Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on Tuesday his party was not interested in any in-house change but wanted fresh elections in the country, which he claimed was the common demand of all the opposition parties.

Talking to reporters at his residence in Islamabad he revealed that during the JUI-F long march on Islamabad it was agreed with Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid-e-Azam (PML-Q) President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain that the government would go in March this year.

Fazl had led his supporters in the march from Karachi to the federal capital in October-November 2019. In Islamabad he had held several rounds of talks with PML-Q leaders, which ultimately led to the end of his sit-in.

“Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain should tell us, was it not agreed with them during the days of Azadi March that the government would end by March,” Fazl said in response to a question. “If so, why are they hiding behind coronavirus [pandemic] now?”

When asked to comment on Monday’s Supreme Court ruling, which questioned the conduct of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and the accountability laws, Fazl said that his party’s reservations had been confirmed by the apex court judgment.

“Our reservations about the NAB laws have been confirmed by the decision of the Supreme Court. The remarks in the Supreme Court decision have exposed the facts [that] NAB has been used for revenge and political engineering. NAB is used to stifle opposition’s voice,” he added.

“Following the Supreme Court decision, there is no justification for keeping NAB. NAB should be abolished and the cases against politicians in NAB [courts] should be heard in the ordinary courts,” the JUI-F chief added.

He said July 25 – the date of general elections in 2018 – was a dark day in Pakistan’s history same as July 5 – the day in 1977 when then army chief Gen Ziaul Haq declared martial law in the country and dismissed the government of then prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

“July 25 is as dark a day in Pakistan’s history as July 5. Imran Khan was brought by the establishment but the major opposition parties are elongating his tenure. He is elected for 5 years but he himself is saying that there are only 6 months,” Fazl said, adding: “However, this is a fact.”

He said that there was an undeclared martial law in the country. “We have no interest in in-house change. We need new elections. The common position of all the opposition is the new elections,” Fazl said. “There should be real democracy in the country.”

During his media talk, the JUI-F chief also spoke about the missing persons’ issue. “The families of the missing are still waiting for them,” he said. “The missing persons are not being produced in the courts,” he added.

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