Islamic political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman (C)
Islamic political party Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman (C)

Alleging "rigging" in 2018 general elections of Pakistan, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (Fazl) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman tore into Prime Minister Imran Khan government and the army on Sunday, saying the rulers "should now be shamed and sent home".

"Our stance is very clear. Rigging has been done; we know who was behind it and the one who is na maloom (unknown); we all know who that is," Dawn quoted the JUI-F leader addressing a Peshawar rally.

He went on to say: "We respect the army if it is our defence institution. But if it tries to become a political institution, it will have to tolerate criticism. Then it should not say, 'don't take our name'".

"Even today, we are giving you this deadline; stop supporting them (government), withdraw (your backing) and declare that this is not our government. Raise your voice against this government along with us, we will then be brothers," he further said.

"Why do you indulge in politics," he asked the army.

Terming Prime Minister Imran Khan as "Pakistani Trump", Rehman said that the premier will be "rejected" just like the Americans rejected US President Donald Trump in recent elections. He accused the Prime Minister of "wanting to finish Pakistan", Dawn reported.

Rehman further said that due to the government's policies, "no one was ready to trust Pakistan", including its allies.

Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an 11-party opposition alliance, kicked off its power rally on Sunday in Peshawar, despite threats by Prime Minister Khan and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government.

During the rally, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari delivered a long speech to the gathering, vowing that the people of the province will never be left to fend for themselves, accusing the incumbent government of abandoning them, Geo News reported.

He further said that the month of January will be Khan's "last month in power"."A voice is rising from within Gilgit-Baltistan, saying 'do not rob the vote'," he said."The entire Pakhtunkhwa is demanding 'go, Imran, go!'...This is the land of the brave, the honourable," the PPP chairman said.

He added though the people have made sacrifices in the fight against terrorism "the selected did not dare raise his voice against terrorists".The PPP will "not allow this puppet to let its hold again," the party chief said.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Maryam Nawaz appeared on the stage for only a brief moment before leaving abruptly after the news of the demise of her grandmother Begum Shamim Akhtar in London, ARY News reported."I came to meet you but I just found out my dadi passed away in London," she said while addressing the crowd.

(To download our E-paper please click here. The publishers permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Free Press Journal