Protest drive will spell doom for ‘fake govt’, says Fazl

JUI-F chief asserts movement originating in Balochistan will resonate nationwide


Syed Ali Shah April 20, 2024
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. PHOTO: FILE

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JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has claimed that a political movement starting from Balochistan will ultimately lead to the ouster of the PML-N-led “fake government” that has come into power through “massively rigged elections.”

Fazl’s JUI-F was part of an alliance of political parties—the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)—that governed the country after the removal of the PTI government from April 2022 till August 2023.

However, the party became estranged from its former allies—the PML-N and the PPP—after the general elections on February 8, in which it performed poorly and could only secure six National Assembly seats. Fazl later accused the powers that be of massive rigging.

Addressing a rally in Balochistan’s Pishin district on Saturday, Fazl criticized both the political government and the establishment.

He said rigging took place in the 2018 elections, against which the public mobilized and achieved success. The rigging in the 2024 elections, he said, is even more shameful, as it resulted in bringing fake representatives into power.

“The JUI-F called out the wrong yesterday and still calls it out today. Our workers will never tire of calling out the wrong,” he said.

“This movement against this fake government has originated from Balochistan. It will spread across the country. We will not allow this fake government to remain in power,” he added.

Interestingly, a six-party opposition alliance also launched its protest movement from Balochistan’s Chaman and Pishin districts on April 13. The alliance—Tehreek Tahaffuz-e-Aain—comprises PTI, PkMAP, the SIC, the BNP-M, the JI, and the MWM.

Fazl said: "The election results of February 8, 2024, are rejected. Money was taken from politicians to defeat the JUI-F. No one can stop the movement. It will continue to advance.”

He asked the rulers how much money they paid to “buy” the Balochistan Assembly.

“It should be revealed whether the assembly was bought for Rs70 billion or Rs80 billion. It should also be disclosed how much the assemblies of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were bought for.

"I am predicting today that there will also be rigging in the upcoming by-election of Qila Abdullah. We are boycotting the by-election," he added.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said the military had no role in the independence of this country and that the nation won freedom thanks to the sacrifices of common people and religious seminaries.

Warning the establishment, he said: “If you trample the Constitution and democracy, we will stand in front of you like a mountain. My ancestors have taught us the lesson of courage and bravery.”

Fazl condemned the politics of cowardice, saying that he curses those who indulge in cowardly politics. He alleged that the establishment has always pitted politicians against each other, so politicians should leave the fight for the chair.
The religious party has launched its anti-government campaign from Pishin district from where the Maulana was elected as a member of the National Assembly.

Describing the rally as the "Awami Assembly," Fazl reaffirmed his commitment to the people's trust despite his absence from Pishin. He thanked them for their unwavering support and cited shared struggles against electoral malpractice.

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