ISLAMABAD - Interior Minister Brigadier (redt) Ijaz Ahmed Shah Wednesday hoped that JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman would not come to Islamabad on October 27 as part of his anti-government “Azadi March”.

He said that it would be a suicide attempt if the JUI-F chief reached Islamabad on October 27 — the day that is being observed as “Black day” every year in Pakistan and Kashmir to mark the protest against occupation of Kashmir by India.

“I personally think that Moulana would not come to Islamabad on the given date,” he said while talking to the state-owned PTV at the Diplomatic Enclave after reviewing the security of the area. He said India had occupied Kashmir on October 27, 1947 and added that Maulana would not be standing on the same lines by holding a sit-in in Islamabad on that day. He reminded that Maulana had been in politics throughout his life besides his father was also in politics and would take a wise decision.

Last week, the JUI-F chief had announced that his party would hold the anti-government “Azadi March” to Islamabad on October 27 as a protest against the alleged rigging in 2018 General Elections.

He, while ignoring the call of other opposition parties asking for delay the protest, declared that caravans from different parts of the country would reach Islamabad, stay there and send this government packing.

Responding to a question whether the PTI government would show flexibility over the demands of JUI-F, the minister said the government had already taken cognizance of all demands of Maulana. “Neither any restrictions are being imposed on seminaries (madrassas) nor is their syllabus being changed. In fact it is being improved,” he said.

He further said that everyone knew why inflation on the rise was. Those who governed this country since 70 years should be questioned about inflation as PTI is only in the power for the last more than a year, he stressed.

The federal minister questioned how much Pakistani rupee devalued against US dollar in the last 10 years. In 2000, the exchange rate of one dollar was at the rate of Rs 60 and in 2018, it crossed over Rs100. He said that the government has taken strict steps to set the economy at its right direction and hoped that country would get out of the present financial crunch.

Responding a question, he said that it was very unfortunate that Indian government had not lifted curfew in Indian Occupied Jammu & Kashmir despite the passage of 65 days. Even the local leadership of IOJK that was earlier biased towards India had started raising their voce, he said.

 The minister viewed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was under pressure and hoped that it would lift curfew in the occupied territory as Prime Minister Imran Khan has taken diplomatic initiatives in this regard.