–JUI-F chief says next course of action to be decided by Rehbar Committee, rules out march towards D-Chowk
–Fazl says ECP is more helpless than Opp
–Says institutions must stay within their constitutional limits
ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) on Sunday extended the deadline given to Prime Minister Imran Khan by one day, saying the future of course of action will be decided by the joint opposition in an All-Party Conference on Monday.
Hours after the deadline for Prime Minister Imran Khan’s resignation expired on Sunday night, the JUI-F chief addressed the participants of the march and said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will have to go.
Expressing his determination to continue until their goal is achieved, Fazl said that the movement will not back off without ousting the premier. “This is only Plan A. We still have Plan B and Plan C as well. Your jails will fall short of space,” he said.
He said that the opposition has only locked down the federal capital and if the government persists in delaying this issue, the protesters will shut down the entire country.
Fazl ruled out the plan of marching towards D-Chowk, saying the venue is not “large enough” to accommodate the mammoth crowd that has gathered against the government. “If the crowd moves towards the Prime Minister House, nobody would be able to control it,” he however warned.
Lashing out at the government, the JUI-F chief said that the downtrodden have been robbed off of their right to live in peace. “A common man cannot afford basic necessities of life,” he added.
Lashing out at the incumbent government, Fazl said that the federal cabinet is composed of people who only know how to abuse their political opponents. “They want to hold the opposition accountable but their own accountability should be conducted first,” he added.
Commenting on the criticism of political leaders pertaining to the gathering of religious youth, he said that his party had shown the path of “moderation” to the youth. “We provided free education to children in religious seminaries,” he added.
Speaking about the role of the state institutions, he said that the institutions have crossed the boundaries laid for them in the Constitution of Pakistan. Even a judge of the Supreme Court (SC) has pointed this out, he added.
“Every institution is crossing its boundaries and interfering where it should not. Our army is becoming controversial and we cannot see it becoming so,” he further said.
In a dig at comments made by the Pakistan Army’s spokesperson, Fazl said: “They tell us to approach the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and file a complaint but the commission is more helpless than us.”
If the commission had any power, the protesters would not have gathered in Islamabad, he said, adding that the parliamentary committee to investigate allegations of rigging during the 2018 elections has yet to convene.
He also urged the participants of the march to avoid paying any attention toward the “tone set by the media” regarding the march.
Tens of thousands of opposition supporters led by the JUI-F chief have gathered in Islamabad to demand the ouster of PM Imran, warning of chaos if their demands were not met.
The protest in the capital is the first concerted opposition challenge the cricket star-turned-politician has faced since he won a general election last year promising to end corruption.
Security remains tight in Islamabad with the government and diplomatic sector – just a few kilometres from the rally site – sealed off, and roads blocked from shipping containers.