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Mixed Outcomes from JUI-F Azadi March in Pakistan

Published Nov 19, 2019
Updated Feb 06, 2020

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman is in a quandary as the Azadi March has turned out to be a fizzle given lack of support from other opposition parties.

He has rejected that a deal had been struck between him and the government after a meeting with the Pakistan Muslim League- Quaid (PMLQ) head, Chaudhry Shujaat.

With lack of support from the key opposition mainstream parties like the PML-N and the PPP, the march by the JUIF Chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has turned out to be a fizzle.

Thus there is limited focus on the content and the messaging given that removal of the prime minister by street side protests and a lock down was not practical despite the sizeable following of the JUI F chief.

More over it was clear from the outset that the Pakistan Army was not on board and it was not the military which had pushed the Maulana to take up the challenge to the prime minister that too in very specific terms.

Now that the Azadi March has fizzled out there is limited scope for the Maulana to pursue his agenda for change and the large number of rallies and bandhs across Pakistan lack the congregated momentum that can bring about change .

While the political impact of the Azadi March may have been limited in the immediate term. The subsequent Plan B of blockade has influenced the overall political situation and is likely to impact the coalition that is led by the Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI).

The March has led to mistrust by the PML Q and MQM against its senior ruling partner- PTI. The top leaders are now started speaking in public, against the government policies.

The PML-Q- is not satisfied with the PTI government essentially economy and unemployment. There is also dissatisfaction of the government pursuing corruption with a political tint thus growing resentment will have a spiraling impact unless contained.