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Anti-Imran Protest Intensifies in Pakistan as Cleric-led Party Launches Countrywide Blockade

© AP Photo / Anjum NaveedPakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (File)
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (File) - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): While ending the 13-day sit-in in Islamabad on Wednesday, the cleric who mobilised thousands of people to turn out to march recently has called for a country-wide road blockade.

A day after calling off its massive demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan’s Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur (JUI-F) political party intensified its anti-Imran Khan protest by blocking roads across the country on Thursday.

The protesters have been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Imran Khan as they accuse his political outfit Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf of winning in a rigged parliamentary election. The Imran Khan-led government has also been accused of economic failure.  

Muslim cleric Fazlur Rehman has launched his ‘Plan B’, which involves a lock-down of key arteries of the country.

He said the lock-down of main roads outside the cities was planned so that locals did not suffer and the movement of humanitarian workers, ambulances and firefighting vehicles was not disturbed.

JUI-F workers have closed Indus Highway in Bannu district and various roads have been closed for traffic in the country’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The road leading from Sindh province to Balochistan province has also been blocked at the Zero Point.

Protest leader Fazlur Rehman has warned the state institutions not to disturb the Azadi March (freedom march) caravans and respect the JUI-F workers in their sit-ins across the country.

In the port city of Karachi, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani was asked about the proposed plan regarding blockades of roads and highways by the JUI-F.

“It can never be allowed,” he said. “If any individual or group plans to take to the streets, blocks the roads, puts hurdles to people’s life and challenge the writ of the government, it’s not going to happen. We don’t want anyone to disturb common man’s life and it’s the prime duty of the government to keep regular business normal with all due security and protection,” news website  Dawn quoted him as saying.

Thousands of protesters and supporters had gathered under the banner of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazlur, (JUI-F) on 27 October to unseat the federal government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, which they describe as “fake and selected."

Dubbed as the ‘Azadi’ (Freedom) March, the protest began in the country’s Sindh province, crossed Punjab province and arrived on the outskirts of Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad on 31 October.

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