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JUI-F Azadi March

Key points

  • Anti-govt march led by JUI-F underway since Oct 31 in Islamabad
  • Opposition is demanding PM Imran's resignation and a re-election (Read more)
  • No headway in govt, opposition talks as neither budge on PM's resignation
  • PPP, PML-N stay away from JUI-F's sit-in (Read more)
Latest
5:18 PM

JUI-F to end Azadi March sit-in, spread protest across Pakistan: sources

3:41 PM

JUI-F workers stage sit-in at Jacobabad's Zero Point

2:29 PM

JUI-F consultative meeting underway

1:06 PM

Watch: JUI-F, PkMAP block road in Qilla Abdullah

12:45 PM

JUI-F, PkMAP block road in Qilla Abdullah district of Balochistan

11:50 AM

Sit-in participants complain of inadequate hygiene facilities: Geo

9:40 AM

Police in Karachi alerted of JUI-F's plan for an 'indefinite' sit-in in the city

Nov 12, 2019
11:59 PM

Fazl asks JUI-F workers to come out for 'Plan-B' but 'don't take the law in your hands'

5:44 PM

JUI-F meeting gives final shape to party's 'Plan-B'

12:41 PM

JUI-F meeting to be held today

9:53 AM

'Will continue our struggle till we are free from this illegitimate govt,' says Fazlur Rehman

9:33 AM

Capital residents complain about disruptions as JUI-F sit-in continues

Nov 11, 2019
9:18 PM

WATCH: Bird's-eye view of JUI-F sit-in on 12th day

7:10 PM

Fazlur Rehman seeks opinions from provincial chapters on party's 'Plan B'

4:34 PM

Achakzai calls on Fazlur Rehman to discuss Azadi March strategy

2:48 PM

Important decision expected from JUI-F party meeting

1:33 PM

Agreement equivalent to PM's resignation will be acceptable, says Maulana

11:26 AM

JUI-F leadership to discuss its 'Plan B' in meeting today

Nov 10, 2019
10:56 PM

'The war will continue against this government,' declares JUI-F chief

10:44 PM

'Fata has not seen a single penny of what was promised'

10:32 PM

'Govt has made a mockery of the economy,' Fazlur Rehman tells Islamabad protesters

10:10 PM

WATCH: Maulana addresses rally on 10th day of sit-in

4:41 PM

JUI-F decides to distribute food supplies to protesters

3:57 PM

Scenes from last night's 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference'

1:12 PM

Large tanks placed at venue so participants can perform ablutions

11:44 AM

'We want the protest to end as soon as possible,' says Qasim Suri

8:32 AM

'We have not witnessed such a large Seerat conference in history,' says Fazlur Rehman

Nov 09, 2019
11:15 PM

'Our next course of action will become clear in the coming week,' Akram Durrani tells media

9:39 PM

'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' underway at sit-in venue

5:20 PM

Protesters to observe 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal with 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' tonight

12:36 PM

Who will be on the ropes in the Imran vs Maulana fight in Islamabad?

12:18 PM

Vehicle carrying jackets for sit-in participants has 'disappeared', says JUI-F leader

11:07 AM

A little comic relief

9:53 AM

With change in weather, some participants from twin cities return home

9:19 AM

'I told you so'

Nov 08, 2019
10:51 PM

Nawaz instructs Shehbaz to support JUI-F in his absence

10:48 PM

'PTI is a group of illegal occupiers,' says Fazlur Rehman

10:34 PM

'Army would never have achieved what it has without our sacrifices,' says Rehman

10:02 PM

'Fake' assemblies have made legislation controversial: Fazlur Rehman

9:49 PM

'Khattak's tone in parliament reflects govt's unwillingness to negotiate,' says Fazlur Rehman

8:28 PM

PML-Q's Hafiz Ammar Yasir brings Pervaiz Elahi's message to Fazlur Rehman

7:32 PM

Impasse will not be broken without the PM's resignation: Abdul Ghafoor Haideri

6:45 PM

PML-N members hold 'secret meeting' with JUI-F leadership

6:26 PM

Scenes from Friday prayers held at protest venue in Islamabad

4:15 PM

'If there was rigging, why did you run for the presidential election?' Awan asks Fazlur Rehman

4:08 PM

READ: Weary Islamabad residents endure another round of protests

3:51 PM

'If the only condition is my resignation, what good are talks then?' PM asks govt committee

3:31 PM

Govt negotiation committee to brief PM about opposition's demands

2:19 PM

PM's resignation or fresh elections in 3 months: Fazlur Rehman delivers message to govt

1:24 PM

Maryam says her full attention is on Nawaz right now

Nov 13, 2019 05:18pm

JUI-F to end Azadi March sit-in, spread protest across Pakistan: sources

The JUI-F is likely to call off its Azadi March sit-in in Islamabad by tonight and spread its anti-government protest across the country, party sources say.

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman is expected to make an announcement in this regard in the evening.

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Nov 13, 2019 04:46pm

JUI-F workers stage sit-in at Jacobabad's Zero Point

Scores of workers of the JUI-F are staging a sit-in at Zero Point in Jacobabad.

The participants of the sit-in have arrived from Larkana, Shikarpur and other areas of Sindh.

The protest is being led by Siraj Ahmed Shah.

Nov 13, 2019 02:29pm

JUI-F consultative meeting underway

A consultative meeting of JUI-F is underway at party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's residence, sources said.

Headed by the JUI-F, various party leaders including Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Maulana Attaur Rahman and Mohammad Aslam Ghauri are participating in the meeting.

The party will look at its strategy regarding 'Plan-B' of the protest and will review the roads that have been closed, the sources said, adding that they will also discuss starting the implementation of 'Plan-B' in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from tomorrow.

The Azadi March sit-in and the country's political situation will also be discussed.

Nov 13, 2019 12:45pm

JUI-F, PkMAP block road in Qilla Abdullah district of Balochistan

JUI-F and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) workers have blocked a road at the Syed Hameed Cross area of Qilla Abdullah district near Chaman.

Blocking major highways is part of 'Plan-B' of the JUI-F protest, which is currently staging a sit-in in Islamabad.

JUI-F and PkMAP workers block a road at the Syed Hameed Cross area. — Photo provided by Syed Ali Shah
JUI-F and PkMAP workers block a road at the Syed Hameed Cross area. — Photo provided by Syed Ali Shah

Pictures from the scene show the participants holding party flags as they stood in the middle of the road.

Nov 13, 2019 11:50am

Sit-in participants complain of inadequate hygiene facilities: Geo

According to Geo, participants of the JUI-F sit-in have complained of inadequate hygiene facilities at the sit-in venue.

The report said that according to participants there are not enough toilets and sufficient water supply at the dharna site, which they said is leading to diseases.

"We are determined to stay until our leader asks us to be here. Such things will have no impact on our dharna," Geo quoted the participants as saying.

"Yes, the hygiene issues are irritating. We have people deputed to clean the place and Ansar-ul-Islam also joins them. We are not like the participants of 2014 ‘dharna’," Ubaid Ullah, a participant from Balochistan, was quoted as saying.

Read the full story here.

Nov 13, 2019 10:18am

Police in Karachi alerted of JUI-F's plan for an 'indefinite' sit-in in the city

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, South Zone, Karachi, Sharjil Kharal, has written a letter to the senior superintendents of police for the City and South districts of the metropolis alerting them of JUI-F's 'Plan-B' for their protest expected in Karachi.

In a letter dated November 11, the DIG said that according to a credible source, JUI-F will gather at various locations in Karachi and stage a sit-in for an "indefinite period to disturb the [peaceful] atmosphere of the city and to provide [economic] loss to the government".

The locations identified by the DIG are:

  • Oil Terminal Area entry and exit gate
  • ICI Bridge
  • Merewether Tower
  • Three Sword
  • Zainab Market Chowk

In his letter, the DIG added that students of Madaris and local workers would be part of the sit-in and would bring tents and other items with them for a long stay.

"Please keep strict surveillance and adopt all precautionary measures to pre-empt any untoward incident," he told the SSPs.

A police source told Dawn that this is a precautionary measure, adding that there were different phases in the JUI-F's plan to block highways linking the provinces. The sources said that the fourth phase would probably be blocking the Karachi-Hub road. They added that the first phase is starting from Jacobabad today.

The news of JUI-F's 'Plan-B' is also trending on Twitter today as '#PlanB_ComingSoon'.

Nov 12, 2019 11:59pm

Fazl asks JUI-F workers to come out for 'Plan-B' but 'don't take the law in your hands'

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has asked workers of his party to come out of their homes to execute 'Plan-B' of the anti-government Azadi March, which involved blocking major highways and trade links across the country.

"This movement will be given so much strength that it will not be possible for this government to stay in place," he told the sit-in participants.

But he reminded party workers not to "take the law into your hands" and "save yourself from clash".

Nov 12, 2019 06:45pm

JUI-F meeting gives final shape to party's 'Plan-B'

A meeting of the JUI-F chaired by Fazlur Rehman today gave "final shape" to the party's 'Plan-B' of the anti-government Azadi March, sources say.

During the meeting, the emirs of JUI-F's four provincial chapters gave a briefing regarding their preparations to implement the party's Plan-B, which includes blocking major highways and trade links across the country.

According to party sources, Rehman expressed satisfaction on the preparations of the provincial chapters regarding executing the plan.

Deliberations were held regarding blocking major roads in all four provinces and staging a lockdown at important spots in Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the sources added.

The decisions taken during the meeting today will be announced by Rehman at the sit-in site, his spokesperson said.

— Javed Hussain
— Javed Hussain

12th Nov, 12:41 PM

JUI-F meeting to be held today

An important meeting of the JUI-F will be held today.

According to sources, the future of the protest will be decided during the meeting and consultations regarding the plan-B will be held.

12th Nov, 9:53 AM

'Will continue our struggle till we are free from this illegitimate govt,' says Fazlur Rehman

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that they are further increasing the pressure on the government and will continue to do so.

He said that JUI-F was currently consulting all parties, adding that the whole country is on the same page.

"We will continue our struggle till we are free from this illegitimate government," he said.

12th Nov, 9:33 AM

Capital residents complain about disruptions as JUI-F sit-in continues

Residents of the capital complain about disruptions in daily life caused by the JUI-F-led sit-in, which continues without an end in sight.

"Our life is badly disrupted because of the closure of Kashmir Highway as the traffic load is shifted on small roads," said Mohammad Shah, a resident of G-10.

Contrary to the past when such protests were held at D-Chowk, the participants of JUI-F’s sit-in are camped on Kashmir Highway at H-9 and G-9 in the middle of the city.

This has resulted in the blockade of a portion of the highway which also leads to the Islamabad International Airport. Sector H-9 houses a large number of schools as well.

Read more here.

11th Nov, 7:10 PM

Fazlur Rehman seeks opinions from provincial chapters on party's 'Plan B'

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has sought the opinion of provincial chapters regarding the party's 'Plan B' for the ongoing anti-government protest.

Rehman, who was chairing a meeting of party leaders, has directed the JUI-F provincial emirs to brief the party's central executive committee tomorrow regarding their preparations and resources to implement the Plan B, which includes blocking major highways, trade links and shutter down strikes.

The JUI-F chief has also sought details regarding "which road can be completely blocked in which province", a source in the party told DawnNewsTV.

Rehman also decided that the sit-in underway on Kashmir Highway will continue alongside the implementation of the party's Plan B, the source added.

— Photo provided by Javed Hussain.
— Photo provided by Javed Hussain.

11th Nov, 4:34 PM

Achakzai calls on Fazlur Rehman to discuss Azadi March strategy

A delegation led by Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai has called on JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman to discuss the future strategy of the Azadi March.

Achakzai and Rehman also discussed the JUI-F's 'plan B' during the meeting, sources told DawnNewsTV.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, PkMAP leader Usman Kakar said the opposition will make "every democratic process" a part of their anti-government movement.

He said the future strategy for the protest has not yet been decided and will be made public once it is finalised. Kakar also accused the government of "not being serious" regarding negotiations with the opposition.

11th Nov, 2:48 PM

Important decision expected from JUI-F party meeting

A JUI-F meeting is underway to discuss the Azadi March sit-in at JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's residence.

According to sources, consultations are being held regarding the future of the protest. They will discuss what extent to act on the plan-B for the protest which includes blocking major highways and shutter down strikes.

In light of the Rehbar Committee's decisions, an important decision is expected from the meeting, the sources added.

Various party leaders including Maulana Attaur Rehman, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Akram Durrani are participating in the meeting.

11th Nov, 1:33 PM

Agreement equivalent to PM's resignation will be acceptable, says Maulana

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that while his party will not settle on anything less than Prime Minister Imran Khan's resignation, an "equivalent" agreement can be considered, The News reported. He did not elaborate on what he meant, however.

While speaking on Geo News' programme jirga, Rehman rubbished the impression that he was looking for a face-saving exit, insisting that it was the government that needs to maintain dignity. He claimed that the JUI-F-led 'Azadi March' and the subsequent sit-in has rid the people of government's fear.

11th Nov, 11:26 AM

JUI-F leadership to discuss its 'Plan B' in meeting today

JUI-F leadership is set to meet today at party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's residence to discuss the implementation of its 'Plan B'.

According to party sources, the meeting will be chaired by Rehman and the party will discuss its 'Plan B' as well as recommendations by opposition parties.

10th Nov, 10:56 PM

'The war will continue against this government,' declares JUI-F chief

The JUI-F chief vows to continue the fight against the incumbent "incompetent" government.

"The war will continue. We can not retreat. All political parties are in touch with us.

Fazlur Rehman said that even as he speaks, the opposition parties are holding discussions for the next course of action. "We will move forward after deliberations between leaders."

10th Nov, 10:44 PM

'Fata has not seen a single penny of what was promised'

Fazlur Rehman decries the promises made by the government to the erstwhile Fata region.

"You promised to give Fata Rs100bn every year for 10 years and not a penny of that was given. And no province is willing to give from its share of the federal NFC (National Finance Commission) award."

Rehman said that even if it is acknowledged that in Punjab and Balochistan, it was the PML-N's government at the time, and in Sindh in was the PPP's government, and even if it is argued that these provinces did not agree to give their share to Fata in the past, today, the PTI has a government in three provinces.

"Why are they then not willing to give their share?" asked the JUI-F chief, demanding an explanation from the government.

10th Nov, 10:32 PM

'Govt has made a mockery of the economy,' Fazlur Rehman tells Islamabad protesters

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, while addressing the protest participants says that the incumbent government has "made a mockery out of the economy".

"They have utterly failed to pay attention to the economy. Wheat production has gone down by 30 per cent in the past year. Similarly, rice production has declined by 30-40pc. Of the cotton target of 15 million bales set, a mere 8pc was achieved."

The JUI-F chief, laying stress on the role cotton plays in our exports, said that even though 60-70pc of our exports are cotton, it isn't even a subject of discussion in the prime minister's emergency agricultural committee.

10th Nov, 4:41 PM

JUI-F decides to distribute food supplies to protesters

JUI-F has decided to give the protesters participating in the party's anti-government sit-in food supplies which will last them a week.

The supplies include pulses, sugar, tea leaves, clarified butter (ghee), and salt, among other essential food items.

According to the party spokesperson, the distribution has been made possible by the "charitable members of the party".

The supplies are expected to be distributed throughout the protest camp today.

Photo courtesy JUI-F
Photo courtesy JUI-F

10th Nov, 3:57 PM

Scenes from last night's 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference'

All photos courtesy Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan Facebook page
All photos courtesy Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan Facebook page

10th Nov, 1:12 PM

Large tanks placed at venue so participants can perform ablutions

Large tanks have been placed at the JUI-F sit-in venue so that participants can perform ritual ablutions.

— Photo provided by Javed Hussain
— Photo provided by Javed Hussain

— Photo provided by Javed Hussain
— Photo provided by Javed Hussain

10th Nov, 11:44 AM

'We want the protest to end as soon as possible,' says Qasim Suri

Deputy Speaker National Assembly Qasim Suri says that the protest in Islamabad is a constitutional right of the participants and the government is fully cooperating with them.

"We want the protest to end as soon as possible," he said.

Read more here.

10th Nov, 8:32 AM

'We have not witnessed such a large Seerat conference in history,' says Fazlur Rehman

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses the 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' held at the protest venue in Islamabad to observe 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal.

"Our Azadi March has been transformed into a Seerat conference right now

"We have not witnessed such a large Seerat conference in history," he said.

Prior to the JUI-F chief's address, the national anthem was played.

9th Nov, 11:15 PM

'Our next course of action will become clear in the coming week,' Akram Durrani tells media

JUI-F leader and head of the opposition's Rehbar Committee, Akram Khan Durrani, while speaking to the media has hinted at the party moving towards a "Plan B" in the coming week.

"Our next course of action will become clear soon...Monday or Tuesday."

Durrani said that another meeting between the committee will be called "if deemed necessary". He rejected the notion that talks with the government were suspended. "We are holding discussions on how to move the talks forward."

9th Nov, 9:39 PM

'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' underway at sit-in venue

A 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' arranged by the JUI-F is underway at the protest venue in Islamabad to observe 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal.

Various religious leaders have addressed the conference and spoken about the importance of following the teachings and lessons of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman is expected to deliver an address on the occasion shortly.

9th Nov, 5:20 PM

Protesters to observe 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal with 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' tonight

The anti-government protesters gathered at Islamabad's H-9 area will be observing a 'Seerat-i-Tayyaba Conference' tonight on the occasion of 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal.

The conference, which will be led by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, will also see a special address given by Pir Zulfiqar Naqshbandi.

The event will begin after Asr and continue till late into the night. The JUI-F chief is currently on his way to the venue and is also expected to address the gathering.

9th Nov, 12:36 PM

Who will be on the ropes in the Imran vs Maulana fight in Islamabad?

"Almost exactly 45 years ago, when the Maulana was a 21-year-old young man, another challenger flew into Kinshasa, Zaire (modern-day Democratic Republic of Congo) to take on the reigning heavyweight boxing champion of the world inside a roped battlefield.

"The arenas may be different, the strategies are not. When there’s a rumble in the jungle, someone’s gotta go down. This is precisely what happened that fateful day in 1974. Perhaps the 21-year-old maulana was watching.

"Muhammad Ali let George Foreman tire himself out. Then he knocked him out. Will Imran tire the Maulana out and then floor him with a left hook? Or will the Maulana go on the ropes in H9 and let Imran fatigue himself before he swings the knockout punch?"

Read the full op-ed here.

9th Nov, 12:18 PM

Vehicle carrying jackets for sit-in participants has 'disappeared', says JUI-F leader

JUI-F leader Bilal Ahmed Mir has claimed that Islamabad-bound vehicle carrying 5,000 jackets for sit-in participants as well as a party member, has "disappeared".

He said that 5,000 jackets were ordered for participants to protect them from the cold weather. A vehicle carrying the jackets had left Lahore and was bound for the capital, Mir said, but went missing after entering Jhelum.

"The vehicle has disappeared along with the driver and a party member," Mir said.

"We request the administration to send the jackets, which were meant for peaceful protesters, as well as party member," he said.

9th Nov, 9:53 AM

With change in weather, some participants from twin cities return home

With the change in weather conditions, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) seems to be losing the strength of its marchers. Local leaders of the party started a campaign in mosques of Rawalpindi and Islamabad during Friday congregations urging people to join the Azadi March.

Though people who have come from other parts of the country are still camping at the site, the locals who had joined the Azadi March on Oct 31 are going back to their homes as the weather changed.

Some people had joined the protest march from Jhelum, Chakwal, Attock and adjoining areas but after the heavy rain some of them went back. Compared to last week, the number of participants at the site has reduced. Mostly people who came from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh and inner Punjab are still in the camp.

Sensing the situation, clerics in main mosques of Deobandi school of thought, especially belonging to the JUI-F’s like-minded groups, urged people during their Friday sermons to support the Azadi March.

Read more here.

9th Nov, 9:19 AM

'I told you so'

"The taste of your own medicine is seldom pleasant, so I can sympathise with Imran Khan for the large doses he is having to swallow," writes Irfan Husain.

"I know ‘I told you so’ is not a sound attitude for a political columnist to adopt, but I did tell the PTI leader in a column that his strategy of destabilising an elected government through constant street agitation would end up by destabilising democracy itself. Indeed, his four-month dharna in Islamabad in 2014 did shake the foundations of the Nawaz Sharif government.

"So when mealy-mouthed government spokesmen point out piously that Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Azadi March and the on-going dharna is bad for democracy, he, and the rest of us, can only raise our eyebrows and ask in unison: ‘Excuse me?’"

Read the full piece here.

8th Nov, 10:51 PM

Nawaz instructs Shehbaz to support JUI-F in his absence

Former prime minister and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif, who is expected to leave the country to seek medical treatment, has instructed his brother, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif, to continue to support JUI-F in its anti-government campaign.

It is expected that in this regard, Shehbaz will contact JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman over the telephone.

According to sources within the PML-N, the party supremo has formed a four-member committee which will continue to lend their support to the JUI-F chief. The four-member team is comprised of Ahsan Iqbal, Khwaja Asif, Khurram Dastagir and Rana Tanvir.

"All four have been instructed to ensure their presence on the container with Maulana," said the sources.

8th Nov, 10:48 PM

'PTI is a group of illegal occupiers,' says Fazlur Rehman

While continuing to talk about the "sacrifices made by his people" for the country, the JUI-F chief says that the sacrifices were not made so that the country is taken over by the "illegal qabza (occupying) group" that is the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

"Our companions were attacked and as many as 30 people were martyred in one go [...] all these sacrifices were not made so that this illegal ruler takes the reigns to lead the country."

Fazlur Rehman went on to remark that when we think it necessary to prevent a gunman "when he picks up his weapon and raises slogans in the name of Islam", then how can we allow rigging and through it, "allow a person like Imran Khan to occupy the seat of power and rule over Pakistan".

"We think of them as a qabza group. Pakistan was not made for it to be taken over by the likes of such groups. The people have the right to decide who rules," he said.

8th Nov, 10:34 PM

'Army would never have achieved what it has without our sacrifices,' says Rehman

Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that without the "cooperation and sacrifices of his people" the army would "never have been able to achieve what it has".

"I do agree that the armed forces have made sacrifices for the country and despite our differences of opinion, we always held out hope and expected them to bring peace to the country. I wish to state, however, that if you didn't have our cooperation and our sacrifices you would not have been able to make such achievements."

8th Nov, 10:02 PM

'Fake' assemblies have made legislation controversial: Fazlur Rehman

Fazlur Rehman, rejecting the government's "fake assemblies" says that they have made the very act of passing legislation controversial.

"Ever since the assemblies have been formed, there has been no legislation. Their president just signs ordinances and then they scramble to pass them in parliament. Under such fake assemblies, even passing legislation has been made controversial. These laws passed have no legal value. These are laws forced through by the assemblies."

The JUI-F said the nation "will never accept the fake executive orders passed by the fake prime minister either".

8th Nov, 9:49 PM

'Khattak's tone in parliament reflects govt's unwillingness to negotiate,' says Fazlur Rehman

Fazlur Rehman while addressing the protest participants on the eighth day of the ongoing anti-government protest says that the remarks made by head of the government negotiation committee, Pervez Khattak, in parliament today, reflect that the government is unwilling to negotiate.

"His tone during his speech in parliament has corroborated our view that they are against reaching an understanding [...] Their conversation reflects conflict rather than reconciliation."

8th Nov, 8:28 PM

PML-Q's Hafiz Ammar Yasir brings Pervaiz Elahi's message to Fazlur Rehman

Convenor of the opposition's Rehbar Committee, Akram Khan Durrani, in a conversation with reporters has revealed that PML-Q leader Hafiz Ammar Yasir met JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman at his residence today.

Yasir had brought Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi's message to the JUI-F chief. During the meeting, the two discussed the ongoing JUI-F sit-in against the incumbent government's rule. The meeting lasted for more than two hours.

Durrani said that Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, who had been scheduled to meet the JUI-F chief, will not be doing so today.

8th Nov, 7:32 PM

Impasse will not be broken without the PM's resignation: Abdul Ghafoor Haideri

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) secretary general Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri in a conversation with the media has said that the impasse between the government and the opposition will not be broken without the prime minister's resignation.

Haideri echoed JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's sentiments from a day earlier when he had called the talks between both sides "meaningless". "The talks should have some purpose. The government team is non-serious," said the senator.

He said that the Chaudhrys were trying to "step back" from the resignation demand.

"Some say that if they (the government) don't like the direct demand of a resignation then elections should take place. The matter is suspended and I don't think the impasse will be broken without a resignation."

"We have not closed our doors for negotiations. We are ready to talk if they wish to talk about the resignation or fresh elections," added Haideri.

8th Nov, 6:45 PM

PML-N members hold 'secret meeting' with JUI-F leadership

PML-N leaders, on the directives of party vice president Maryam Nawaz, held a "secret meeting" with the JUI-F leadership, it has emerged today.

According to JUI-F sources, the meeting, which took place on Thursday, saw retired Captain Mohammad Safdar, Khwaja Mohammad Asif, and Pervaiz Rasheed of the PML-N meet with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and JUI-F leader Akram Khan Durrani.

The meeting lasted more than two hours, said the sources. The PML-N leadership expressed their complete support for the JUI-F chief's demands.

8th Nov, 6:26 PM

Scenes from Friday prayers held at protest venue in Islamabad

Photos courtesy Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan Facebook page
Photos courtesy Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam Pakistan Facebook page

8th Nov, 4:15 PM

'If there was rigging, why did you run for the presidential election?' Awan asks Fazlur Rehman

The govt's chief spokesperson Firdous Ashiq Awan asks JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman why he contested the presidential election if there had been rigging in the polls.

"Maulana sahib, if there was rigging during the elections, why did you stand for the presidential election? Why did your son take oath as a member of the National Assembly? This hue and cry about rigging a year later is nothing more than a ruse to mislead the nation and to weaken democracy."

In another tweet, Awan also asked why he himself had invited talks — which are a democratic way to deal with differences — and then declared them "meaningless", shutting his mind to finding a resolution.

"Even Luqman had no cure for delusions," she added.

8th Nov, 4:08 PM

READ: Weary Islamabad residents endure another round of protests

"Patience is wearing thin among some residents of the Pakistani capital enduring another round of anti-government protests, with tens of thousands of opposition supporters showing no sign of giving up despite the onset of winter rain," reads an article by Reuters on the ongoing JUI-F protest in Islamabad.

“This is the third sit-in since 2014 in Islamabad — it has to stop if this country wants to progress,” an office worker Ghazanfar Ali, 47, was quoted as saying.

Student Zeeshan Azeem, 17, said the internet had been down at his home all week, which he blamed on government attempts to disrupt the protesters’ communications.

“We’re forced to travel a considerable distance from the protest site to use the internet,” said Azeem, clutching his books as he headed home from school.

“When we complain to the service provider, they said they have down-graded the service on the government’s instructions.”

Read the Reuters article here.

8th Nov, 3:51 PM

'If the only condition is my resignation, what good are talks then?' PM asks govt committee

Prime Minister Imran Khan while holding a discussion with the government negotiation committee expressed his annoyance at the opposition's unyielding position on his resignation.

"I will, under no circumstances, hand in my resignation. If the only condition is the resignation, what good are these talks?"

The premier, according to one of the committee members, said he had granted permission to hold a protest "with an open heart". He expressed his desire to see matters resolved through a political settlement and expressed his readiness to investigate all claims of rigging during the July 2018 elections.

8th Nov, 3:31 PM

Govt negotiation committee to brief PM about opposition's demands

The government committee formulated to hold talks with the opposition has reached Prime Minister's House to meet with Prime Minister Imran Khan and brief him regarding the latest developments in negotiations.

The committee will relay the demands and concerns of the opposition's Rehbar Committee to the prime minister.

8th Nov, 2:19 PM

PM's resignation or fresh elections in 3 months: Fazlur Rehman delivers message to govt

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has delivered a message to Prime Minister Imran Khan and the government's negotiating committee through Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, sources say.

According to the source, Rehman said that if the premier doesn't resign, fresh elections will be called in three months. He said that the government can decide between the two options.

The highly-placed source said that JUI-F has completed preparations for other options and will wait for the government's reply till 12th Rabi ul Awwal (Sunday) after which they will start acting on the next strategy.

According to the source, the next strategy is the closure of major highways across Pakistan. He added that the option of resigning from all provincial and federal seats will be looked at in the next stage.

The government has started preparing for the opposition's next strategy and is preparing its plan on the basis of security intelligence, the source added.

8th Nov, 1:24 PM

Maryam says her full attention is on Nawaz right now

Following an appearance before an accountability court in Lahore, PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz was asked about whether she would participate in the Azadi March sit-in, in response to which she said: "Politics will go on all [my] life but you can't get your parents back."

"I lost my mother one year ago, right now my full attention is on Mian sahib. I don't leave him with servants and nurses. I am with him 24/7."

Read more here.