QUETTA: JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman once again “rejected” the February 8 general elections, vowing that his party will not let the existing government function as it was “fake” and a product of rigged polls.

Addressing a public meeting at the Taj Lala Stadium in Pishin on Saturday, he said: “Our anti-government movement will spread across the country, and nobody can stop it.”

The gathering, scheduled to start at 10am, was delayed by over five hours as Mr Rehman and other JUI-F leaders arrived late.

Heavy security deployment was made around the venue as the district administration had issued a threat alert three days back over reports of a possible attack on the public meeting.

Says politicians shouldn’t put themselves up for sale for seats

In his address, the JUI-F emir termed the Feb 8 elections “more rigged than 2018”. “We were on the front against the 2018 assemblies and also will be at the front against this rigged election.”

‘Up for sale’

The JUI-F emir said the establishment always used politicians and political parties to safeguard its interests, but now was the time to “unite against the system through which people’s mandate was stolen”.

“It is not the time to fight against each other, and politicians should not put themselves up for sale just for an assembly seat,” he said, regretting that any candidate who fails to win terms the election rigged, and those who do get a seat deem it fair.

Mr Rehman said the people of Balochistan have already rejected the results of the Feb 8 elections and were protesting against those “responsible for the rigging”. He announced that his party will boycott the by-election in the PB-50 constituency scheduled for today (Sunday).

The Maulana said the army had “no role in the creation of Pakistan”, and it was the result of a movement launched with the support of people. He said there was no democracy in the country, and due to wrong policies, the economy had “reached the brink of disaster”.

The JUI-F chief criticised the Muslim world on the issue of Palestine and the genocide of innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

Maulana Ghafoor Haideri, Maulana Mehmood Shah and other party leaders also spoke at the public meeting.

Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2024

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