Fazl wraps up sit-in

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AFTER about two weeks, JUI(F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Wednesday announced wrapping up of
Islamabad sit-in but according to him this is not end of the protest campaign, which would continue under, what he calls, Plan-B of the anti-Government agitation. His next strategy focuses on blocking of main highways to increase pressure on the Government and it is to be seen what ultimate shape his plan assumes.
Maulana Fazlur Rehman says he has achieved some of the objectives from the Capital’s sit-in but going by his public pronouncements his Plan-A could not realize the stated objective of securing resignation of the Prime Minister and seeking fresh elections. However, as declared by him, the protest is not being called off, rather it would continue in a different shape till these goals are attained. Irrespective of the outcome of the dharna , it is to be appreciated that the long march and the sit-in organized by JUI(F) were clear departure from the past practices and the party has set healthy traditions in the politics of protests. Both the march and the sit-in remained completely peaceful and the angry protestors harmed neither private nor public properties. There was no attack on public buildings and symbols of the state and no indecent speeches were made during the sit-in. Rumours of all sorts were spread on the basis of drills by Ansarul Islam but the outfit confined itself to orderly management of the crowd and did not indulge in any provocative activity. The credit also goes to Maulana Fazlur Rehman that despite arranging an impressive show of power, he did not allow himself to follow the path of his predecessors in marching towards the Red Zone, a move that could possibly have led to confrontation and violence. It was also a good experience for people of Islamabad and Rawalpindi who did not experience any disruption to their daily routines except closure of some roads and that too by the authorities who erected walls of containers to block access to some areas of the capital. The role played by veteran politician Ch. Shaujaat Hussain and Speaker Punjab Assembly Ch. Pervaiz Elahi for peaceful dispersal of the protestors is also laudable. The guidelines given by Maulana Fazlur Rehman to his followers for the second phase of the protest are also praiseworthy as he exhorted them not to disturb normal life and remain alive to the woes and sufferings of the people. This is moral victory and victory of politics of decency.