Azadi March is against govt, not any institution: Fazl

October 13, 2019

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RAWALPINDI: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses a press conference on Saturday.—Online
RAWALPINDI: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses a press conference on Saturday.—Online

RAWALPINDI: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Saturday said that the ‘Azadi March’ was against the government and not any institution.

“We are coming to Islamabad to hold a peaceful protest against the government and not any institution and don’t consider our peaceful effort as our weakness,” he said while talking to reporters at Jamia Islamia — the main seminary of Rawalpindi Cantonment in Saddar near Kamran Market that belongs to the Deoband school of thought.

He said that the Azadi March would enter Islamabad on Oct 31 and it was the right of the people to protest against the government that had failed to deliver. “We will remain peaceful and the government will not to stop the rallies. Our protest will remain within the limits of law and the constitution,” he said.

He said that the anxiety within the government had made clear that the objectives of the march had been achieved.

Maulana Fazl said that he had set his own demands and goals that would not change but if anyone came for a compromising role, he would not adopt a negative attitude.

JUI-F chief says he is in touch with Nawaz Sharif, not Shahbaz

He said that there were reports that the army had decided not to engage in political affairs and they would remain neutral.

Maulana Fazl said that he appreciated all political forces that joined the JUI-F in its movement against what he described as the selected government. He said that it was for the first time in the history of the country that all the political parties had developed consensus on the issue.

Answering a question, Maulana Fazl said he was in touch with Nawaz Sharif and not with Shahbaz Sharif because of the latter’s illness. However, the JUI-F chief said that he would contact Shahbaz Sharif soon.

He said that false reports of divisions within the PML-N on Azadi March were spread by the media and that the PML-N had assured their support for the movement.

The JUI-F chief quoted Prime Minister Imran Khan: “We will give halwa, biryani and containers.” Now, said Maulana Fazl, Imran Khan had changed as he would not allow the rally to enter Islamabad.

He said that the government had claimed that people from overseas would come to the country for jobs, but in a year only two men were brought in to work as Federal Bureau Revenue chairman and as State Bank Governor.

He said that all parties were united on one point agenda that the ‘selected government’ of the PTI must go home.

He said that the nation would observe Oct 31 as a black day and express solidarity with Kashmiris and then march against the “selected government” towards Islamabad from every nook and corner of the country.

“Due to PTI government’s negligence, India annexed Kashmir. They are talking about excellent speeches but we are talking about the results of the speeches. There is a need for diplomatic efforts rather than speeches,” he said.

He said that the only panacea of all the problems was fair and free elections.

“The true representatives of the people will deliver and bring the country to the path of development,” the JUI-F chief added.

Published in Dawn, October 13th, 2019