Maulana Fazlur Rehman calls off sit-in protest in Islamabad, announces Plan B

Islamabad: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has called off the party's 13-day sit-in in Islamabad, albeit announced what he called 'Plan B' involving massive protests across the country aimed at crippling the country's roads and toppling Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Addressing the gathering here on Wednesday, Rehman said that the Plan B would witness the lockdown of main roads outside the cities, such that locals did not suffer and the movement of humanitarian workers, ambulances and firefighting vehicles was not disturbed, Dawn reported.

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"I appeal to the masses to join the movement and support the lockdown as this fight is for your caused and I direct my workers to take along the local populace with you to block the roads," he said. "We have the support of Almighty Allah and that power will provide us strength in these fronts too." He warned the state institutions not to disturb the Azadi march caravans and respect the JUI-F workers in their sit-ins across the country.

"If you (the authorities) remove us from one place we will shift to another and if we are forced to vacate that spot we will appear at the third one, but our movement will not end without resignation of Imran Khan and holding of free and fair elections in the country," he declared.

Fazlur, who is amongst the most pragmatic and deft politicians in Pakistan, had in June this year announced that his party would hold a long march to Islamabad in October. The march kicked off from the port city of Karachi on 27 October, with rallies from Balochistan province also joining the march in Karachi, and descended upon Islamabad on October 31.

After initial objections, the two main Pakistani opposition parties, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz (PML-N) had joined several smaller parties in extending support to the Maulana.

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