Pak govt to file mutiny case against JUI-F chief

Firebrand cleric Maulana Fazlur Rehman, center, and head of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party waves to his supporters during an anti-government march, in Islamabad, Pakistan, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2019. Tens of thousands of Islamists at a massive protest camp in Pakistan's capital awaited a deadline set by their leader calling for Prime Minister, Imran Khan to resign. (AP Photo/Anjum Naveed)

Islamabad: The Pakistan government has decided to file a mutiny case against Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman for delivering a provocative speech and “instigating people” against Prime Minister Imran Khan and state institutions.

Speaking at a news conference with members of the government’s negotiating team, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak on Saturday said they had decided to “move courts” against Rehman for “instigating” the public and asking them to arrest Khan, Dawn news reported.

Rehman, who is spearheading the anti-government ‘Azadi March’, while giving a two-day ultimatum to Khan at the conclusion of his speech on Friday had said the public could detain the Prime Minister at his residence and force him to resign.

“Such an announcement is tantamount to instigating the masses and an act of mutiny,” Khattak added.

The Defence Minister said the government was not “worried at all” over the Azadi March, but the speeches by opposition leaders “maligning the national institutions” were unfortunate.

He said the speeches against the institutions which gave sacrifices for the country would be tantamount to “enmity with the country”.

Khattak also categorically stated that Khan would in no way tender his resignation.

The government, he said, would not succumb to the opposition’s threats and pressure tactics, reports Dawn news.

The Minister said the government was open to dialogue with the opposition parties, but at the same time warned that the law would take its course, if it violated the agreement signed with the Islamabad administration.

The ‘Azadi March’, which was spearheaded by the JUI-F to call for toppling the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, entered Islamabad on the night of October 31.