QUETTA - Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Sunday issued an August deadline to the federal government to step down otherwise his party and allies would launch a march on Islamabad.

Speaking to the participants of the ‘Million March’ in Quetta, Fazl termed Sunday’s march to be the last one and said the next one would be towards the federal capital.

The JUI-F noted that if the federal government resigned by August, it would then be able to save themselves from the Opposition’s march. However, if the leadership failed to do so, then, in October, Fazl said, JUI-F and allies would march on Islamabad alongside the entire country. He termed the potential demonstration ‘Azadi March’.

Fazl spoke of how the 2018 general elections were rigged and he did not accept its results. All political parties desire fresh elections, he said, adding that on the one hand there was “back-breaking” inflation, and on the other taxes were being “rained down” on the people.

Fazl also slammed the new requirement for condition of presenting the national identity card (CNIC) for purchases worth more than Rs50,000. That, he said, was not a documented economy but a “foreign agenda”.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was trying to gain access to the pockets of shopkeepers at every nook and corner, he warned.

The JUI-F chief further criticised the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), saying the anti-graft watchdog carried out accountability during the tenure of former president General (retd) Pervez Musharraf and, at that time too, everyone knew of its character. However, the NAB had never been so completely unmasked before as it had been in the present, he noted.