Anti-Fazl slogans spoil PTI-JUI-F ties

In Local
April 14, 2024



ISLAMABAD:

Seeds of discord were sown between the PTI and JUI-F on Saturday after slogans were shouted against the latter’s chief, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in the six-party opposition alliance’s first rally in Pishin town of Balochistan against the ruling parties over the alleged “theft of mandate”.

The cracks emerged between the PTI and JUI-F just when the opposition parties kicked off their protest against the government.

The JUI-F not only accused the PTI of resorting to double standards, but also warned that it would be unable to even remain in the opposition if the focus of its politics was only to insult political leaders.

Following the rally, the JUI-F condemned the sloganeering against its party chief and declared the rally as a “failed” one, saying that the PTI had shown its true colours at the Pishin gathering.

“Slogans against JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman during the rally of the opposition parties in Pishin are condemnable,” the party’s spokesperson Aslam Ghauri said in a statement.

Both the PTI and JUI-F have remained at loggerheads with one another for a long time.

PTI founding chairman Imran Khan and other party leaders would call the JUI-F chief “diesel” in rallies and media interactions, referring to an accusation that Fazl had purportedly benefitted financially by receiving fuel permits during the PPP government in the 1990s.

The thaw in relations between the two bitter political arch-rivals was seen when both sides finally sat together to discuss the situation in the country and initiate dialogue with other political forces in October last year.

The first formal contact between the two sides came after Imran gave his nod to proceed with the move.
It was seen as a major political U-turn by the PTI to lower tensions between the two sides when its leaders visited the JUI-F chief’s residence.

Following the meeting, PTI leaders including Asad Qaiser, Ali Muhammad Khan, and Barrister Muhammad Ali Saif, even offered prayers behind Fazl — that too keeping in view the sentiments that their party and its leadership had for him.

Before and after the elections, both sides have held several meetings and were seen coming closer to each other as well as mulling to start a joint movement against the government over what they called “massive rigging” in the general elections.

On Saturday, the JUI-F, however, accused PTI leader Sher Afzal Marwat of insulting the Maulana, demanding that party must control its leaders.

During the rally, Marwat was seen asking people not to chant the slogan of “diesel” as talks were still under way with the JUI-F.

While accusing the PTI of having double standards, the JUI-F spokesperson said that its “hypocrisy” had come to the fore at the opposition parties’ first rally.

“The opposition has to put a leash on the likes of Sher Afzal Marwat,” Ghauri added in the statement, reminding the head of the newly-stitched opposition alliance, Mehmood Khan Achakzai, that he had promised that nobody would be abused at the public rallies

“It seems that their [PTI’s] politics is only to insult political leaders with people like Sher Afzal,” Ghauri continued.

“People like Sher Afzal are driving the last nail in the PTI’s coffin.”

He then said the “failed rally” was probably being made the centre of attention of the media and people by chanting such slogans.

Recalling how the JUI-F had played a key role in the PTI’s ouster from power in April 2022, Ghauri warned that if its leaders did not control their mouths, they would not even be left to remain in the opposition.

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