Jamiat Ulema-e Islam Fazl (JUI-F) has responded to the critique of the government of initiating the Azadi March on October 26. October 26 is Accession Day for Jammu and Kashmir and holding the Azadi March on the same day would have taken away from the actual cause, one that Pakistan has been dedicatedly fighting for not just domestically but internationally as well. JUI-F has postponed the March till October 31 in order to respect the sentiments of Pakistanis for the Kashmir cause and this is a great step that will open up doors for negotiation between the government and the agitated party.

With Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) not showing clear support for the March and isolating themselves from the ideology behind the March, it is necessary that both the government and JUI-F find grounds to work upon and find means to defuse the situation. Azadi March being held on the same day as the Accession Day was one of the contentions of the government against the March. With that removed, the government should not only facilitate the party to hold peaceful protests but also invest in finding means to work on the demands of the protestors. At this point, the main causes for concern, not just for JUI-F but other mainstream parties as well, are the economic crisis, increasing inflation, low employment, businesses being affected by economic policies, and lack of debate in the parliament.

The government should work upon the issues raised by the opposition because the marchers plan on sitting and protesting until the government resigns. Resignation at this point will create further implications that can be avoided through dialogue. JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who was adamant, that there can be no dialogue has shown the willingness to compromise based on the postponement. Both sides can certainly find avenues to agree upon. Compromise is key in this situation because the protest itself will impact the economy, an outcome neither side wants. The question is whether or not Maulana Fazlur Rehman can be convinced to compromise further or the government will sit out the protests and not respond till the protestors eventually go back home. However, the support of the remaining opposition parties in the coming days will determine the strength of these protests and also the stance each side will take.