Explained: Fazl-ur Rehman’s ‘Azadi March’ — What’s happening in Pakistan, and why – The Indian Express
Leaders of Pakistan’s opposition have been assembly on Saturday night to resolve on the methods to accentuate their agitation in opposition to the federal government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
The opposition’s Azadi March, a large protest rally that started from Karachi a number of days in the past and has been making its approach by means of Pakistan, reached the capital Islamabad on Thursday. On Friday, rightwing cleric Maulana Fazl-ur Rehman, who’s main the protest, gave Imran, whom he known as the “Gorbachev of Pakistan”, an ultimatum of two days to resign.
Current on the assembly of the opposition’s Rehbar Committee on the residence of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) chief Akram Khan Durrani have been the PPP’s Farhatullah Babar and Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, PML-N’s Ahsan Iqbal and Ameer Muqam, Awami Nationwide Occasion basic secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Nationwide Occasion Senator Tahir Bizenjo, MMA spokesman Owais Noorani, and others, the main Pakistani day by day Daybreak reported in a rolling replace on its web site.
Additionally within the night, the federal government held a press convention, at which Defence Minister Pervez Khattak mentioned that whereas doorways for a dialogue with the opposition have been open, “nobody ought to even take into consideration” negotiations on their demand for Imran’s resignation.
What is that this new disaster in Pakistan?
That is the primary main problem to the federal government since Imran turned Prime Minister in a controversial election mentioned to have been manipulated in his favour by the Military in 2018. The protesters have rallied round Fazl-ur Rehman, and have the backing of main opposition events.
Fazl-ur Rehman and his supporters say the 2018 election was unfair, and need Imran to step down. They’re additionally offended with the state of Pakistan’s economic system, which is at the moment going through among the many worst crises in its historical past.
That mentioned, nobody believes that Fazl-ur Rehman’s motives are something apart from political. He has lengthy been a operator in Pakistani politics, and has highly effective ambitions of his personal.
So, who precisely is Fazl-ur Rehman?
Fazl-ur Rehman, generally referred to in Pakistan as “Maulana Diesel”, is the chief of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F), the place the ‘F’ stands for his first title. He’s a hardline, rightwing Islamist politician of the sort that always receives vital public assist in Pakistan.
He was a member of Pakistan’s Nationwide Meeting for a full three many years from 1988 to 2018, and was additionally Chief of Opposition throughout 2004-07 when Gen Pervez Musharraf was Pakistan’s President, and Shaukat Aziz of the PML(Q) was Prime Minister.
Fazl-ur Rehman has maintained shut hyperlinks with the Afghan Taliban, and has led a number of anti-US and pro-Taliban rallies and demonstrations in Pakistan through the years. He expressed scepticism in regards to the terrorist assault on Nobel winner Malala Yousufzai in 2012, and referred to as for the organising of a “folks’s courtroom” to attempt Asiya Bibi, the Christian lady who was sentenced to demise for blasphemy however finally launched.
He has at all times been against Imran, and forward of the elections of 2013, he had declared that voting for Imran’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf could be ‘haraam’ as a result of Imran, in keeping with him, was an “agent of People, Jews, Ahmadiyas, and an individual of dangerous character”.
What’s more likely to occur now?
The bearded males swarming Islamabad since Thursday make for an intimidating spectacle, and whereas Maulana Diesel appears to have the assist of the majority of the Pakistani opposition, it doesn’t seem doubtless in the intervening time that he would have the ability to drive Imran from energy.
Like at all times, the Military may have the ultimate phrase on what occurs in Pakistan. The final Azadi March in 2014, which was paradoxically led by Imran Khan (alongside a special maulana) who was on the time attempting to dislodge Nawaz Sharif from energy, had failed to realize its goal as a result of the Military had chosen to not again him at that second. It’s unlikely that the Military will now enable Imran’s authorities, which for all sensible functions a proxy for the generals, to be destabilised.