JUI-F wins PML-N support for Islamabad lockdown

Updated September 16, 2019

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LAHORE: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif during the meeting on Sunday.
LAHORE: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Shahbaz Sharif during the meeting on Sunday.

LAHORE: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz on Sunday decided to jointly stage “Azadi March” in October to besiege Islamabad and oust the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government, but a decision on a final date of the march would be taken later.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman along with his delegation called on PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif at his Model Town residence to convince him that his party should join hands with the JUI-F to oust the government.

The Maulana had earlier warned Prime Minister Imran Khan to step down till Aug 31 for “stealing the mandate” in 2018 general elections, otherwise the JUI-F would march on Islamabad.

After the Pakistan Peoples Party leadership’s refusal to take part in Islamabad lockdown, the JUI-F approached the PML-N seeking its support for the march. The Maulana also announced he would gather one million people in Islamabad for which PML-N’s support would mean a lot.

Fazl, Shahbaz discuss anti-govt ‘Azadi march’ to be held next month

JUI-F’s Akram Durrani told the media after the marathon meeting that both the JUI-F and the PML-N would stage Azadi March and that his party would approach other parties as well to invite them to join hands against the government. He said the decision on a final date for the march would be taken in a meeting of the JUI-F’s committee on Sept 18 while his party representative would also attend the PML-N’s central executive committee (CEC) meeting scheduled to be held on Sept 30.

Mr Durrani thanked PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and president Shahbaz Sharif besides other party leaders for lending their support to the planned anti-government march.

Speaking on the occasion, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal said the PTI government had become a threat for country’s sovereignty. He said the JUI-F and the PML-N had complete understanding on the issue and decided to launch the campaign against the government.

He announced that important decisions would be taken in the PML-N’s CEC meeting on Sept 30.

Mr Iqbal demanded that the PTI government resign as “it had failed to deliver and instead ruined the country”. He said Pakistan had gone down on economic fronts and joblessness was increasing rampantly in the country. “Prime Minister Imran Khan should also decide quitting the politics like his ‘political cousin’ Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Tahirul Qadri,” Mr Iqbal added.

Earlier, PML-N senior leader Ayaz Sadiq had told the media that he was in favour of the Islamabad sit-in but the plan would be discussed within the party as well as with the jailed party supremo. “I had never thought that the PTI government would ruin the country within such a short period of time,” he added.

Answering a question about plans to topple the government amidst prevailing tense Kashmir situation, Mr Sadiq said the governments could be changed even during wars.

Published in Dawn, September 16th, 2019