ISLAMABAD: After a protest from other opposition parties, the head of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F), Maulana Fazlur Rehman, prevented Sunday that the delegation of his party meets with the president of the Senate, Sadiq Sanjrani , saying a decision on conversations with the government on the subject of The & # 39; March of Azadi & # 39; October 31 would now be carried out by the opposition Rehbar Committee.
The Rehbar Committee, representing all major opposition parties, will meet on Monday (today) at the residence of its convener and JUI-F leader, Akram Khan Durrani, in Islamabad to decide whether or not to hold talks with the government team made up of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The head of the JUI-F approved on Saturday the secretary general of his party and Senator Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri to meet with the president of the Senate, who as a member of the government negotiating team, contacted him by phone and requested a meeting.
Sanjrani contacted Maulana Haideri hours after the two members of the government team made another request to the opposition to come to the negotiating table.
The head of the JUI-F had stated categorically before that they would only speak with the government after the resignation of Prime Minister Khan, a lawsuit that was rejected by Defense Minister Pervez Khattak, the head of the government negotiating team.
Speaking to DawnThe PPP secretary general and Rehbar Committee member Farhatullah Babar confirmed that the leadership of his party had contacted the head of the JUI-F on Sunday after seeing media reports about a scheduled meeting between Maulana Haideri and the President of the Senate.
Babar said they were surprised by the reports, since it had been decided at one of the opposition leaders' meetings that all decisions regarding the anti-government protest would be taken by party bosses or by the Rehbar Committee, which had been constituted in June in a multi-party conference of opposition parties to design a joint strategy to launch a decisive movement to overthrow the current coalition government led by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).
On June 25, Maulana Fazl on his own announced that his party had decided to make a long march to Islamabad in October. Earlier this month, the Maulana set for the first time on October 27 as the date of the long march, but then postponed it until October 31, saying they would only hold demonstrations on October 27 to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir that would be watching a black day around the world against Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.
The other opposition parties initially opposed the unilateral announcement about Maulana's long march, but then extended their support when the JUI-F entrusted them with their plans.
So far, the JUI-F has not disclosed details of its "Azadi March" and its leaders have issued confusing statements in response to questions about a sit-in in Islamabad.
Prime Minister Khan formed a seven-member team on Friday under Defense Minister Pervez Khattak to involve the JUI-F and other opposition parties before his planned march.
Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, Defense Minister Khattak and federal Minister of Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood, on the one hand, asked opposition parties to come to the negotiating table and, for another, they warned that if opposition parties tried to create anarchy in the country, then the law would take its course.
"The resignation of the prime minister is impossible. This will be an assault. We will not let it happen. Then there will be an action," Mr. Khattak warned, adding: "If you do not sit with us and talk, then we would have fulfilled our responsibility. Whatever happens next, only you (the opposition parties) will be responsible for it. ”
He said that if the opposition tried to create chaos in the country, then the government would have no choice but to act and "make decisions according to the law."
Responding to the communicator of the ministers, the general secretary of PML-N, Ahsan Iqbal, in a statement tried to remind the government that holding a protest was a right granted to citizens by the Constitution.
"How can those who themselves organized a sit-in to protest?" He asked, qualifying that the talks offer a "two-sided movement."
"Imran Khan should first present an apology to the nation and Nawaz Sharif before talking about negotiations," he said.
Posted on Dawn, October 21, 2019