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Maulana Fazlur Rehman called off dharna

14 November, 2019

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ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on called off dharna in the federal capital, announcing to spread the protest across Pakistan under party’s purported ‘Plan B’.

“We will be leaving from here now and will stand beside you (protesters) so the Azadi March proceeds successfully. Your presence here has pulled out the roots and the next step will be to root out the stem. Give one more push to the already falling walls,” Fazl told the crowd, and also appealed to the people who could not join the Azadi March to now come out when the protests spread across Pakistan from Thursday (today).

Fazl said his party’s anti-government movement has transformed the JUI-F into a ‘big political party’. “We are called a small party in the parliament but your movement has transformed you into a big party,” he told the participants of the Azadi March sit-in. He said the protesters have become the ‘axis of the Pakistani politics’. “The country’s politics is revolving around the movement and the illegitimate rulers in the parliament and their stooges are in a state of fear,” he said. “Democratic norms and supremacy of the constitution had become dilapidated in the country and had been a target of the dictatorial mindset, but you have defeated [that] mindset and safeguarded the Constitution and democracy in the country,” he told party workers.

The JUI-F chief, however, reiterated his demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that the movement will continue until he steps down. Following the announcement, Azadi March participants started to dismantle their tents and started gathering their belongings to leave the H-9 venue in Islamabad.

JUI-F leader Rashid Soomro also spoke to Azadi March protesters and urged them to gather at Hub River Road on Thursday at 2:00 pm. “Workers should not carry sticks to the sit-in protests,” he said. “Ambulances must be allowed to pass through,” he added.

Soomro said that one should not think that the Azadi March is nearing its end. He said the protest is inching towards success with each step. “From 2:00 pm Thursday, the motorway in Sukkur will be blocked,” he said. “At the same time, the road linking Ghotki to Punjab will also be closed,” he said, adding that Hub River Road will also be closed on Thursday from 2:00 pm and the same will be done to the road that links Kandhkot to Punjab.

Addressing participants of the Azadi March, JUI-F leader Attaur Rehman said that implementation on Plan B has already begun. “According to our Plan B, we have staged a dharna protest on the Quetta-Chaman highway,” he said. “We will also block Chakdara Chowk in Lower Dir and Indus Highway according to our plan,” he added.

JUI-F Balochistan leader Agha Syed Mahmood Shah says the Quetta-Chaman road will be completely closed starting 2pm on Thursday as part of the party’s ‘Plan-B’.

Party workers will also block the Iran-Taftan road while the road connecting Karachi to Balochistan will be blocked at Khuzadar and the Punjab-Balochistan road link will be shut at the Dera Ghazi Khan boundary. As part of the JUI-F’s ‘Plan-B’, the party’s workers will block the road connecting Punjab with Sindh at Kot Sabzal in Rahim Yar Khan at 2pm on Thursday. According to the party’s Punjab leader Maulana Safiullah, the Indus Highway in Dera Ghazi Khan will also be shut off.

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