JUI-F to review Azadi March decision

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ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday said he will consult his party’s central executive committee, slated to meet on Thursday, to review the decision to hold an anti-government march in October after a visiting Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) delegation urged him for postponement of the event.

The decision to call on Fazl was taken at a meeting of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and PML-N on Tuesday, wherein it was decided that there won’t be a “unilateral decision” on the anti-government march.

The PML-N delegation led by party’s secretary-general Ahsan Iqbal included Shah Mohammad Shah, Amir Muqam, Abdul Qadir Baloch and Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

The delegation also apprised the JUI-F chief and his accompanying delegation of the party’s meeting with PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other PPP members.

Agreeing to review his decision of locking down Islamabad, the JUI-F chief said that a meeting of the party’s central executive committee will take place on Thursday, after which the response will be relayed to the PML-N.

Sources told Pakistan Today that Fazl agreed to “request the party’s executive committee to defer the march” upon PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal’s insistence.

Speaking to media persons after the meeting, Ahsan Iqbal said that the federal government was becoming a threat to the country and that political forces must join hands to oust the prime minister and his team.

He said that neither the “opposition parties were seeking an NRO [National Reconciliation Ordinance] nor the powerless government could grant them with one”.

The JUI-F chief said due to the incompetence of the government, the economy has crashed and the masses were being adversely affected.

He said that the common man was suffering due to the unprecedented inflation and price hike but the government was failing to deal with the issue.

Ahsan Iqbal said that the entire opposition, including PML-N, PPP, and MMA, are all in agreement that the current government has failed in one year.

He said it was a worrying fact that eight businessmen were going to the army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa to tell him that businesses are about to go bankrupt. “If the traders are going to the army chief to air their grievances then where are we going?” he remarked.

“If the entire burden of the government’s failure is placed on the military leadership then how will this country run,” he argued.

In a comment on the potential reshuffle in the federal cabinet, the PML-N leader said the “real problem lies in our unsuccessful and vengeful prime minister” and the issue couldn’t be fixed with “frequent reshuffling of the cabinet”.