thoroughfares. Swati said the party’s leaders and workers from Larkana, Jacobabad and the neighbouring districts blocked the road connecting Sindh and Balochistan at Jacobabad. Workers from Ghotki and Shikarpur blocked the Sindh-Punjab highway at Ghotki while workers from Sukkur blocked the Sukkur-Multan highway.

Security

A heavy contingent of police and Rangers officials was deployed on Hub River Road for the JUI-F’s sit-in. “Apart from three platoons of the Rapid Response Force and Reserve Police, we have eight police mobile vans and Rangers troops for security purposes,” Mochko SHO Wasim Muhammad told The News.

“They [the protesters] are non-violent and we are just providing security to them,” said the officer. He added that the sit-in did not cause any traffic jam, as the traffic diversion plan from the Northern Bypass had already been issued.

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