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November 20, 2019

Islamabad sit-in was a success, claims JUI-F’s Abdul Ghafoor Haideri


November 20, 2019

Plan A of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) anti-government Azadi March was the Islamabad sit-in, while blocking the roads across the country was Plan B, but if that does not succeed, the party will execute Plan C.

JUI-F Central General Secretary Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said this on Tuesday while addressing the party’s sit-in on Hub River Road, which protesters had blocked for traffic between Sindh and Balochistan provinces for six consecutive days.

Haideri, who is also a former deputy chairman of Senate, said the Islamabad sit-in was a success and now the protest had spread to every nook and cranny of the country.

“The JUI-F has demonstrated its public strength by holding a successful sit-in in the federal capital. The gathering’s cause is sacred and objective,” he said.

Remarking on Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments comparing the JUI-F’s sit-in to a circus, Haideri said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief had insulted the public gathering.

He claimed that Khan had gathered characterless people from other parties in his cabinet, saying that the government and its ministers had continuously been lying, but the people were aware of their lies.

Claiming that the government was weakening and shaking, Haideri said his party would continue its protest because it represented the sentiments of the people. “The government has started experiencing the aftershocks of the Azadi March.”

The JUI-F leader said the protesters would not return to their homes without getting the PM’s resignation. He warned the government that public outcry against the rulers could lead to different paths.

Replying to a question, Haideri said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party were the JUI-F’s friends, adding that it was good if they were getting some relief because of the Azadi March.

The JUI-F’s central deputy chief Maulana Qadir Qasmi, Muhammad Aslam Ghouri, Maulana Abdul Karim Abdi, Maulana Muhammad Ghayas, Maulana Umar Sadiq, Sami Swati and other leaders were also present at the sit-in.

A number of JUI-F activists in Karachi continued their sit-in on Hub River Road, which is one of the key links between the city and Balochistan, for the sixth consecutive day, blocking all traffic between the two provinces from 8am to 8pm.

However, in a late night development, the party announced that they were bringing their Plan B to an end by opening the blocked roads for traffic after a meeting of the party’s Rehbar Committee held in Islamabad.

A small number of workers of the Mehmood Khan Achakzai-led Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party carrying their party flags had also been participating in the protest sit-in.

The JUI-F had been holding a sit-in at Lucky Chowk near a branch of the Jamia Farooqia seminary since November 14, causing inconvenience to people, especially those who had to travel between Sindh and Balochistan.

After realising that the sit-in had been causing severe inconvenience to the people, the party announced this past Saturday that the road would only be blocked from 8am to 8pm. Since then the protesters dispersed at night, opening the road where a long queue of loaded trucks have lined up awaiting the opening of the road in the evening. After the sit-in had started, buses and trucks travelling between Sindh and Balochistan had been using different routes to reach their destinations.

They complained that because of the closure of Hub River Road, a drive of five minutes for them had been changed into a drive of 40 minutes due to the dilapidated alternative roads. Moreover, residents of Naval Colony, Yousaf Goth and dozens of other areas of Karachi and Hub had also been affected because of the road’s closure.