‘Deadline over’: Fazl to march on capital in October


–JUI-F chief says he will mobilise march against India in case of war-like situation

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday reminded Prime Minister Imran Khan that the deadline for his resignation has ended on August 31 and now he must prepare to face JUI-F’s ‘Azadi March’ in October.

Speaking to the media, the JUI-F chief said that he would launch an ‘Azadi March’ towards Islamabad to oust the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government. “I had given you the deadline of August 31 but you did not step down voluntarily. Now prepare for a lockdown in October,” he said.

When asked whether he would proceed with the march if the country was in a war-like situation, Fazl replied in the affirmative, saying he would still ensure a lockdown of the federal capital.

“Even if we face war, we will not cancel the march, rather we will mobilise the public towards war against India,” he said, adding that despite the odds, he was certain that there would be no war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours.

On July 28, speaking at a ‘million march’ rally organised by the party in Quetta, the JUI-F chief had said that asked the premier to resign, warning that the failure to do so would result in the entire country marching towards Islamabad in October.

“We want to clarify that the drums of war have already been beaten as a message to such forces, such international agents, the representatives of global powers, and the false leaders who have forced their way into power,” he had said.

“I want to highlight that the Quetta million march is our last million march and now our next step will be taken in Islamabad,” he had added.

The JUI-F chief, directly addressing the government, had said that in the first phase of their plan, a chance was being given to the government to resign by August “to save themselves from the Islamabad march”.

“If you do not resign by August, you will find us in Islamabad by October,” he had vowed.

He claimed that the entire country would march in October. “This will be an independence march. The way we freed ourselves from the British, we will free ourselves from this government,” he had said.

The JUI-F chief had emphasised that since the joint stance by of the opposition is that the elections were rigged, new elections must take place. He had said that the same had been discussed in the recently-held All Parties Conference (APC).

Speaking about the rising prices of commodities, he had said that a salaried man who earns Rs30,000-40,000 has been rendered incapable of buying the monthly groceries. He had recalled that after the government’s first budget was announced, traders far and wide had held strikes and recorded their protests.

“The trader community is the face of the economy. When they recorded such a protest then what else is left to see,” he had said and added that “we cannot leave the economy in your hands when you are as incapable and unqualified as you are”.

He had appealed to the government to “not let Pakistan turn into Afghanistan”.