JUI-F to swing into action under ‘plan-B’ today

Published November 13, 2019
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman listens to the national anthem during the Azadi March on Tuesday.—Reuters
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman listens to the national anthem during the Azadi March on Tuesday.—Reuters

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) is set to “launch plan-B of Azadi march” on Wednesday (today) at the provincial level” across the country, according to a senior party leader.

Though not announced from the stage of the Azadi march sit-in, a member of the JUI-F’s Markazi Shura (central working committee) said while talking to Dawn that several cities and towns along with some highways would be blocked under the plan-B, which would come into action at around 11am on Nov 13.

The much anticipated ‘plan-B’ was initially thought to envisage a march from H-9 sector to D-Chowk of Islamabad, as had been done by the participants of the 2014 dharna of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek. However, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in a speech he delivered at the dharna on Tuesday made it clear that they would not leave the spot close to Peshawar Morr weekly bazaar.

“The plan-A of this movement to oust the incumbent illegitimate and anti-Islam government is this sit-in at H-9. This will continue and we are not leaving this site,” he said. “We will remain peaceful and non-violent and would not adopt any aggressive posture, but spread [the campaign] throughout the country.” He directed the party workers in their native areas to come out and implement the plan-B, while the provincial chapters of the JUI-F will convey the details of plan-B at the grass roots level.

In the meantime, it is not clear what role other opposition parties would play in blocking roads and highways. A senior member of the Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP), one of the components of the Azadi march dharna, told Dawn that his party would decide and move at the district level, depending upon its strengthen in that area and other realities.

On the other hand, the leadership of the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have already announced that they will not take part in any dharna against the government.

Maulana Fazl thanked the opposition parties, especially PkMAP leader Mehmood Khan Achakzai, and said the government had already been weakened by the sit-in, and raised the slogan of “Girti huyi deewaron ko aik dhaka aur do (Give one more push to the crumbling walls).

He said the movement against the government was launched in November 2018 and the last 10 days has been the start of the “nailing of the government’s coffin”.

“You do not know how much has been achieved due to this sit-in, traders benefited because of sacrifices rendered by you, and now teachers, doctors, farmers, business community, workers and even media have eyes upon you with the expectation that you are their saviours from these tyrant rulers,” Maulana Fazl told the audience. “You have earned this respect by braving a long travel and bitter conditions. Now we are entering plan-B of this movement which will put immense pressure on the illegitimate government,” he added.

The decision in this regard was made on Tuesday noon in a JUI-F meeting, chaired by Maulana Fazl and also attended by emirs of the party’s four provincial chapters.

The provincial emirs gave a briefing on implementation of the party’s plan-B, which includes blocking major highways and trade links across the country.

While the details of the plan-B have been kept a party secret, another member of the JUI-F Markazi Shura said the party was in touch with transporters, including truckers. He said Maulana Rashid Mehmood Soomro, emir of the JUI-F’s Sindh chapter, has expressed the confidence that cities of the province, except Karachi, will be blocked during the first phase of the plan-B and similar opinion was shared by the party leadership from Balochistan.

Published in Dawn, November 13th, 2019

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