Tolo News – Thousands continue sit-in; Pakistan Prime Minister won’t resign

Rehman accuses Khan of bad governance and demands the government follow Islamic laws.

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 05 November 2019. Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the leader of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, who galvanized tens of thousands of followers to march on Islamabad, met Monday with opposition politicians and agreed to continue their sit-in even after a deadline he imposed for the Prime Minister to resign passed without Imran Khan stepping down.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s followers, many of them students of his religious schools, started out last week from the southern port city of Karachi, marching to Islamabad where they have since camped out on the city’s outskirts for three days.

Rehman accuses Khan of bad governance and demands the government follow Islamic laws. Khan has ignored the protesters’ demands, saying he won’t be driven from power. But he has allowed Rahman’s rally to go on, provided it remain in its designated area.

The firebrand cleric delivered a late-night speech Monday before a crowd of thousands, saying the opposition had agreed the sit-in should continue, but that no other action was agreed upon.

That includes following through on Rehman’s threats to have protesters march on the so-called Red Zone, which is home to Pakistan’s government, the prime minister’s residence and foreign embassies. Rehman said the opposition would decide when the protest would end.

Authorities have stepped up security in the capital and brought in large shipping containers to block roads and protect the Red Zone.

Bilal Bhutto-Zardari, the co-leader of the left-leaning Pakistan People’s party, once led by the late Benazir Bhutto, has said his party will not join Rehman in the sit-in. While his party supports Rehman’s call for Khan to resign, it is not ready to take part in the sit-in, he said, without elaborating.

Rehman has come under attack by human rights activists who have criticized his fiery speeches as well as his refusal to allow women at his protest march. Even women journalists were barred from the rallies until an outcry forced him to relent.

Rehman’s radical religious schools have provided men for both the Afghan Taliban militant group and the anti-government Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

In his speeches, Rehman has attacked the minority Ahmadi sect, and Ahmadi homes and places of worship are often targeted by Sunni militants who consider them heretics. There are about half a million of Ahmadis in Pakistan, which has a population of 220 million and which declared Ahmadis non-Muslims in 1974.

Rahman has also staunchly defended a controversial blasphemy law that carried a death sentence for anyone found guilty of insulting Islam.

https://tolonews.com/world/thousands-continues-sit-pakistan-prime-minister-won%E2%80%99t-resign

The Tribune – Pakistan rejects reports about presence of terror camps in Narowal district

Islamabad Capital Territory – Pakistan, 04 November 2019. Pakistan on Monday rejected as “baseless” the media reports about the presence of alleged terrorist “training camps” in Punjab province’s Narowal district near the famed Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, calling them a “malicious” propaganda campaign.

According to reports, intelligence agencies have spotted terrorist training activities in the border district of Narowal in Pakistan’s Punjab province, the same district where Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara is situated.

Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said in a statement that “Pakistan completely rejects baseless reports in a section of the Indian media, attributed to ‘intelligence sources’.”

It said Pakistan’s Kartarpur spirit is aimed at facilitating Nanak Naamlevas (followers), especially Sikhs, to visit one of their most revered places of worship and promoting inter-faith harmony.

“The content of the media reports in question is part of a malicious propaganda campaign in India that cannot be condemned enough,” the FO said.

It said that unfounded allegations about Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib being used for any purpose other than worship are a deliberate attempt to misrepresent Pakistan’s goodwill gesture, undermine the corridor initiative, and hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs all over the world.

“We have no doubt that such mischievous attempts would be rejected with the contempt that they deserve,” according to the FO.

The Kartarpur Corridor is scheduled to be inaugurated on November 9.

The corridor connects Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in Gurdaspur district of Indian Punjab with the Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara located in Narowal district of Pakistan’s Punjab.

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/pak-rejects-reports-about-presence-of-terror-camps-in-narowal-district/856256.html