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Khattak-led committee approaches opp over JUI-F ‘Azadi March’

A four-member committee set up by the government on Thursday started its working to approach the opposition parties over the ‘Azadi March’ planned by JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The committee led by Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak comprises senior party leaders from all provinces. Khattak on Thursday said the committee has initiated talks with the opposition and that the efforts will be sped up from Friday. He said the government committee will reach out to all the opposition parties who have announced to participate in the protest. “We will hear their legitimate grievances but the government will never allow any lawlessness or anarchy in the name of protests,” he said, and hoped some ‘positive results’ soon. Separately, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan cautioned that erecting private militia and armed groups is against the spirit of the National Action Plan (NAP).

Addressing a press conference following a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Dr Firdous warned of strict action over hate speeches, inciting violence and holding violent protests. She said no one will be allowed to create law and order situation in the country, and underscored the need for peace and stability in the country. Federal Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry, meanwhile, advised Maulana Fazalur Rehman to act like a politician as no one can be frightened by sticks. “We have to carry out a research to know what exactly Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F) chief is demanding. Maulana should adopt political approach rather than doing politics of sticks,” he said, adding that JUI-F’s demand of PM Khan’s resignation cannot be accepted. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marriyum Aurangzeb, however, said that Prime Minister Imran Khan is afraid of Azadi March as he has decided to hold talks with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

In a statement, the PML-N spokesperson said the incompetent government has failed to launch any new project, adding that PTI took 14 months to change the projects introduced by Opposition Leader in National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif. She said PM Imran had vowed to provide containers and food to facilitate opposition protests, but now he is not fulfilling his promise. “Maulana Fazlur Rehman has clearly told PTI that no talks will be held till the resignation of the prime minister,” she added.

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