JUI-F to hold nationwide protests against ‘rigging’

Published February 23, 2024
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks to the media in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman speaks to the media in Islamabad. — DawnNewsTV

ISLAMABAD: The Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl held a workers’ convention in the federal capital on Thursday, terming it the beginning of a countrywide protest movement against alleged rigging in the elections.

Addressing the ‘Islam­abad general council’ of the JUI-F, party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the nation witnessed the worst rigging in the country’s history on Feb 8. He alleged that the 2024 polls were manipulated at such large scale that it even put the rigging of 2018 elections to shame. He said a joke has been made of the public mandate, leaving the assemblies to stand on bogus results.

The JUI-F announced that in the first phase of its planned protest drive, meetings of the party’s general assemblies have been called which will be followed by the feedback meetings with its provincial chapters to devise the future course of action.

“After the 2018 elections, it was thought that the 2024 elections would be fair,” Maulana Fazl said, adding, “Once again our wish and our longing for the supremacy of Constitution and promotion of democracy in the country has been crushed.”

“Parliament is called the supreme body, but if the establishment continues to interfere [in politics] and chooses representatives of its choice, then how can those members be called the people’s representatives?” he alleged. “I am saying that in this election, the establishment has broken the record of 75 years of corruption — the fact is that uniforms do not earn respect, character does.”

The JUI-F emir predicted that these handpicked representatives would always be the victim of criticism, irrespective of their party affiliations.

He said that a decision had been made by the party’s central executive council and this has also been conveyed to people.

“We are the flag-bearers of democracy, our elders have signed this Constitution and we consider it our responsibility to protect it — but now the Constitution seems to have lost its value as its sanctity has been reduced to a mere piece of paper.”

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2024

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