Maulana calls multi-party conference to devise next anti-government strategy

Published November 24, 2019
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman pictured during a press conference in October prior to the 'Azadi March'. — DawnNewsTV/File
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman pictured during a press conference in October prior to the 'Azadi March'. — DawnNewsTV/File

A multi-party conference has been called by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to decide on the next course of action in the anti-government campaign by the opposition, his spokesperson told DawnNewsTV on Sunday.

The conference, to which a total of nine parties have been invited, will be held in Islamabad on Tuesday and hosted by the JUI-F chief.

Among those personally invited by Rehman are PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PKMAP) chairman Mehmood Khan Achakzai.

Among the other parties invited are Awami National Party (ANP), Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan (JUP) and Jamiat Ahle Hadith.

According to JUI-F sources, Rehman will brief the attendees on 'Plan A' and 'Plan B' of the 'Azadi' protest. Furthermore, he will take them into confidence over "secret talks held to bring an end to the government".

"He will inform the opposition members on how the government's roots shall be cut," said the sources.

From the PML-N, a four-member delegation led by Raja Zafarul Haq will participate in the conference, said Ahsan Iqbal. This will include Iqbal himself, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and Amir Muqam.

The delegation was formed after consultation with PML-N president Shehbaz Sharif, said Iqbal.

The anti-government campaign by the opposition, which started with a long march led by JUI-F on October 27 from Karachi to Islamabad and was followed by a two-week-long sit-in in the capital, was called off on November 13 apparently on the assurance of “powers that be”.

JUI-F's Senator Abdul Ghafoor Haideri had disclosed that Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi had assured the JUI-F (during the sit-in) that the premier would resign and the assemblies will be dissolved. “We had ended our sit-in after getting certain assurances by some trustworthy persons and Elahi had become a guarantor,” he had claimed.

Maulana had also later claimed the sit-in had cut the “roots of the Imran Khan government” and it would fall within months.

However, Elahi had refuted all such claims saying: “No such assurances — resignation of the prime minister or dissolution of assemblies — were given to the JUI-F (chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman) to end its Islamabad sit-in.”

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