Nov 4, 2019, 12:50 PM
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News Code: 83541377
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Pakistani opposition protest continues, demanding PM resignation

Islamabad, Nov 4, IRNA -- The protest of Pakistani opposition led by Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F)’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman continues in Islamabad demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Tens of thousands of opposition supporters of ‘Azadi march’ have warned of chaos if their demands are not met.

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said undemocratic and unconstitutional demands of the opposition could not be accepted.

He also ruled out any possibility of pardon for opposition leaders, saying that any agreement with them would be equivalent to treachery with the country.

The protest in the capital is the first concerted opposition challenge to the Prime Minister since he won a general election last year.

The ‘Azadi’ March caravan, which set off from Sindh, left Punjab’s city Lahore on Wednesday and culminated its journey Thursday night in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, security remains tight in Islamabad and all major roads are blocked with shipping containers.

The private educational institutions have closed their campuses since Thursday ahead of the arrival of the JUI-F's anti-government Azadi March in the city.

The life of thousands of commuters has strongly been affected due to the suspension of Metro Bus Service (MBS) in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad for the past three days

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman says that the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led “PTI government has to go”.

“This [PTI] government has to go… and [the opposition parties] don’t have any other option but to give the masses right to elect their representatives.”

However, two other major opposition parties Pakistan Muslim League-N and Pakistan Peoples Party seem to be reluctant to join the next possible move of Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

There are reports that the federal government has decided to negotiate with Maulana Fazlur Rehman to end the protest.

It is pertinent to mention that in 2014 Imran Khan as chairman of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had staged a 126 days long sit in Islamabad demanding resignation of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan says government's doors are open for dialogue with the opposition to resolve all issues through political means.

Addressing a news conference along with Minister for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri in Islamabad, she said Prime Minister Imran Khan is determined to meet democratic demands of the opposition.

She said the Prime Minister has already constituted a fully powerful committee led by Defence Minister Pervez Khattak for holding talks with the JUI-F chief and other opposition parties.

The Special Assistant urged the opposition leaders to come up with positive and viable recommendations with regard to electoral and economic reforms if they have.

She, however, made it clear that the government's desire for negotiations should not be taken as weakness.

On the other hand Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi contacted JUI-F chief and urged him to resolve the current standoff with the government with reconciliation.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser has also made contact with senior leader of the JUI-F Akram Khan Durrani and the head of the opposition's Committee and recommended that the two sides hold a meeting to resolve the matter amicably.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman earlier decided not to end sit-in against government. The JUI-F chief has also decided to summon an All Parties Conference (APC) on the issue of sit-in.

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