Fazlur Rehman threatens to shut down the entire country

Thousands of protesters, under the rallying banner of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F’s (JUI-F) Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other opposition parties, have converged on the federal capital, seeking to send packing Prime Minister Imran Khan-led government, which they term ‘fake and selected’.
Dubbed the ‘Azadi’ March, the caravan, which set off from Sindh, left Punjab’s city Lahore on Wednesday and culminated its journey Thursday night in Islamabad.
Opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches against the PTI government on Friday, giving the prime minister a two-day ultimatum to resign.
Earlier, the ruling and the opposition parties reached an agreement to let the anti-government march progress as planned, as long as the protesters do not cross into the sensitive “Red Zone” in the federal capital.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman is addressing protesters of the Azadi March.
“They are asking us to go and file complaints with the election commission,” he said. “Election Commission is even more helpless than us,” he added.
Fazl said that if the election commission was not so helpless, such a large crowd wouldn’t have assembled in Islamabad.
“We have decided not to go to any court or election commission,” he said. “Only a parliamentary committee will decide about rigging.”
Fazl said that a case of the PTI’s foreign funding was being heard by the Election Commission since the past five years but no verdict had been given on it.
“If it couldn’t decide about the foreign funding case then what decision can the ECP give on other matters,” he wondered.
Fazl said that there was no option but to send the rulers home.
“These rulers will have to go,” he said. “You will have to give these people the right to vote.”
Fazl said that D-Chowk was quite a small place for such a gathering.
“H-9 is an open space–D-Chowk is quite small for a gathering like this,” he said. “Whatever decision we make, we will do so with consensus with all opposition parties,” he said.
Fazl said that today the entire city had been closed down but he could shut down the country as well.
“We will shut down the entire country as well and continue our war,” he said.
Fazl lashed out at Prime Minister Imran, saying that he doesn’t need to learn politics from him.
“Do you expect this novice to teach us politics? Now people born with a golden spoon in their mouths will teach us politics and that too, the politics of the poor?” he asked.
Fazl issued a stern warning to Prime Minister Imran, warning him that his Azadi March would throw him away.
“If this flood decides to move towards the Prime Minister House, no one can dare stop it,” he said. “Imran Khan, listen to me. This movement and flood of people will force you out of the prime minister’s seat.”
Fazl criticised the prime minister and said that it was unfortunate that he was occupying such a coveted seat.
“We know about you and your character very well,” he said. “We are also aware of ourselves and our characters.”
The federal government has decided to negotiate with Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, sources told Geo News, on Sunday.
A meeting of the government’s negotiating committee took place at Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani’s house.
Sanjrani reportedly told participants of the meeting that the government should seriously negotiate with Fazl to resolve the crisis.
“Fazlur Rehman has still not violated the agreement hence we should also talk to him,” Sanjrani was quoted as saying.
“We are always ready to negotiate,” said Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak.
The two-day ultimatum that the JUI-F chief gave to Prime Minister Imran to resign has ended.
Fazl is expected to make an important announcement soon regarding the Azadi March.
Thousands of protesters have converged on the federal capital under the banner of the Azadi March, seeking to send packing Prime Minister Imran Khan packing.
The ‘Azadi’ March caravan, which set off from Sindh, left Punjab’s city Lahore on Wednesday and culminated its journey Thursday night in Islamabad.
Opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches against the PTI government on Friday, giving the prime minister a 48-hour ultimatum to resign.
JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman gave Prime Minister Imran two days to step down, failing which the protesters may march on to the PM House, ‘force’ the prime minister to step down, and ‘arrest’ him.
The government announced on Saturday that they would approach the courts over Fazlur Rehman’s statements, accusing him of “instigating the people” and rallying them for ‘mutiny’.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif has called an important meeting of the party tomorrow (Monday) in which the ongoing political situation of the country would be discussed and the post-Azadi March scenario will also be reviewed.
The development comes after the two-day ultimatum that JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman gave to Prime Minister Imran nears its end on Sunday.
The JUI-F chief had urged the prime minister to resign, stating that the government did not have its writ over Pakistan anymore.
Sources claimed that the PML-N meeting will focus on Fazl’s demands after the ultimatum ends.
PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain spoke to JUi-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday and congratulated him for ‘stealing the show’ with his Azadi March.
According to sources, the PML-Q chief spoke to Fazl over the phone and congratulated him for putting up a good show in Islamabad.
“Congratulations, you’ve managed to get the leader of the two biggest opposition parties to recognise you as their leader,” he reportedly told Fazl.
Shujaat urged Fazl to correct the wrong impression that had been caused by his statement involving the army. He also lashed out at PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif.
“Shehbaz has no place in the dharna,” Shujaat reportedly told Fazl. “He became leader of the opposition by accident. You are the real opposition leader,” he added.
Shujaat urged Fazl to resolve the crisis through reconciliation, keeping in mind the national interest of the country.
Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi contacted JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman and urged him to resolve the current standoff with the government with reconciliation.
According to sources, Fazl and Elahi both spoke over the phone and discussed the Azadi March standoff.
Sources from the JUI-F said that Fazl gave a positive message to Elahi.
Elahi is also a member of the government’s negotiating committee which is being led by Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, on Sunday, hinted towards his party joining the Azadi March dharna.
The PPP chairman said that as announced before, his party was never a part of any sit-in protest.
“However, if the PPP’s core committee decides that we must participate in the dharna, we can think on it,” he said.
Bilawal clarified Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s statement by saying that the JUI-F chief did not threaten the prime minister by arresting him.
“He simply meant that the emotions of the people were such that they wanted to arrest the prime minister,” he said.
Bilawal said that when governments don’t set themselves on the right course, then democratic forces are forced to take undemocratic measures.
The PPP chairman paid a visit to those who had gotten injured in the Tezgam train incident and inquired after their health. He called on Sheikh Rashid to resign from the railways ministry.

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