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JUI-F intensifies locality-level activities for anti-govt protest and LG polls

February 05, 2020

In a fresh bid to mobilise its workers to take part in the next wave of protests against the federal government, the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl leadership has started visiting Karachi’s various neighbourhoods and organising public gatherings. However, local analysts believe that the party is also preparing itself to take part in the upcoming local government polls by mobilising its cadre at the neighbourhood level in Karachi.

The JUI-F, which organised a two-week Azadi March sit-in Islamabad in November, has announced it will resume its campaign against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led federal government in Lahore by organising a national-level gathering on March 19. It has also asked the party leadership in the provinces to gear up their preparations.

The JUI-F in the Sindh province has also chalked out a strategy to mobilise the people for making the upcoming anti-government agitation successful and announced it will show its strength on February 23 in by organising a provincial conference at Hakeem Said Park in Gulshan-e-Iqbal.

According to the party’s plan, JUI-F Sindh secretary-general Rashid Mehmood Soomro will visit all districts and spend two to three days to attend activities in various localities to mobilise the workers and supporters.

Soomro spent Monday and Tuesday in District West, where he along with other district leaders took part in a number of activities in various nieghbourhoods. He visited Sultanabad, Keamari, Baba and Bhit Islands, Mianwali Colony, Fareed Colony and Manghopir areas, hoisted the party’s flag, spoke to the workers’ gatherings and offered condolences to local leaders and notables of the areas.

Soomro will be in District South on February 5 and 6 where he will participate in the party’s events in Lea Market, Miran Naka, Shireen Jinnah Colony, Hazara Colony, City Railway Colony and Hijrat Colony, said Maulana Noorul Haq, head of the JUI-F District South.

He said PTI had lost its justification to stay further in power after the Transparency International’s recent report on corruption and unbearable hikes in the prices of essential commodities. “The federal government continues to rattle from the aftershocks of our successful Azadi March and now we are launching another round of protests against the government in March,” Haq told The News.

However, analysts believe that the JUI-F has simultaneously been preparing itself for the upcoming local government polls. “Although the JUI-F did not perform well in the 2018 general polls, the party gained a significant number of votes in some of the constituencies in the city,” said Munir Ahmed Shah, a journalist covering religious parties in the city.

Citing the example of NA-246, the city’s important constituency of Lyari, Shah said that JUI-F district chief Haq had bagged over 33,000 while the Pakistan People’s Party supremo had secured over 39,000 votes. The Pakistan Terheek-e-Insaf’s candidate Shakoor Shad had won the constituency by securing more than 52,000 votes.

Shah said that the party had also been looking for influential and popular candidates, such as Haq, who is the principal of a largest madrasa in Lyari, for the upcoming local government polls. “With Soomro spending two days in each district and attending the party’s gatherings in almost every locality, the party will be in a better position to devise an effective strategy for the local government polls,” he told The News.