– decides to block main highways, sit-ins countrywide
By Shakeel Ahmed
ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Tuesday set ‘Plan B’ in motion, hoping to bring the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on its knees over his demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The decision, which will be finalised after consultations with the joint opposition, was taken at a meeting of the executive committee of the party that was held at Fazl’s residence to chalk out a future strategy against the government.
It may be noted that the opposition has refused to become part of any violent move by the JUI-F and has only lent its token support to the marchers that have been gathered at the H-9 venue for more than a week now.
According to the ‘Plan B’, the protesters will block all the main roads throughout Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It was also learned that all main roads of Islamabad and Rawalpindi will be closed in addition to the sit-in at the H-9 ground.
In the meeting, the JUI-F chief was briefed about the plan by all four provincial chiefs of the party. Fazl expressed his satisfaction over the arrangements in place for the plan.
On the other hand, the federal government has also pulled its socks to counter the ‘Plan B’.
An official, on condition of anonymity, told Pakistan Today that the interior minister had given standing orders to the Islamabad administration to ensure that “there is no violation of the accord signed between the admin and the JUI-F leadership”.
When asked to comment on the strategy if the JUI-F protesters would resort to blocking the Faizabad interchange, the official said that Faizabad interchange doesn’t fall under Red Zone. However, the administration would not allow the protesters to move ahead from Peshawar Mor.The official said that the Punjab government would take action if the protesters converged at Faizabad as it falls under the remits of Punjab. Thousands of protesters have converged on Pakistan’s federal capital, under the banner of ‘Azadi March’, seeking to de-seat Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The caravan, which set off from Sindh on October 27, reached Islamabad on October 31. During the sit-in, opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches against the ruling PTI government.
On November 1, Fazl gave the prime minister a 48-hour ultimatum to resign. However, the so-called deadline was later extended. It has been extended multiple times now.
Till now, despite several meetings, negotiations between the protesters and the government have failed to reach any result.
Meanwhile, the Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMA) has suffered a loss of Rs 42 million on account of the 12-day closure of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Metrobus. The metro has been closed since the Azadi March that has entered its second week. It has not only been causing a heavy loss to the national exchequer but also creating trouble for the commuters who travel daily from Rawalpindi to Islamabad and vice versa.
Agencies add: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leadership in a consultative session on Tuesday discussed the Plan B of its anti-government protest, media reported.
According to party sources, the party has finalized its Plan B and decided to continue the protest sit-in in Islamabad.The roads will remain blocked and a key announcement is expected from the party today. The JUI-F will also take other opposition parties into confidence over its strategy. Under its Plan B Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman led party will likely to extend its protest against the government by holding sit-ins in Karachi, the economic hub of the country.
According to a letter of DIG South Karachi Sharjeel Kharal addressed to SSP South and City Police, JUI-F can hold protest demonstrations in Karachi.
The political party could likely to organize sit-ins at five places in southern part of the metropolis, the police chief letter said.
DIG South has ordered the police officers in letter to boost police surveillance and patrolling to tackle likely protest sit-ins.
The letter also urged for foolproof security measures to meet any untoward situation. The protest sit-ins could be organized at 13 strategic points in the city including five each in southern and western parts of Karachi, while three in east zone of the city, according to the sources.