Quit in August or face march, Fazl warns government

July 29, 2019

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QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl supporters wave flags during speeches of their leaders at a rally against the government on Sunday.—Reuters
QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl supporters wave flags during speeches of their leaders at a rally against the government on Sunday.—Reuters

QUETTA: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has urged Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government to immediately step down to avoid a march on Islamabad in October.

Speaking at a “million march” of the JUI-F here on Sunday, he said: “This is our last long march and next will be our Freedom March in Islamabad if the PTI government does not resign in August.”

A large number of workers and sympathisers of the JUI-F from different parts of Balochistan participated in the march.

Maulana Fazl claimed that at the culmination of the planned Azadi March, 1.5 million people would stage a sit-in in the federal capital until Prime Minister Khan and his cabinet resigned.

“After holding 14 successful million marches across the country, today we have arrived in Quetta and this sea of people shows what the people of Pakistan want,” he said.

He said that Quetta’s march was a clear message for the “imposed” PTI government that the opposition parties and the nation would not tolerate a “selected government” as the last year’s elections had been massively rigged and the people’s mandate stolen.

The Maulana said that the JUI-F would “liberate the country from US lobby and imposed IMF employees as we are determined to oust Jewish lobby from Pakistan”.

“The JUI -F is a democratic party and basic purpose of our struggle is upholding supremacy of law and Constitution of Pakistan. The party wants a peaceful Pakistan and is struggling along with other opposition parties to protect the ideological identity of the country,” the JUI-chief said.

He said that no dictator, bureaucrat or the “imposed rulers” should give them the lesson of democracy as the JUI-F had a great struggle and sacrifices to its credit.

“The party has rendered immense sacrifices for restoration of democracy and upholding supremacy of the constitution in the country and it always stands by democracy and the constitution,” Maulana Fazl said.

He said that the survival of any government depended on its financial strategy or five-year plan, but the present government’s first budget had been rejected by the people of Pakistan. “The recent countrywide strike observed by the traders is sort of a rebellion against the selected government.”

All political parties of the country had rejected the last general election and refused to accept a leadership “which has plummeted from sky”, the JUI-F leader said and called for mid-term elections.

The Maulana criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent meeting with President Donald Trump and said that “Pakistan has again been pushed into US slavery”.

Vowing to confront the PTI government’s flawed policies, he said: “We have a clear version on blasphemy law and Khatam-i-Nabuwwat and will not allow the federal government to even touch the blasphemy law.”

He said that the entire world acknowledged the success of the JUI-F’s Peshawar million march, but the PTI government alleged that the party had brought seminary students on the roads.

“The country has decided to bring seminary students into the mainstream, but we are being criticised for making them part of political process. Don’t they have right to vote and participate in political gatherings,” the Maulana said.

About the federal budget, he said that for first time in the country’s history, the federal budget lacked a vision of development and progress.

“The devaluation of rupee has destroyed the economy while flawed policies of the government have squeezed opportunities of financial assistance by friendly countries,” he said.

JUI-F secretary general Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Opposition Leader in the Balochistan Assembly Malik Sikandar and other central leaders of the party also spoke on this occasion.

Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2019