PESHAWAR: After a delegation of the PML-N handed over a “confidential letter” of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman here on Sunday night, the latter announced holding of a meeting of the “policy making committee” on Oct 14 (today) for evolving a joint line of action for his party’s “Azadi March”.
Addressing a joint press conference with PML-N delegation, Maulana Fazl declined to disclose the content of the letter, stating that it would be made public once consensus is evolved among the opposition parties supporting the march over modalities of the movement.
The PML-N delegation’s members, including Ahsan Iqbal, Marrium Aurangzeb, Amir Muqam and Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, held a closed-door meeting with JUI-F leaders, including Maulana Fazl, Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Akram Khan Durrani, for around an hour wherein Mr Sharif’s letter was handed over to the JUI-F chief.
“The government still has a few days to resign and go back home, otherwise we will force it to quit,” said Maulana Fazl, adding, “We will disclose the content of the letter after evolving consensus among the opposition parties”.
He said that suggestions were coming from major political parties about how to organise the march. In the light of those suggestions the Azadi march’s policy making committee would hold a crucial meeting on Oct 14 so that there would be no conflict in their proposals and the JUI-F’s plan, he added.
JUI-F chief says contents will be disclosed after evolving consensus among opposition parties
“We have also convened our central executive council’s meeting on Oct 24 to accommodate those suggestions. The country will observe Oct 27 as a black day and the JUI-F will observe it as Kashmir solidarity day after which the Azadi march will start moving towards Islamabad.”
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Iqbal said that while Mr Sharif had announced full support for the JUI-F’s Azadi march he had suggested that all opposition parties should play their role. “Mian Nawaz Sharif has given suggestions for mobilisation of people for the march in his letter,” he said.
He said after the Indian government changed the status of held Kashmir the prime minister and foreign minister did not visit any country to muster support for the Kashmir cause. “The country is facing internal unrest. The federal government is attacking the Sindh government and also trying to crush the opposition in smaller provinces.”
Mr Iqbal said that the opposition parties should have accepted the last year’s suggestion of Maulana Fazl to resign from the assemblies. The time had proved that the stance of the Maulana was correct, he added.
Also on Sunday, the JUI-F organised a “parade” of volunteers who will be deputed in Islamabad to provide security to participants of the party’s Azadi march and make other arrangements for it.
The parade was organised at a ground near the motorway.
The volunteers, said to be members of JUI-F’s unarmed wing Ansarul Islam, were dressed in light brown clothes.
Carrying big sticks and JUI-F’s flags, the volunteers presented a “guard of honour” to the JUI-F chief.
They raised the slogan of “Allah hu” when they passed the dais where the JUI-F leaders were standing.
According to JUI-F’s provincial secretary information Abdul Jalil Jan, Ansarul Islam was established before partition in 1919 when the Ulema of Deoband launched its political struggle against the colonial empire. He said the wing had been providing security to political functions and rallies of the party since 1947.
The party has planned to depute around 80,000 volunteers of Ansarul Islam in Islamabad to provide security to marchers and look after other arrangements, including food and accommodation.
Published in Dawn, October 14th, 2019