KARACHI - Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will begin his Azadi March against the incumbent federal government from Super Highway (M-9) in Karachi on Sunday (today).

Fazl has announced to launch a protest march on Islamabad against the incumbent federal government led by PTI demanding resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The marchers are scheduled to enter the capital on October 31.

The party also plans to stage a sit-in in the capital, although the Rehbar Committee of the opposition parties and the JUI-F is yet to announce any final decision on it.

Opposition parties including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Awami National Party (ANP), National Party (NP), Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and others have announced their support for the Azadi March of the JUI-F. The party decided to begin its march from Karachi, capital of Sindh province, as it is being ruled by Pakistan People’s Party which has pledged its full support to the JUI-F march.

Rallies from Punjab, Balochistan to join marchers in Sukkur

The other provincial governments in the country including Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) and Balochistan are either directly ruled by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) or its allies in the federal government. According to schedule of events, the party would hold a public gathering at Super Highway on Sunday morning which would also be attended by members of other opposition parties supporting the long march.

JUI-F Karachi chief and coordinator for the Karachi gathering, Qari Usman said rallies of all JUI-F districts in Karachi and some parts of Balochistan would attend the public gathering at Super Highway. “Opposition parties have also assured us of their participation in it,” he said, adding, that it would be addressed by JUI-F supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other local leadership of the opposition parties.

Furthermore, he said, the Azadi March under the leadership of Fazlur Rehman, would begin after the gathering and would make a second major stopover at Sukkur, where rallies from parts of Punjab and Balochistan will join marchers.

“It will then enter Punjab on 28th October and will ultimately reach Islamabad- its final destination - on 31st October,” he said. 

“Maulana will accompany us during the Azadi March and special arrangements have been made for travelling,” said JUI-F leader without giving more details.

Speaking about security cover after threats conveyed by NACTA, the JUIF leader said they did not need security. However, he continued, the PPP government had said that marchers would be given fool-proof security.

“We can avail this security in Sindh province only. The PTI-led governments in others parts of the country will not give us security cover and can even create hindrances in our way. Therefore, we have our own volunteers with sticks in hands to safeguard party leadership and marchers,” he said.

Opposition parties to

participate in JUI-F rally

Opposition parties have announced their full support for Azadi March and their activists would be part of this march.

Sind Minister for Labour , Information and Archives Saeed Ghani said that leaders and workers of Pakistan People’s Party would welcome and participate in the Azadi March .

Addressing a press conference on Saturday, Saeed Ghani said the PPP had already decided to welcome the Azadi March from wherever it would start.

Following that the leaders, workers of PPP Karachi division would receive participants of the Azadi March , the minister added. After Karachi, participants of the Azadi March would be received by PPP workers and leaders in Jamshoro.

The provincial information minister said that it was responsibility of every government to provide security to peaceful protesters. He said people could not be stopped from staging peaceful protests in the name of security.

Awami National Party district Malir Leader Naseeb Buneri said the party would be attending the public gathering of JUI-F at Sohrab Goth and will not accompany them during their march towards Islamabad.

“We will be later joining them in Islamabad,” he said.