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Azadi March to assume ‘new direction’ in two days

No talks needed if PM’s resignation off the table, Fazl tells govt committee
our correspondent
ISLAMABAD
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Azadi March will take a new direction in two days, said party leader Akram Khan Durrani on Thursday.
Talking the media after a meeting of the opposition’s Rehbar Committee, he said that on the basis of recommendations presented during Thursday’s meeting, new moves will emerge in the protest. He added that new caravans from the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) would soon join the Azadi March.
Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Farhatullah Babar said that the opposition is putting the government under pressure, calling it ‘the first phase’.
Menawhile, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman directed the party members to present their stance in the National Assembly (NA) with full zeal. The meeting decided that the opposition would give a tough time to the government and decided on a plan of action for the march and the parliamentary session.
PPP leader Farhatullah Babar, PPP Secretary General Nayyar Bukhari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Ayaz Sadiq, PML-N Khyber Pakhtunkhwa President Ameer Muqam, JUI-F’s Owais Noorani, Qaumi Watan Party’s (QWP) Hashim Babar, Jamiat Ahle Hadith’s Shafeeq Pasuri, National Party’s (NP) Tahir Bizenjo and Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party’s (PkMAP) Usman Kakar attended the meeting of the Rehbar Committee.
Earlier, Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi called on the JUI-F chief to find a way to end the sit-in.
Talking to reporters before the meeting, Elahi said that he was hoping for a positive outcome and would soon give the nation some “good news”.
“We are hopeful and things seem to be going towards betterment,” he said, adding that recommendations are under consideration to break the ongoing deadlock.
Elahi, who is a member of the government’s negotiation team, has met Fazl several times over the past week to facilitate the ongoing dialogue.
After the meeting between the two on Wednesday, Elahi had sounded hopeful and had told reporters that “positive progress” was being made in the talks between the government and opposition regarding the Azadi March.
In a response to weeks-long talks between the two parties, he had said “several processes” were simultaneously underway but that any breakthrough will require “patience and hard work”.
On Wednesday, Fazl had reiterated the opposition’s demand to end “one-sided accountability and justice”.
Addressing the participants of the Azadi March, the JUI-F chief had said that the case made against Supreme Court (SC) judge Qazi Faez Isa must be quashed, announcing his support for the lawyers body that have been protesting the reference against the SC judge.
Fazl had said that people could not get justice in Pakistan. “There is no justice in the country. NAB is helpless when it comes to holding the government responsible in Pakistan,” he had said.
“We want a constitutional government which truly reflects the Constitution of Pakistan,” Fazl had added.
The JUI-F chief had said that he and the Azadi marchers had arrived in Islamabad to save the country and they won’t back off until the demands are met.
Thousands of protesters have converged on the federal capital under the banner of the Azadi March, seeking to send Prime Minister Imran Khan packing.
The ‘Azadi’ March caravan, which set off from Sindh on October 27, left Punjab’s city Lahore on October 30 and culminated its journey October 31 in Islamabad.
Opposition leaders delivered fiery speeches against the PTI government on Friday, giving the prime minister a 48-hour ultimatum to resign. The deadline was later extended after the JUI-F chief said the opposition’s Rahbar Committee will decide after talks with the government negotiating committee.



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