PML-N to fully participate in Azadi March, Shehbaz assures Fazl


–JUI-F chief says no talks with govt until PM Imran resigns


LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif on Friday put all rumours regarding his reluctance to join the anti-government march to rest, as he announced his party’s complete support for Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s Azadi March.

Speaking to media persons after meeting Fazl, Shehbaz said that a massive rally will be held in Islamabad on October 31 to present a joint list of demands by the opposition.

He reiterated the demand for snap elections, claiming that if elected into power, the PML-N will bring the economy on the right track within six months.

“Despite the support that [Prime Minister] Imran Khan enjoys, he has failed the country and is placing the burden of his failures on the shoulders of our institutions,” he said, adding that “if even the most far gone of governments had received just 25 per cent of the support Imran Khan has received, then Pakistan would have been soaring high in the skies of progress”.

“From Karachi to Peshawar, the entire nation is in agreement that this government should go home and as soon as possible, fresh elections should take place,” said Shehbaz.

“I have the utmost respect for Maulana […] we have received instructions for the Azadi March he has set out on, from Mian Nawaz, our quaid, in a letter.

“On October 31, we will ensure our full participation in the march and we will be there in Islamabad to welcome him. We will hold a massive rally to voice our demands and will decide on the next course of action then,” said the PML-N president.

Shehbaz said that it is not just him, but “the whole of Pakistan that stands in agreement with [Fazlur Rehman] over the fact that [under] the selected government and selected prime minister, [the country has witnessed] in the past year, the worst performance in all fields whether it is education or health”.

Speaking to media, Fazl said the JUI-F has “decided to enter the federal capital on October 31 so that nearby caravans and far away caravans can both enter as one”.

He said all future decisions will be made in joint consultation with the opposition parties, as he thanked for expressing their complete support for participation in this march.

The JUI-F chief reiterated his party’s stance of the incumbent government being “illegally appointed” and “incompetent”.

“This can be garnered from their conversations and mannerisms in which on the one hand they can be seen forming committees for negotiations and on the other, they bad-mouth us,” said Rehman.

“Holding talks before handing in a resignation, in our eyes, holds no meaning,” said the JUI-F chief.

Furthermore, Shehbaz said October 27 will be observed in complete solidarity with Kashmiris.

He also rejected the “oft-repeated mantra by the government” that the economy was left in dire straights by the PML-N government. “The economy was in a very healthy state when the PTI government came into power,” he insisted.

“We will work hard day and night for the elimination of unemployment, poverty and illness the way we did for a dengue outbreak, the way we installed power plants under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif. The way we took Pakistan to new heights, we will do so once more.

“This is our only consideration. This government has destroyed Pakistan and we [have what it takes] to have Pakistan up on its feet once again,” declared Shehbaz.

It merits a mention here that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has already expressed support for the JUI-F’s Azadi March. However, the party announced that it would only participate in the rallies organised by the religious party and would not attend its sit-in in the federal capital.


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