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May 9 ‘narrative’ buried if establishment deems Feb 8 election fair: JUI-F chief Fazl

  • February 14, 2024

Former PDM head urges parties to choose sides whether to join hands with JUI-F against rigging or enjoy rulership

JUI-F supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman (centre) addresses the press conference in Islamabad on February 14, 2024. — Facebook/MoulanaOfficial
JUI-F supremo Maulana Fazlur Rehman (centre) addresses the press conference in Islamabad on February 14, 2024. — Facebook/MoulanaOfficial
  • Fazl says JUI-F to stay away from any coalition to form next govt.
  • Alleges rigging in 2024 broke records of 2018 general elections.
  • Announces countrywide protest movement against ‘poll rigging’.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Emir Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that if the establishment deems the February 8 elections to be fair, then the “narrative” of May 9 has been “buried” — as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-backed candidates secured the most seats in the National Assembly.

PTI workers and leaders were rounded up post-May 9 — the day when party founder Imran Khan was arrested in a graft case. During the nearly countrywide protests, the miscreants targeted the civil and military installations including — Jinnah House and the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi. The military had termed May 9 “Black Day” and decided to try the protesters under the Army Act.

Subsequently, an exodus was witnessed after the unprecedented incident and later on, the party faced several setbacks. However, the PTI-affiliated candidates emerged victorious despite scepticism.

After projected ‘unofficial’ election results, major parties including — Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) — swung into action to form coalitions to form their governments in the Centre and provinces.

However, the politico-religious party formally announced to stay away from joining any coalition whose supremo headed the former ruling coalition — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), a multi-party alliance — which ousted former prime minister Imran Khan via a parliamentary vote in 2022.

“The JUI-F will play its parliamentary role and join the assemblies, but with reservations,” the senior politician said in a press conference on Wednesday, in which he categorically rejected the February 8 nationwide poll results.

Fazl added that “rigging” in 2024 broke records of 2018 elections, alleging that the poll organising authority was held hostage by the establishment. He went on to say that the May 9 narrative was seemingly buried if the establishment deemed the Feb 8 polls fair.

Maulana Fazl termed the top electoral body’s role in the 2024 general polls “suspicious”. He alleged that the commission was suspending petitions of JUI-F candidates without issuing any notices.

He claimed that the JUI-F was deliberately defeated via “rigging” in the nationwide polls as it was “unacceptable for the United States and the West”.

He also ruled out the possibility of entering parliament as a coalition partner but with the party’s own identity as per the decisions taken by the JUI-F’s central executive committee (CEC).

He clarified that his party was not under the influence of the PML-N or Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and could make its decisions independently.

Hinting at protests, the noted cleric said: “Decisions would apparently be made in grounds, instead of parliament.”

Elaborating on the next strategy, Maulana Fazl said: “We will hold a meeting of our provincial general council in Balochistan on February 25 and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on February 27. Additionally, two more meetings will be summoned in Karachi on March 3 and Lahore on March 5.”

“The JUI-F was neither consulted in any decision nor would we listen to anyone else now. We haven’t given any date and just tabled a few recommendations before the general council. We have given a clear stance about assemblies and election results today.”

Regarding the Imran-founded party, the politico admitted that his party has had differences with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), but it was based on ideological matters, not personal ones.

He also invited the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to sit in opposition alongside JUI-F in the Parliament House.

Fazl detailed that he would unveil a schedule for a political movement after consultations. He also urged like-minded and former alliance parties to choose their sides whether to join the JUI-F to raise voices against rigging or enjoy rulership.

Yesterday, a six-party alliance comprising PML-N, PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party (IPP) and Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) announced to form government in the Centre on the pattern of last government of PDM, however, the one of its key allies, JUI-F chief was absent from the crucial meeting that took place at Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain’s residence in the federal capital.

Shehbaz Sharif, while offering the ‘Charter of Economy’ and ‘Charter of Democracy’ to political parties, said: “I agree with the “forgive and forget’ policy to move ahead and accept the split mandate and grateful to all parties who supported the PML-N.”

Following the meeting, the former premier had been nominated for the prime minister’s slot, again, whereas, PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz was named as its candidate for Punjab chief ministership.

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