Nawaz writes letter to Fazl with party holding decision on March

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LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif yesterday assured his commitment, to support Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, from jail by writing a letter to him.
In a letter written by incarcerated Nawaz Sharif, he expressed that the entire leadership and workers of the PML-N are with him in his ‘Azadi March’ endeavor.
According to sources, former premier wrote in his letter that the incumbent government is rigged. “Till the end of this government, the PML-N is with JUI-F”, he added.
Earlier, The decision of PakistanMuslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) regarding participation in Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam’s (JUI-F) Azadi March once again faced delay due to cancellation of meeting between ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Opposition Leader in National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif. According to details, Shehbaz Sharif was scheduled to meet Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail to present party recommendations on Azadi March for approval however, he has cancelled the plan owning to backache.
The party sources said that the doctors have advised the opposition leader to take bed rest. On the other hand, Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had announced complete support for JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s ant-government protest and said that his party would welcome Azadi March. “We have not yet been told anything about the march, however, we completely back JUI-F,” he said.
Earlier, Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the Azadi March convoys from across the country will leave for Islamabad on October 27 to enter jointly in the federal capital on October 31.
On the other side, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has once again postponed its final decision regarding participation in Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) upcoming Azadi March owing to the cancellation of meeting between former premier Nawaz Sharif and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly (NA) Shehbaz Sharif. Shehbaz was scheduled to meet his elder brother Nawaz at the Kot Lakhpat Jail on Thursday to present party’s recommendations on the upcoming march for approval, but the meeting was cancelled when the former postponed his plans due to backache. Party sources said that the PML-N president was advised bed rest by his doctors.
While PML-N continues to delay its final decision, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has agreed to support JUI-F’s Azadi March. PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that his party would completely support JUI-F’s anti-government protest and would welcome the Azadi March. “We have not been told anything about the march but we will completely back JUI-F,” he said.
On Wednesday, reports emerged that PML-N was divided over participation in the anti-government march.
Reportedly, fissures within the central leadership of the party had emerged during a meeting of the PML-N Central Executive Committee (CEC) that was held under the leadership of party president Shehbaz Sharif.
Shehbaz, Ahsan Iqbal and Raja Zafarul Haq had reportedly opposed participating in the march, reports had said. While, on the other hand, the leaders that are considered close to supreme leader Nawaz Sharif, such as Javed Latif, Pervez Rasheed and Ameer Muqam had endorsed joining the sit-in.
Owing to these differences, reports added, the party had decided to approach Nawaz for the final decision.
Earlier on Wednesday, the JUI-F chief had changed the date of its Azadi March from October 27 to 31st in order to join Kashmiri people in observing 27th as a black day across the country in protest against the Indian occupation of Kashmir.
JUI-F senior politician Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri had also submitted an application with the chief commissioner of Islamabad, seeking permission for carrying out Azadi March and a possible sit-in at D-Chowk in Islamabad. In the written application, JUI-F had maintained that the party owns “democratic and constitutional” right of holding protests. It had also said that under the leadership of the JUI-F chief, a large number of party workers will participate in the long march. The party had further asked the local administration to ensure provision of essential security measures for the demonstrators.On October 3, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb had denied news reports regarding the non-participation of Shehbaz Sharif in the ‘Azadi March’.
She had said that during a meeting with Nawaz Sharif at Kot Lakhpat Jail, Shehbaz had informed him about the consultation done by the party with the PPP and JUI-F regarding the anti-government protest. “The final announcement regarding the PML-N’s participation in the JUI-F-led march will be made by Shehbaz Sharif,” she had then said.
Meanwhile, a private news channel had reported that Shehbaz Sharif had refused to participate in the ‘Azadi March’ citing health concerns.
According to the channel’s report, Shehbaz had informed Nawaz about the decision of the party’s CEC to not take part in the JUI-F’s protest movement.
According to the report, the former prime minister had instructed his younger brother to call an all-parties conference to finalise arrangements for the ‘Azadi March’ along with bringing the PPP chairman on board and consulting with Fazlur Rehman over the date of the proposed march. Nawaz had also urged Shehbaz to take a leading role in the Azadi March to which the former reportedly refused, citing his ailing health condition, and recommended names of national party leaders such as former federal minister Ahsan Iqbal for the task.–Agencies