housands of anti-government protesters demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan resign over worsening economic conditions and alleged election rigging have gathered in the Pakistani capital awaiting the arrival of a right-wing religious political leader.
Fazl-ur-Rehman, chief of the Jamiat Ulema Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) party, has led a five-day march from the southern city of Karachi and through the length of the country with the goal of reaching Islamabad.
“The government will have to hand over power back to the people,” he said
In Islamabad, thousands of JUI-F supporters gathered at a large ground designated for the protest, waving black-and-white striped party flags and cheering to political songs playing on loudspeakers mounted on pick-up trucks.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President Shehbaz Sharif also joined the protest on Friday and said Azadi March would wipe out what he called the selected government.
Speaking to protesters in Azadi March, he congratulated JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for gathering thousands of people in the capital.
“Imran Khan had started politics of container which is being buried here today,” he said.
The PMLN leader criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for hike in prices, unemployment, poverty, and what he called his government’s failure to overcome dengue .
Calling Azadi March the first phase of the movement, he said the opposition would now take forward its campaign.
“We will put the country on the right track within six months after forming a government in collaboration with our allies,” he said.