Govt takes steps to prevent JUI-F's AM

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has prepared to thwart Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Azadi March which is said to begin on October 27.
It was reported that a control room has been set up at the interior ministry. Authorities have placed containers at the bridge connecting Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Punjab to thwart movement of the marchers.
Authorities are waiting for the interior ministry’s decision on whether the bridge should be closed or not. Police have started using trailers to place containers at the bridge.
In Islamabad, police arrested two JUI-F leaders on charges of instigating people to take part in the Azadi March.
A case was registered against two JUI-F leaders in Landhi, Karachi, for collecting funds forcefully for the party’s Azadi March. Another case against the JUI-F chief’s Azadi March will be heard at the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday.
Earlier, talks between the government and the JUI-F broke down on Sunday. JUI-F’s Abdul Ghafoor Haideri and Senate Chairman Sanjrani were supposed to hold talks on Sunday but that didn’t materialise.
The Rahbar committee will now hold talks with the government. A meeting of the committee has been called on October 22.
The JUI-F chief has lashed out at Prime Minister Imran Khan. He blamed the prime minister for rising unemployment in the country and the dismal situation of the economy. Maulana Fazl has claimed that the Azadi March was a war against the government which would only end with its downfall.
Defence Minister Pervez Khattak had expressed hope that talks between the JUI-F and the federal government would yield fruit. “The government was in constant contact with JUI-F and other opposition leaders to avert the march and was receiving positive response in that regard,” he had said a day earlier.
Khattak had said that meaningful negotiations with the JUI-F leadership would be held and the government had constituted a reconciliation committee to ensure that a peaceful resolution to the conflict could be reached.