JUI-F’s guidelines to marchers indicate plans for long sit-in

Updated October 23, 2019

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This file photo shows JUI-F volunteers. — Photo provided by Sirajuddin/File
This file photo shows JUI-F volunteers. — Photo provided by Sirajuddin/File

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) has urged those willing to participate in its ‘Azadi March’ — the anti-government movement scheduled to begin on Oct 27 — to carry with them ration and other necessary items for at least four to five days, indicating that the party may hold a long sit-in in Islamabad.

According to the guidelines the JUI-F issued to its workers and supporters, students should bring with them their academic books and the Holy Quran so that there would be no loss of their studies.

As thousands of young people study in JUI-F’s madressas across the country, it can be assumed that the party may use these students in ‘Azadi March’.

The guidelines with 32 points have also been issued to the media.

These were initially issued by the JUI-F’s provincial emir in Sindh, Maulana Rashid Soomro. But now the leaders of the party in other provinces have issued such guidelines.

Local chapters of the party have been directed to hire vehicles for bringing people to Islamabad only for one way.

The would-be marchers have been asked to bring with them at least two sets of clothing, bed sheets, blankets, dried fruit, umbrellas, mobile phone chargers, water bottles, etc. They have also been asked to get themselves prepared for at least a week-long stay in Islamabad.

The would-be marchers, however, have been prohibited from carrying licensed or illegal weapons, knives, batons, stick rods, etc.

They have been asked to be peaceful and encourage others to remain peaceful during the march and avoid damaging public and private properties on the way. Each district-level group of marchers should have a crane with it for removing obstacles on roads and an ambulance for any emergency. Ambulances must have ample quantity of salt and water for a situation in which police use tear gas to disperse protesters. The ambulance would move under the guide of district-level emirs of the party.

The would-be marchers have been directed to bring their CNICs with them and not to accompany any stranger in the convoy. The guidelines have also hinted establishment of a tent city in Islamabad, warning the participants not to use LPG cylinders there.

It has been said that the stay in Islam­abad could be a minimum of seven days, but it could be extended further.

According to the Sindh chapter of the JUI-F, the anti-government march from the province would begin from Karachi’s toll plaza on the Karchi-Hyderabad highway from where it would go to Ubauro town in Ghotki district.

Local chapters of the party have been directed to make ensure that all mosques and seminaries in their areas are cleaned and prepared to house marchers and that these places must have WiFi and telephone facilities.

The JUI-F urged its workers and supporters to ask their women to fast during the days of ‘Azadi March’.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2019