Over a lakh to join in protest against Imran Khan govt

Last Updated 28 October 2019, 16:38 IST

The protest march called by the Opposition parties in Pakistan against the Imran Khan government, which has been accused of coming to power through rigged elections, will see the participation of a lakh people, according to a media reports on Monday.

The 'Azadi March' in Islamabad on October 31 will be led by right-wing Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman. All major Opposition parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz of jailed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Peoples Party of former president Asif Ali Zardari have announced their support.

Over a lakh JUI-F workers are going to Islamabad for the protest, Geo News said in a report.

Members of JUI-F's core committee have been asked to bring at least 3,000 workers each from their respective cities to the capital for "Azadi March", a JUI-F senior leader told Geo News.

"We plan for a big power show in Sukkur today (October 28), second in Multan on October 29, third in Lahore on October 30, and then the final 'Azadi March' has been planned for Islamabad," Attaur Rehman, a senior leader of the JUI-F, was quoted as saying by the report.

More than three dozen JUI-F Members of Parliament (provincial/national assembly/senate) have been assigned by the party's top leadership to mobilse sizable crowds from their constituencies for the Azadi March in Islamabad.

Former Senator Hafiz Hamdullah said JUI-F has around 3.5 million registered workers, each of whom has contributed financially for the march.

An estimated 4,100 village councils, 308 cities, 79 districts and four provincial councils have raised funds to the tune of the about Rs1.1 billion for the "Azadi March" in the past four months, said Secretary Information of JUI-F in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Abdul Jalil Jan.

The 'Azadi March' can match the rallies of political parties in the recent past against the government, outnumbering the "2014 dharna" arranged by Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, Geo News said.

According to earlier reports, the Pakistan government was considering calling in the Army in Islamabad to counter the protest march,. However, the government and the Opposition on Saturday settled the terms and conditions for the protest, the Dawn newspaper reported.

At a press conference here, the head of the government's negotiation committee, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak reiterated Prime Minister Khan's promise that the protesters will "see no obstacles" from the government as long as the protest is peaceful.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari's participation in the protest was yet to be confirmed, though his party has extended support to the march.

(Published 28 October 2019, 16:38 IST)

Follow us on