ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s anti-government ‘Azadi March’ was only aimed at salvaging his sinking political career, which was in jeopardy because of madrassa reforms.
“He [Fazl] is upset because he won’t be able to use madrassa students for his political motives after seminary reforms,” the premier said while presiding over meeting of government and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) spokespersons.
The prime minister reiterated that there would be no comprise over the process of accountability.
The participants of the meeting took stock of the political situation in the country.
Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, who was present at the meeting, briefed PM Imran about the economic developments.
Maulana Fazl announces 'Azadi March' towards Islamabad on Oct 27
Sources said the participants of the meeting discussed the JUI-F’s long march.
The premier said everybody had the right to protest but the government would ensure the protection of citizens and properties.
A day earlier, the JUI-F chief announced the ‘Azadi March’ to oust the government would begin on Oct 27.
The two main opposition parties – the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) – tried earlier this week to talk the politico-religious leader out of ‘going solo’ with the anti-government rally, but to no avail.
Fazl said JUI-F caravans from across the country would converge on the federal capital on October 27 to rid the country of the “incompetent government” of the PTI which, according to him, had “destroyed the economy”.
Fazl hinted at staging a sit-in at Islamabad’s D-Chowk where the PTI had staged a marathon dharna in 2014 against alleged rigging in the 2013 elections. “We are not ones to disperse easily,” the cleric said.
The JUI-F has prepared a three-pronged strategy to deal with any possible move by the government to stop its long march.
JUI-F’s three-way strategy to bring down govt
These plans will be implemented if the government tried to arrest the JUI-F leaders and activists or barred them from entering Islamabad.
The first plan is the lock down of federal capital. The second is sit-ins at key places and highways of the country.
The third plan includes a call for a wheel-jam strike. One of these options will be selected in light of the prevailing situation. The JUI-F leadership has devised these three strategies after detailed consultations.
The party sources said the JUI-F chief discussed the message from other opposition parties which had suggested deferring the ‘Azadi March’.
However, JUI-F officials were of the view that if the march was not held within the current month, it would cause serious damage to the party and any movement launched later against the rulers would not be effective. In light of this consensus, Fazl announced the date of the long march
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