In explosive NA speech, JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl backs PTI's political rights

"Assemblies were sold out this time [in February 8 general polls]," politico slams coalition government

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JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman addresses the National Assembly session on April 29, 2024, in this still taken from a video. — PTV Parliament
  • 2024 elections upset losers, dissatisfies winners: Maulana Fazl.
  • Public gatherings a "constitutional right" of Imran-founded party.
  • "JUI-F to organise million march in Karachi, Peshawar next month."

In his first speech on the National Assembly’s floor, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman blasted the government, outcomes of the 2024 nationwide elections, parliamentarians, bureaucracy, and the establishment on Monday.

“Neither bureaucracy nor establishment has a role in the creation of the country,” Maulana Fazl said while delivering a speech on the assembly’s floor today, adding that Pakistan was created through a democratic struggle and sacrifices but it stood nowhere in terms of political and economic stability.

He criticised the ruling parties, saying: "Is this a parliament of representatives of the nation or a setup arranged by the establishment?"

“How our conscience is satisfied [after the general elections], as the losers are upset, and even the winners are not satisfied [with the poll results]."

During his speech, the politician-cum-cleric backed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Asad Qaiser’s demand for granting the right to the latter’s party to organise public gatherings, terming it the Imran-founded party’s “constitutional right”.

The PTI lawmakers in the National Assembly thumped their desks in support of Maulana Fazl’s remarks.

He went on to say that democracy in the country was weakened after politicians “compromised” on their principles on every occasion and now, the parliament has lost its supremacy as they cannot even pass a law independently. 

Fazl also said that back-to-back “full and partial” martial laws have also shaken the democratic foundations of the country by ousting elected governments.

He pointed out that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) was a witness to how a law related to an agreement between the federal government and seminaries had not been passed despite being tabled in the assembly with consensus.

The JUI-F supremo said that they raised objections on the 2018 general polls just like they opposed the 2024 nationwide elections, terming it similarly “fraudulent” as the politicians “sold out the democracy” due to the country coming to a "standstill".

The politico, who headed a multi-party alliance — Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) — which successfully ousted the former prime minister Imran Khan’s government in 2022, criticised that his party leaders were stopped from electioneering ahead of February 8 elections due to “threat letters”, pointing towards deteriorated law and order situation in their stronghold of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan.

He raised questions on the government’s tall claims of rooting out terrorism in the country. He criticised that 80 JUI-F workers were killed in a terrorist attack in Bajaur during the electioneering phase.

Fazl also called out the federal government for not raising its voice against Israeli actions that have killed over 340,00 Palestinians in the occupied territory.

He asked top leaders of the ruling parties — PML-N’s Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari — to leave the government and go to the masses.

He added if the people had voted for the PTI then it should be allowed to rule. 

He further announced that his party planned to organise a “million march” in Karachi and Peshawar on May 2 and 9, respectively. He asked the government to refrain from creating hurdles in the JUI-F’s upcoming power shows.

Fazl said that his party was ready to start a new public movement against the prevailing governance system which is “unacceptable” to them.