JUI-F chief announces another round of anti-govt protests
Says called off Azadi March after assurances of PM’s resignation
Statesman Report
LAHORE: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam – Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday announced his plans to lead a second round of an anti-government movement, months after abruptly ending his ‘Azadi’ March campaign last year.
After consultation with coalition partners, the JUI-F chief said that the parties will hold a convention in Karachi on February 23, a national convention in Islamabad on March 1 and Azadi March in Lahore on March 19.
The JUI-F chief said that he discussed the Azadi March and establishment of a constitutional and elected government in the country with Allama Sajid Mir of the Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith.
Talking about other opposition parties, the JUI-F chief said: “No doubt, the opposition has become divided due to some policies of big parties and the government has taken advantage of it.” He added that the JUI-F was focused on how all the parties will join each other on a mutual platform to deliver a message of unity to masses.
Criticising the PML-N, PPP and PML-Q, he said that the situation had changed after the passage of bills pertaining to the extension of the services chiefs.
Addressing PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervez Illahi, he asked him to unveil the “secret” behind the ending of JUI-F’s Azadi March in November last year. “The secret was that the JUI-F’s sit-in was called off after assurance that the prime minister will resign and new elections will be held after three months,” the maulana revealed.
The JUI-F chief further said that the party will think about inviting the Chaudhry brothers if they change their position.
“Our movement has shaken the building of the government,” he said and refused to accept the legitimacy of the government. He alleged that Prime Minister Imran Khan was enjoying a fake government.
He said that there was no contact between him and PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif as well as PPP chief Asif Zardari since they voted for extension in the services chiefs’ tenure.
“The PPP and the PML-N are not a part of our movement so far.”
However, he said, the doors for discussion are open if the PML-N or the PPP approach them.
While talking about the ongoing inflation, Fazl held flawed policies of the government responsible for the situation. “Inflation has taken the right to live from the people. Poor people are no more able to purchase rations,” he said, adding that the situation was forcing people to commit suicide. “We are standing by the people and we are struggling to establish an able and representative government,” he said. The JUI-F chief added that there are a lot of new taxes and tariffs for electricity, gas and petrol are increasing multiple folds. “We want to come up as people’s voice,” he said and asked the masses to join the Azadi March. “It is necessary for everyone to express national unity,” he added. He said that his party has decided to approach the masses at a time when there is no government but a vacuum. “The is no writ of the government. The actual writ is of some other powers. Those who claim that they are elected, they have no writ.”