Pakistan govt, opposition strike deal over ‘Azadi March’

Pakistan govt, opposition strike deal over ‘Azadi March’

Following an earlier deadlock, the Pakistan government and the opposition have inked a deal whereby the terms and conditions of the JUI-F’s October 31 ‘Azadi March’, which will call for Prime Imran Khan’s resignation, were chalked out.

The foremost development, which had remained a sticking point in the meeting held on Friday night between the two sides, was the agreement of a venue. The protest, it was decided, will be held in Islamabad’s H-9 area, in the Sunday bazaar grounds, reports Dawn News.

In a press conference on Saturday night, the head of the government’s negotiation committee, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak reiterated Prime Minister Khan’s promise that the participants will “see no obstacles” from the government as long as the protest was peaceful.

According to the agreement, the government will not stand in the protesters’ way and “neither will the participants face any difficulty in getting food delivered”.

Earlier on Saturday evening, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) leader and head of the Rehbar Committee, which has representation of all major opposition parties, Akram Khan Durrani had announced that the participants of the anti-government ‘Azadi March’ “will not enter the Red Zone” of Islamabad.

“All 11 of the committee’s members are in agreement over the fact that the protesters will not enter the Red Zone,” he had said.

Durrani added that the protest march will “not be prolonged”. “We will make further decisions as and when appropriate.”

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman will kickstart the march on October 27 from Karachi which will reach Islamabad by October 31.

Fazl had announced in June that his party had decided to hold an anti-government long march to Islamabad in the month of October in a bid to topple the government, which he sad had come to power through “fake” elections.

IANS

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