In a bizarre move, Sindh police have registered cases against the leaders and members of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) for blocking roads and disrupting public order. According to media reports, Moachko police registered a case against the provincial leadership of JUI-F for blocking the highway linking Karachi with Balochistan through Hub.
JUI-F provincial secretary general Allama Rashid Mehmood Soomro and some other leaders and workers have been booked, but said that no arrest had been made so far.https://t.co/tsrIUFgUd8— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) November 16, 2019
Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of JUI-F, had announced to implement Plan-B of his anti-government campaign to get the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. During the first phase of his campaign, Maulana held a 13-day long dharna in the federal capital but it failed to get him anything. He called off the dharna and threatened to block all the major highways across the country until the premier steps down.
SHO Mohammed Wasim told media that the case had been registered against 250 baton-armed people, including some JUI-F leaders and supporters, after they suddenly blocked the highway, causing collision between vehicles and damage to some of them.
According to Mr. Waseem, the FIR had been registered against 250 people, including JUI-F provincial secretary general Allama Rashid Mehmood Soomro and some other leaders and workers, but said that no arrest had been made so far.
Sources claim that Police invoked sections 147 (punishment for riots), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly), 341 (wrongful restraint) and 427 (mischief).
PPP shocks JUI-F
JUI-F was not expecting any legal action at least by the Sindh government since the PPP had announced to morally support Maulana and his cause. PPP’s chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari initially decided not to become a part of any anti-government movement using religion but, later on, he was seen standing by Maulana who repeatedly accused Prime Minister Imran Khan for being an agent of the Jewish lobby. PPP chairman remained silent.
Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman uses Religious card in Azadi March, slap on desi liberals face https://t.co/37qyzrg5YE
— samaji rehnuma (@RehnumaSamaji) November 1, 2019
JUI-F leader Qari Usman told the media that the PPP was ruling Sindh, which was their ‘ally’ in the protest against the federal government. He said that it was ‘incomprehensible’ why the case had been registered against their party leaders and workers.
However, Mr. Usman vowed to continue the protest as such tactics would not deter them from holding their sit-in. Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani has already stated that the provincial government would not allow road blockades.
While JUI-F's Sindh leadership has said that its party workers would be blocking routes by staging sit-ins in various cities of the province, Information Minister Saeed Ghani has said that such activity would never be allowed. https://t.co/9NHUPNLS3A— NayaDaur Media (@nayadaurpk) November 15, 2019
Maulana sees early elections in 2019
As JUI-F activists blocked some key roads in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Sindh, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q met Maulana Fazl at the residence of the JUI-F’s Senator Talha Mehmood, but neither side divulged the agenda of the meeting.
However, the Maulana reiterated his demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that he was seeing snap elections in the current year. “2020 is far away. I see elections in 2019,” the JUI-F chief told the media after the meeting.
There is only one month left and there are no signs of political reshuffling in the county. Analysts believe that Maulana has pushed himself into a blind alley. “He does not know what to do now? He is nowhere. He became politically relevant but now he is becoming politically dead,” said G-M Pitafi who teachers Politics and International in Lahore.