'Resignation from assemblies by opposition lawmakers under deliberation,' says Fazlur Rehman

October 22, 2019

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday said that among the various options being entertained by the opposition in their anti-government 'Azadi March' campaign is the "resignation from assemblies" by opposition lawmakers.

In a press briefing to foreign media outlets, Rehman said that the JUI-F will not follow the "126-day model" of the incumbent government and "will not tire its workers by having them sit indefinitely on some open ground".

"If we are able to reach Islamabad, our action plan will be different and if we are prevented from doing so, it will take a different direction," he said, adding, "It will then take the form of a 'fill the jails' movement."

The JUI-F chief, however, clarified that his party will not clash with any state institution. "Our fight will be carried out within the scope of the limits outlined within the Constitution."

The JUI-F chief remarked that the country's institutions "should remain non-partisan". "No state institution should ever blindly lend their support to the government."

"We do not wish to clash with institutions which is why we call upon them to reject the notion that the government has their backing," he said.

Rehman said that the government had "failed at every level" and saw no option but for fresh elections to put the country back on a democratic path.

Speaking of his anti-government march, the JUI-F chief said: "The 'Azadi March' is neither a sit-in nor a lockdown but a movement which will continue till the incumbent government is brought down."

A majority of opposition parties, including the PML-N and PPP have decided to answer JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman's call to band together and march against the government on October 31.

The opposition had previously refused to come to the table for talks with the government and had voiced a singular demand: the resignation of the prime minister. It had said that no talks can take place before the premier steps down.

In what is being viewed as a softening of JUI-F's stance on the matter, following a meeting of the opposition's Rabar Committee on Monday, it was announced that talks can be considered if the government allows the opposition to hold a "peaceful march" in the capital on October 27.

Today, after an All Parties Conference was held in Islamabad between local leaders of opposition parties, it was clarified that no sit-in will take place that day.

"As in other parts of the country, October 27 will be observed as Kashmir Solidarity and Black Day," JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Majeed Hazarvi said.

The opposition will hold a large demonstration outside the National Press Club, Hazarvi added.

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