ISLAMABAD (Pakistan): Thousands of opposition protesters are marching on Pakistan’s capital to demand that Imran Khan Niazi step down as prime minister, claiming he is leading an “illegitimate” government amid anger over soaring inflation.
Led by Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman, a politician and a powerful Islamist cleric, the protestors say the ‘Azadi March’ (“Freedom March”) is to topple the Imran Niazi government. They allege that Pakistan PM Niazi and his party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf swept to power through the support of the military and accuse the party of electoral fraud.
Azadi March caravan reached Lahore on Tuesday from where it will make its way to Rawalpindi.
After arriving in Multan on Tuesday, the caravan made its way to Lahore. A large crowd of supporters of the JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman joined their leader and chanted slogans against the government.
Addressing his supporters, Fazl said JUI-F was going to Islamabad to announce that the incumbent rulers were fake. “Government should resign before we reach Islamabad,” he said.
“This government does not have any mandate,” he said. “The mandate can be seen in this march,” the JUI-F chief added.
On Saturday, the Rahbar Committee and the government reached an agreement according to which the opposition agreed not to cross into the Red Zone.
The JUI-F caravan will depart from KP on October 31. Caravans will depart from Peshawar, Chitral, Dir, Kohistan, Shangla and Tor Ghar for the federal capital.
Caravans will arrive at 2 pm on October 31 at the Rashakai Interchange. Caravans from Khyber, Bajaur, and Mohmand will depart from the JUI-F provincial secretariat on October 31.
Caravans from the south district, South and North Waziristan, Kurram Agency, Orakzai and Kohat will arrive in Peshawar.
Caravans from Abbotabad, Mansehra, Battagram and Haripur will arrive at Hasan Abdal by 4 pm.
Caravans from KP, Tribal areas and Punjab will enter Islamabad on October 31.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan government has expressed concern over what it claims that some participants of Azadi march of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) are carrying prohibited arms and decided to maintain its writ during the opposition’s show of strength in the federal capital.
The issue of security during Azadi march was raised at a meeting of the federal cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday.
The meeting reiterated that the prime minister would never resign on the opposition’s demand.