Head of the JUIF claims ‘Azadi March’ movement will soon achieve its objectives
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government will soon be ousted from ruling Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman predicted on Sunday at a rally in Peshawar, adding he would no longer tolerate this “unjust” regime.
Addressing his followers as part of the JUIF’s ongoing anti-government protest movement, which is currently staging district-level rallies to muster support, the maulana said the writing was on the wall. “Inflation has made the lives of Pakistanis difficult,” he said, according to private broadcaster Geo News. “On the one hand the government [in its electoral campaign] promised 10 million jobs. [However] 2.5 million youngsters are currently unemployed,” he added.
Rehman said the ‘Azadi March’ movement launched to force the government to resign would soon achieve its objective. “We do not accept this unjust government and we will not let it rule over us,” he added.
The JUIF launched its Azadi March anti-government movement on Oct. 27 from Karachi. Rehman and his followers, at times joined by members of leading opposition parties such as the Pakistan Peoples Party and the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz), traveled from Sindh province to the federal capital, where they set up camp and initiated a ‘dharna’ against the PTI-led government.
After several rounds of talks, during which Fazl threatened to stay in Islamabad until the government resigned, the party wrapped up the dharna on Nov. 13. The JUIF then announced plans to block traffic at major traffic arteries connecting Pakistan’s four provinces. This program, dubbed ‘Plan B’ was wrapped up after a week, with the JUIF announcing it would now stage district-level rallies to inform the public of its future plans.
During his speech in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa capital, Rehman continued his harangues of the government, and took special notice of the alleged corruption in the construction of the Peshawar Bus Rapid Transit system. “They have turned the entire city upside down,” he said, referring to the project, whose long delays have prompted the Peshawar High Court to direct an inquiry into it. “The PTI claims it won [the 2018 general] elections from Peshawar. Why would anyone vote from Peshawar vote for this party when its actions have ruined the city,” he said.
The JUIF chief also slammed the incumbent government for failing to justify the loans it has taken in its first year in power. “They are taking loans from everyone… the Asian Development Bank as well,” he said, claiming no other government had taken so many loans at the outset. Rehman said the loans taken by previous governments had been spent on welfare and infrastructure projects whose results were visible to the masses, while this government was merely taking on more debt to repay old debt, perpetuating a never-ending cycle.