'Government's ship about to sink,' claims JUI-F chief in Peshawar protest rally

Updated 09 Dec 2019

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JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman addressing a protest rally on Peshawar's Ring Road on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV
JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman addressing a protest rally on Peshawar's Ring Road on Sunday. — DawnNewsTV

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman, while addressing a rally in Peshawar on Sunday, claimed that the "government's ship is about to sink" as a result of the party's protest movement.

"Previously we used to say that the economy's ship is rocking. I salute your tenacity. Now we can proudly say that the government's ship is about to sink," he said, speaking to protesters gathered on the city's Ring Road highway.

"The journey that was begun for the sake of the Constitution is near its destination now," said Rehman.

While boldly declaring that "victory is near", the JUI-F chief said that "even looking back would be a sin now".

The JUI-F chief said that the participation by opposition parties in the gathering was "evidence that the country is united against the incumbent government".

He said that the government which had promised 10 million jobs had instead "rendered 2.5 million youth unemployed".

"Who can accept a government which is run by foreign hands when we had rid ourselves of foreign rule all those years ago?"

He said while the past government was blamed for the country's economic woes, "the FBR report had stated that all the money to have left the country went through the proper channels".

A large number of supporters gathered to hear the maulana speak in Peshawar on Sunday. — Photo by author
A large number of supporters gathered to hear the maulana speak in Peshawar on Sunday. — Photo by author

In further criticism of the government, Rehman said that while "never before had anyone committed suicide out of hunger, this too is being witnessed now in this tenure".

The JUI-F chief also likened the country to the unfinished Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project. "Where has it reached? The whole country is now a BRT project."

"We will rid the country of this qabza (illegal occupiers) group," he said.

Rehman criticised the government seeking an emergency loan of $1 billion from the Asian Development Bank (ADB). "In Pakistan's history, all the loans that were ever taken are equivalent to the loans taken by this government in the past year."

He censured the government for having "sold off Kashmir" as a result of a "failed" foreign policy.

"I don't know what they obtained in return," he said. "They are traitors and will not be allowed to rule."

The JUI-F chief said that a government that was fond of racking up cases against its opponents "was itself running after the courts when it is their turn to answer in the BRT and foreign funding cases".

"When their turn came, they dismantled the entire accountability commission," he added.

The maulana even questioned the success of the government's Billion Tree Tsunami project. "Where are these trees? They must be accounted for."

The rally which was held on the main Ring Road led to a severe disruption in the flow of traffic.

Rehman, who had launched a long march against Islamabad from Karachi on October 27, had abruptly called off the party’s sit-in 13 days later.

The maulana had however announced that his party would continue its anti-government protests in other regions of the country as part of its so-called Plan B.