Azadi March, Islamabad: Pakistan PM Imran Khan has given a green signal to the negotiating team from the Government to accept the demands of the Azadi (Freedom) March protesters that were in accordance with the Constitution.
The negotiating team led by Pakistan Defence Minister Pervez Khattak met the PM Khan as thousands of protesters continue to protest in Islamabad demanding Khan’s resignation.
According to sources, Pakistani PM told the negotiating team to accept all the demands set forward by the opposition apart from his resignation.
During the meeting, the prime minister also expressed gratitude for Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) leaders Chaudhry Pervez Elahi and Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain who on Monday met Maulana Fazlur Rehman to persuade him to call off Azadi March.
Azadi March and Maulana Fazlur Rehman
The Azadi March is spearheaded by Maulana Fazlur Rehman, leader of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Islami, an Islamist political party, whose key base is in the Pashtun-dominated Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman has played on both the army and civilian sides and concluded deals with both religious and “secular” parties, does not accept Imran Khan as the PM. Rehman has named Khan as the main cause of the country’s economic problems and has been demanding his resignation.
Fazlur Rehman was defeated in 2018 for the first time since 1988, though he contested from two seats. However, his party, along with other religious parties in a coalition, won 14 seats in the National Assembly, all from KP and Balochistan, where Pashtuns live in large numbers. Since the rise of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the JUI has been marginalized in its home base of KP.
The Azadi march began on October 27 in Karachi and passed through Sindh and Punjab. The enormous gathering has been aggressively campaigning outside Islamabad. Fazlur has been threatening to lead it into the heart of the Federal capital’s high-security zone, to a place called D Chowk, directly opposite the National Assembly and the Presidential Palace.