Maulana Fazlur Rehman, chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (F) has said several times that he will not call off his Azadi March until Prime Minister Imran Khan resigns. He says there will be “chaos” in the country if the PTI-led government does not accept their demands. On the other hand, Interior Minister Ijaz Ali Shah has categorically rejected the demand of the JUI-F and termed it as “out of question thing”. He maintained that PM Imran shall not resign under any circumstances. “They [JUI-F] are allowed to protest according to the constitution and the verdicts of the apex court,” he assured.
In an exclusive interview with Asma Shirazi of Aaj News, the JUI-F leader vowed not to surrender in his anti-government movement. “We have to finally get the resignation from them (the government). And we will fight for it,” he said. Hinting at a sit-in, he said his party wants to give the government a time period of 2-3 days “while sitting in Islamabad“.
ہم سرینڈر نہیں کریں گی۔ہم نے حتمی طور پر استعفی لینا ہے۔۔ اسلام آباد میں حکومت کو دو تین دن کی مہلت دیں گے پھر عوام نے ڈی چوک جانا ہے اس کا فیصلہ ہمارے ہاتھ میں نہیں رہے گا۔۔ مولانا کا دو ٹوک اعلان#FaislaAapKaWithMaulana
Exclusive on Aaj News pic.twitter.com/LqsLOGMxLe
— Asma Shirazi (@asmashirazi) October 31, 2019
“It is for the people to decide what our next strategy should be,” JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said. Rehman, who is leading the opposition’s Azadi March into the capital, said the chance of his party giving time to the PTI-led government has “ended”.
The force trained by the JUI-F at their seminary is armed with sticks are expected to confront the law enforcement agencies if there is any disturbance.
Some analysts fear that whenever a mob gets violent there is no central authority to control it. Therefore, the government has been advised to carefully deal with them. Since there are chances that the protesters may ultimately block the roads if the government does not accept their demands.
Maulana has been allowed to organize a protest in a park of D-3, Islamabad. The authorities have made sure that no disruption takes place and the JUI-F has agreed that no individual from the party shall take part in any unlawful activity. However, analysts point out that what will happen if this mob gets uncontrolled? Who will control them in the federal capital? Who has taken the responsibility of this mob of more than 40 thousand people?
Political analysts are mulling quietly to understand the possible factors behind Maulana’s march and his ‘out of proportion demands’. In the present scenario, PML-N has apparently did not show any seriousness to be part of the protest despite clear instructions from the party’s supreme leader Nawaz Sharif. Shahbaz Sharif, PML-N’s President, is likely to address the protesters in Islamabad but he did not lead the protest.
It is worth noting that fire broke up in three bogies of Tezgam train which bound for Rawalpindi from Karachi. More than 70 people died at the spot and more than 40 including women and children are among the injured ones. The PML-N announced to postpone the protest but the JUI-F’s chief rejected the proposal and maintained to protest tomorrow at any cost.
Similarly, PPP’s senior leadership has decided that Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari shall address the Azadi Marchers in Islamabad. However, there was no enthusiasm reflect by the party that is in power in Sindh.
What Maulana wants & what will he achieve? What has Maulana gained & what Imran Khan has lost? https://t.co/TWMvHMuJ8V
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) October 28, 2019
Some analysts believe that the JUI-F’s chief wanted to be politically relevant and he managed to achieve it. Since he has become the central figure in Pakistan’s politics these days.
Maulana Fazalur Rehman was earlier seen as a behind the scene wheeler-dealer but with the long march, he has entered the center-stage of Pakistani politics by exhibiting his ability to rattle the cage.
— Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) October 31, 2019
There is another argument being fashioned by some political commentators that Maulana’s protest has carefully been managed. He is not protesting against the government rather he is protesting against the establishment which did not give him his ‘due right’ this time during the elections. It is claimed that Maulana wants to let them know that minus-Maulana formula may be counterproductive since he enjoys considerable popularity in the tribal areas which gives him street power to hijack the political process.
It is also believed that Maulana knows the fact the premier shall not resign nor the government will be toppled. He is just demanding some space for his politics and trying to convince the establishment that he is, and should be, relevant in the political process of Pakistan.