With the Azadi March in full throttle, the government of Pakistan has decided to edge the protests with a case of its own. The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) govt. plans to file a case of their own against JUI-F leader Maulana Fazal-ul-Rehman.
Countering fire with fire, the aggressive approach of filing a case of ‘mutiny’ against the Azadi March cortege has been decided by the government. Mutiny in Urdu means ‘Baghawat’.
The reason cited by the government over the said case is simple. Maulana Fazal-ul-Rehman has been instigating people against the government and other state institutions. These institutions include the Pakistan Army and other security forces.
Demands of PM’s arrest give shades of mutiny
This case of mutiny merely serves as a warning for JUI-F and Azadi March, as the government is also trying to handle things by mutual talks. A huge number of protestors sit in Islamabad demanding PM Imran Khan’s resignation.
PM Imran Khan and his government have strictly warned the Azadi March protestors from reaching D-Chowk at all costs. Ex-KPK CM Parvez Khattak spoke on the issue. He said that the Maulana had been asking people to ‘arrest’ the PM of Pakistan, which serves as a reason for mutiny.
On the other hand, Maulana Fazal-ul-Rehman and other opposition party leaders have given the government a 2-day ultimatum, which expires today. The JUI-F Chieftain further added that if the PM does not do so, the protestors will arrest him and force him to resign inside his house.
In addition, this provocation serves as the sole reason for filing a mutiny case against one of Pakistan’s most senior and seasoned politicians, Maulana Fazal-ul-Rehman.
‘Speeches against State will not be tolerated’
The Defence Minister Parvez Khattak further added that the government was ‘not worried’ about the Azadi March. Previously, the PM had decided to send food supplies for Azadi March protestors. He added that it was the aggressive speeches that are maligning Pakistan’s governance. Additionally, the government has ‘no plans’ of the PM’s resignation whatsoever.
“If the participants of the Azadi march move forward from the agreed venue, it will be seen as a breach of the agreement with the local administration,” said Parvez Khattak. “If anything happens and the damage is caused, then the responsibility of it will fall on the opposition. Not the government as per the agreement.”
Furthermore, both sides of the issue have made their stance very clear. While the government will not allow thousands of people to walk in and take the PM’s resignation, the protestors will settle for nothing less.
Moreover, this is not the first time in Pakistan’s recent history that Islamabad has been taken hostage. In 2014, the incumbent government of PTI staged a sit-in (dharna) for 3 months in Islamabad. The protestors demanded then PM Nawaz Sharif’s resignation in their own ‘Azadi March’.
In any case, the allegations and case of ‘mutiny’ against Maulana Fazal-ul-Rehman is a grave warning from the government. This means that the JUI-F leader may end up in prison as well.
Will the Azadi March uproar end with this warning or are things going to continue haywire from here? For all the latest updates, keep checking this space.