As Fazal-ur-Rehman, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F), is protesting against the government in Islamabad and has warned of ‘dire consequences’ if it does not step down in 48 hours, some protesters have been seen holding the flags of Afghan Taliban. Maulana is known for his links and unwavering support to the Taliban in the past. Some analysts also claim that members of his organizations have been trained by the Taliban.
Meet SajidUllah, A supporter of the Islamic Emirate at the #JUIF Jalsa – flags of Islamic Emirates ie the Afghan Taliban can be spotted in abundance the the dharna site. #AzadiMarch pic.twitter.com/DYrSdDmp83
— Anas Mallick (@AnasMallick) November 2, 2019
Usman Dar, who is the special assistant to PM on youth affairs, said on Twitter that Pakistan is on the verge of being blacklisted by the FATF. The marchers holding the Afghan Taliban’s flag shows that the JUI-F has been supporting them, he said. This even raises questions about the PPP and PML-N’s support for the march, he added.
پاکستان پہ FATF سے بلیک لسٹ کی تلوار لٹک رہی ہے ایسے وقت پہ لانگ مارچ میں جے یو آئی اور طالبان کا گٹھ جوڑ سامنے آیا ہے، ایسے اقدامات مولانا فضل الرحمن کیساتھ ساتھ ن لیگ اور پیپلزپارٹی کے کردار پہ سوالیہ نشان لگا رہے ہیں۔ pic.twitter.com/BbNcjnK5MZ
— Usman Dar (@UdarOfficial) November 2, 2019
Pakistan was recently advised by the FATF to carefully implement all the points if it wants to come out of the grey list at the beginning of the next year. Indian media blames the country for financing terrorist organizations which are responsible for the killing of countless innocent people across the world. In such a situation, holding the Taliban’s flag may lead to some serious challenges for the state of Pakistan.
Flags of Afghan Taliban’s IEA waves in #AzadMarch Dharna in #Islamabad.
The March Initiated by #JUIF is supported by #PMLN, #PPP, #ANP, #PKMAP, some other political parties of #Pakistan & many activists of #PashtunTahaffuzMovement. #Afghanistan #AzadiMarch_UpDates pic.twitter.com/kISEjMQkaG
— Concept TV News (@ConceptTVLive) November 2, 2019
However, following the controversy, the March organizers made an announcement in which people have been barred from carrying any flags other than those of the opposition parties. The organizers said that the march is a joint venture of the opposition parties and they will not allow the participants to carry any other flags. If someone is found to be violating this, then his flag will be confiscated, they added.
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s sub-organization Ansar-ul-Islam is known as a militant faction of the party which is tasked to deal with security-related matters. The government of Pakistan has recently banned the JUI’s militant faction, Ansar-ul-Islam after a video went viral. In the video militants of the said organization were seen wearing Khaki dress and holding sticks. Apparently the group was preparing to lead a protest in the federal capital to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan who defeated Maulana in the last General Election.
— Global Village Space (@GVS_News) October 14, 2019
Analysts believe that some members of Ansar-ul-Islam are trained by the Taliban since the party has ideological links with them. In the past, Maulana has criticized women who wear jeans and “violate Islamic values”. He once reportedly blamed women wearing jeans for causing earthquakes, inflation and other disasters.
Similarly, at one moment in 2014, he criticized the PTI’s government for allowing women to work in the highest executive posts. “There is nothing like the government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Jeans wearing women are running the provincial government,” he said.
Moreover, Maulana claims to restore democracy in Pakistan through toppling the PTI’s government but, at the same time, he did not allow women to join the March. Women journalists were also initially not allowed to cover the protest but, later on, Hamid Mir, a senior journalist who addressed the anti-government protest and requested the leadership to allow women journalists for coverage, they were allowed.
Looking at the "Azadi March" from afar, one thing is clear to me. In the democracy that Maulana sahib is fight for, women would have no place. Even if they manage to get there, women would be backstage or at a far & dark corner.
Ask yourselves dear democrats, do we want THIS?
— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) October 30, 2019
But a female journalist was harassed and forced to leave in the protest.
— Shiffa Z. Yousafzai (@Shiffa_ZY) November 1, 2019