SUKKUR: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl has categorically announced that there is no change in the schedule for the proposed ‘Azadi March’ slated to kick off on Oct 27 and reach Islamabad on Oct 31.

The announcement was made by the JUI-F after a meeting held at Madressah Mazhar-ul-Uloom, Manzil Gah, here on Thursday.

According to Dawn.com, a statement issued by the JUI-F information department, quoting party leader Allama Rashid Mehmood Soomro, Maulana Fazl himself will “lead the Azadi March caravan in Karachi at 10am on Oct 27”.

The participants in the Sukkur meeting also prayed for the quick recovery of Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif, who is admitted to hospital with serious health conditions.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman presided over the Shura meeting, which was attended by more than 50 of its members, including Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Akram Durrani, Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro and Maulana Abdul Razzak Lakho.

Talking to the media after the meeting, the JUI-F chief said the ‘Azadi March’ would enter Islamabad on Oct 31 under all circumstances, adding that no change would be made in the schedule of the march.

He said: “We do not recognise the government which came through massive rigging.”

PM’s resignation

He said the committee formed by the government, if it came for talks, must bring with it the prime minister’s resignation, accepting the reality that he should resign, otherwise resignation would be taken from him forcibly.

Maulana Fazl said movements never stopped because of arrests, adding that despite house arrest, if it happened, he would continue to chalk out strategies to motivate people to take to the streets. He said they had plans A, B and C concerning the march, adding that first they would “move forward, then more forward and later the most forward”.

The maulana deplored that on one hand the government was saying that it would give them passage to proceed to the capital and, on the other hand, transport and petrol stations were being closed and even vehicles being booked and transporters threatened.

In reply to a question, he said the ditches dug up by the government in their way would be covered and the shipping containers placed to create hurdles would be thrown away.

He claimed that the whole nation was with them while people of all communities, including political and social workers, were accepting their stance.

The JUI-F chief said that people would reach Islamabad by motorcycles and bicycles if they found no other transport.

He said that Oct 27 would be observed as a solidarity day with the Kashmiri people.

He said the Rehbar Committee, composed of several parties, would decide about the period of ‘Azadi March’ in Islamabad as well as about the future strategy, adding that the government would also talk with the Rehbar Committee and not with individual leaders.

He recalled that at the time of the formation of government, a voice was raised in parliament that the government had come through rigging and at that time it was decided that nobody would go to the Election Commission or court.

Maulana Fazl said that there were double standards of the government that on one hand roads for India were being opened while roads for ‘Azadi March’ were being closed. He said that the Kashmiri people had been put in a new test by “bargaining on Kashmir”.

During the Majlis-i-Shura meeting, Maulana Fazl expressed his concern over the deteriorating health of Nawaz Sharif and prayed for his early recovery. He said that adding to the suffering of the ailing politician the government proved its dictatorial bent. He also expressed concern over the worsening health of Asif Ali Zardari, also hospitalised.

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2019