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JUI-F Abandons Roadblocking Preparations As MPs And Party Workers Get Released

On Thursday, a large detachment of police stormed the Parliament Lodges to eject members of the Ansarul Islam – the volunteer army of the JUI-F — who had been invited to protect opposition parliamentarians.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, JUI-F chair, called off plans to block roads throughout Pakistan on Friday after legislators and workers were released by Islamabad police during a raid at Parliament Lodges.

On Twitter, Maulana Fazl claimed that because all legislators and employees had been released, there was “no need” to block the highways.

On Thursday, a large detachment of police stormed the Parliament Lodges to eject members of the Ansarul Islam – the volunteer army of the JUI-F — who had been invited to protect opposition parliamentarians.

Authorities reported that at least four members of parliament and at least two dozen Ansarul Islam volunteers were detained.

Two lawmakers also sought arrest in protest of the police action at their accommodations, they claimed, adding that all those arrested were taken to a police facility for further investigation.

Following the operation, the opposition convened a joint meeting, and Maulana Fazl ordered party workers to reopen the highways they had earlier blocked in protest of the police operation and set a deadline of 9 a.m. for the government to free parliamentarians and party employees who had been arrested.

Although the Maulana acknowledged that many commuters, particularly women and children, were suffering, he announced the end of the demonstration and warned that if those imprisoned were not freed, he would call on his supporters to block the roadways once more.

Today, the head of the JUI-F slammed the police for their actions on Thursday, saying they “disregarded all laws and ethics at Parliament Lodges, baselessly tortured workers and dragged and arrested elected representatives of the public, detained their guests and presented a wrong picture and a false narrative to the public”.

For “taking rapid action” and “jamming the entire nation in less than an hour,” he complimented his party workers, representatives of other opposition parties, and citizens of the country.

One of Pakistan’s top political advisers on political communication, Shahbaz Gill, claimed that Maulana Fazl had been calling all night “seeking pardon and for his employees to be released in order for he could have some honour remaining”.

Moreover, according to Gill, the Maulana requested an apology from his party’s members. Gill claimed that the workers should not have been freed. He explained that they did not want Maulana to escape the political arena on this pretext.

Police Action

Lawmaker Salahuddin Ayubi arrived at the Parliament Lodges, where virtually all members of parliament are housed, along with a few dozen motorcycle-riding volunteers on Friday. Some volunteers accompanied the politician into the lodges, while others waited outside the main entrance.

Authorities were alerted to their position outside the lodges by images shown on television channels, and the capital police chief was requested to remove them from the grounds, according to police officials.

The DIG and SSP Operations were tasked with mobilising a massive reaction force, which included an anti-riot team, police commandos, the Counter Terrorism Department and Anti-Terrorism Force, as well as prison vans. Once inside MNA Ayyubi’s Lodge (A-401), every volunteer reportedly went to shut the door.

They were urged to surrender by senior police officials, but authorities say they refused.

Ansarul Islam volunteers and MNAs were involved in a violent altercation at the MNA’s flat about 8 p.m., which resulted in a number of MNAs and Ansarul Islam members being injured, police said.

At least four parliamentarians (including a senator and three MNAs) were apprehended by police after being pulled and packed into police vans by about two dozen volunteers and other officers.

After the police departed, a livid Maulana Fazl appeared at the site with a huge contingent of party members and activists in tow, stating his intention to go to court and urging his supporters across the country to join him in protesting the state’s oppression.

JUI-F employees who were enraged shut roads and highways around the nation down. At Jamrud, they halted traffic on the Hazara Highway, the Madran-Peshawar Highway, the Nawab Shah-Sakrand Highway, and the Pak-Afghan Road.

The JUI-F workers stopped all the roadways connecting Balochistan to Sindh and Punjab. After JUI-F activists barricaded the National Highway in Mastung, Kalat, Khuzdar, Uthal, and Hub, traffic was halted between Quetta and Karachi.

Aimen Bukhari
Written By

Works at The Truth International Magazine. My area of interest includes international relations, peace & conflict studies, qualitative & quantitative research in social sciences, and world politics. Reach@ aimen.bukhari@tti.org.pk

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