PESHAWAR, Aug 17: Chief of his own faction Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam Maulana Fazlur Rehman has indicated for launching a movement to oust the government, saying the present rulers must be thrown out of power to save the country.
Addressing a party gathering the JUI-F Chief said that opposition would not be deterred by the government’s political witch-hunt through the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). “It betrays an authoritarian mindset on part of the rulers and we know how to fight such tendencies,” he said.
He spoke of the need for waging a united struggle against the rulers, saying the citizens had enough of stagflation. The traders and businessmen, he said, had been disappointed by the indifference shown by the authorities towards their demands. “They have given up protesting after crying hoarse about the state of economy,” he said.
Criticising the government’s foreign policy, the JUI-F leader said that government was disloyal to the cause of Kashmir and Palestine, and was trading their freedom for political expediencies and vested interest. The Kashmiris, he said, were bleeding and the rulers gave up on the fight for their rights.
“India has abrogated the status of Kashmir and assimilated it into the union against the will of Kashmiris. Yesterday we were aiming to take back Srinagar. Today, we are worried about saving Muzaffarabad [from Indian designs],” he added.
He said that people must think about saving the country that was liberated in the name of religion but never saw any legislation based on Islamic laws.
“Freedom is not song and dance; freedom is not loitering on streets. What message are we sending out to our youth through our emphasis on pomp and show in the name of freedom,” he questioned.
In the past, the JUI-F leader said, there was the impression that the Pakhtuns were a devout people with strong religious beliefs. “And so, political parties with no common religious, cultural, ethnic or even Pakistani roots have been imposed on the local people. They have no values, nor do they have roots among the Pakhtuns,” he added
The Maulana said that JUI had a history that went back a hundred years in the Indian subcontinent. He said that the party’s centennial celebrations in Peshawar in 2017 drew close to five million followers from all over the world.
“If not for the forces opposed to our influence, JUI is clearly the country’s largest political party. Elections 2018 were completely rigged and JUI challenged the results. Even today, the party continues to raise voice against how the people’s mandate was subverted and the elections stolen,” he said.
JUI, he said, had run afoul of the establishment in Pakistan and the United States. “We have upset them,” he said, suggesting that it militated against JUI-F’s rise to power.
In October last year, JUI-F organised an Azadi March resulting in a sit-in against the PTI government in Islamabad. Even though, the JUI-F followers participated in the dharna in huge number, the Maulana called it off on the third day, saying that the powers that be had promised him that the PTI government would be sent packing within days. That promise has yet to materialise, however.