Opp decides to extend Azadi March sit-in for two more days


–Govt, Opp hold talks as JUI-F MNAs submit resignations to Fazl

–Khattak hopeful for positive outcome in the next meeting

–Fazl says Opp united against govt, close to achieving objectives


ISLAMABAD: The joint opposition on Monday decided to continue the anti-government protest sit-in for two more days as all parties agreed that insignificant gains should not be given preference over the issues of the masses.

This was decided in a Multi-Party Conference (MPC) held in the federal capital to decide the future course of action pertaining to the ongoing Azadi March.

Briefing the media about the decisions taken during the meeting, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri said that the meeting was “very positive”. He added that currently efforts are being made to resolve all issues through dialogue.

Responding to a question about the future of the march and whether the opposition would back off from its demand of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation, he said that the protest will only end if the government agrees to the principle of “you give some, you take some”.

He also said that the venue of the protest will not be changed as the protesters have all basic facilities available in H-9.

Meanwhile, Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal leader Maulana Abdul Wasay said that all JUI-F’s MNAs submitted their resignations to party chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He added that he himself had handed over his resignation to Fazl. Reportedly, the resignations would be used if the opposition decides to adopt this strategy.

After the MPC ended, the government’s negotiation committee led by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak went to Maulana Fazl’s residence in order to reach a mutual agreement regarding the Azadi March.

Following the session, Khattak and Fazl spoke to media, where the former said that the first round of talks seemed successful. He also said that another meeting will be held tomorrow at JUI-F leader Akram Durrani’s residence, around 3PM.  “We hope that it will bear good results,” he added.


Addressing the participants of the march, JUI-F chief said that they are close to achieving their objectives.

Fazl said that in Monday’s MPC, the opposition parties agreed that only they would decide when to call off the sit-in. “All political parties are on same page and government remains alone today,” he said, adding that all political parties have assured that they would not leave JUI-F alone.

Fazl dismissed the speculations that there were divisions between the opposition’s ranks. He said that rumours against Azadi March have lost pace, adding that he is truly grateful to opposition leaders who supported the march.

Speaking about the agenda of the march, he said that the opposition wants to see a stronger Pakistan.  “We want to pull Pakistan out of isolation,” he said, adding that there is something going on at every front.

“Imran Khan was first selected, now he is rejected,” said Fazl to the crowd.

He said that Azadi March is voice of entire nation. He added that Pakistan s foreign policy is a failure and internally country is unstable, adding that loans taken in one year are more than those taken during the last 70 years.

JUI-F chief Fazlur Rehman has criticised the PTI government’s economic policies, saying the country’s economy is now “fully in the hands of the IMF”. “We cannot tolerate further decline of Pakistan,” he told the Azadi March participants.


Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari were absent from Monday’s MPC due to their own reasons.

Earlier in the day, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal had announced that Shehbaz would not attend the meeting and would be represented by a party delegation led by former National Assembly (NA) speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

It is pertinent to mention here that PML-N, in a party meeting held under Shehbaz’s chairmanship in Lahore, decided to completely support JUI-F’s Azadi March.

Iqbal said that the party would present its point of view before the joint opposition’s Rahbar Committee, adding that the opposition should stand united in its struggle against the government.