Is Maulana Fazlur Rehman coming back to Islamabad?

Maulana is kick starting a campaign against IK govt from Karachi on 23rd. He wants to take advantage of public anger on economy and asserts that he was given "assurances" that IK will resign in three months. Apparently he has been betrayed by PPP, PMLN and others. What he wants to achieve now? Will he come back to Islamabad?

Maulana Fazlur

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), has once again threatened to topple the government for not having a legitimate mandate. The JUFI-F’s chief believes that the elections were neither free nor fair, and therefore, the government has no right to stay in power.

Interestingly, Asad Mehmood, son of Maulana, is not only a member of the same assembly but also Chairman Standing Committee of National Assembly of Pakistan on Religious Affairs and Inter-faith Harmony.

Maulana has announced that he will launch a campaign against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government by holding public gatherings in Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad in the coming days. He made the announcement after holding a consultative meeting with allied parties in Lahore.

He further said the JUI-F and its allied parties will hold a public gathering on February 23 in Karachi, in Islamabad on March 1 and March 19 in Lahore.

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The JUI-F chief said that he discussed the Azadi March and establishment of a constitutional and elected government in the country with Allama Sajid Mir of the Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadith.

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Addressing Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Pervez Illahi, he asked him to unveil the “secret” behind the ending of JUI-F’s Azadi March in November last year.

“The secret was that the JUI-F’s sit-in was called off after assurance that the prime minister will resign and new elections will be held after three months,” the Maulana revealed.

The JUI-F chief further said that the party will think about inviting the Chaudhry brothers if they change their position.

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Talking about other opposition parties, the JUI-F chief said, “No doubt, the opposition has become divided due to some policies of big parties and the government has taken advantage of it.”

He added that the JUI-F was focused on how all the parties will join each other on a mutual platform to deliver a message of unity to masses.

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Criticizing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-Q, he said that the situation had changed after the passage of bills pertaining to the extension of the services chiefs.

Why is Maulana so angry?

Initially, Maulana was not ready to accept the electoral results where his party was whitewashed at the hands of PTI. “Parties have not accepted the result of the polls. There is still time for the election commission to accept its failure and the chief election commissioner to tender his resignation,” said Rehman.

It is important to mention here that Maulana presided over a meeting of multi-conference after the ‘unprecedented’ electoral win of PTI. But soon after the meeting, PPP decided not to reject the elections and formed a government in Sindh.

Similarly, the PML-N made all efforts to form its government in Punjab, but of no use. The MQM-P, PML-Q and other parties from Baluchistan and GDA became the part of the ruling alliance.

Despite all criticism and upright refusal to accept the legitimate right of the present government to rule the country, Maulana was the joint presidential candidate of the opposition parties except the PPP.

Maulana, however, remained unable to show any impressive performance since the lawmakers within the PML-N were not happy over his nomination.

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Notably, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), an alliance of the five Islamic parties – JUI-F, Jamaat-e-Islami, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, Islami Tehreek and Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan – could manage to get a dozen Provincial Assembly seats mainly from the traditional stronghold of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P)., whereas, the ruling party in KPK, PTI, managed to get 66 seats.

It is important to mention here how it is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a single party got elected for the second time from KPK.

The Beginning of Maulana’s journey

It is important to recall that in July the JUI-F’s chief announced to topple the government if the premier and his cabinet do not step down. He also said that it was the last protest in Quetta and there was going to be freedom march in the months to come.

He said: “This is our last long march and next will be our Freedom March in Islamabad if the PTI government does not resign in August. After holding 14 successful million marches across the country, today we have arrived in Quetta and this sea of people shows what the people of Pakistan want.”

After consultation with the opposition parties, Maulana postponed his proposed Azadi March from August to October. Initially, it was 27th Oct which Pakistan celebrates every year as Kashmir Solidarity Day. After criticism from all walks of life, Maulana changed the date and announced to lead a march in Islamabad on 31st October.

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After 13-days long Dharna in the federal capital, the JUI-F’s chief announced to call it off. While addressing the dharna participants from atop a purpose-built shipping container, on November 14, 2019 the politico-religious cleric announced that the protest movement set off by the ‘Azadi March’ would spread to every nook and cranny of the country as part of ‘Plan–B’ that envisaged blockade of “major arteries and highways – and even by lanes and streets”. However, the party could not manage to hold the said rallies.

Some analysts believe that Maulana may be able to give a tough time to the government this time since inflation and unemployment have considerably reduced PTI’s popularity.

However, reliable sources told GVS that Mualana is unlikely to seek moral support from the two mainstream opposition parties, PPP and PML-N, which may not allow his movement to get momentum.


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