CHARSADDA: The Awami National Party (ANP) President Asfandyar Wali Khan has said his party will lead the Azadi March if the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman was arrested before the march.

After a meeting with the JUI-F chief at Wali Bagh in Charsadda, Asfandyar said the ANP’s stance about Azadi March is very clear. He said the ANP will take part in the march in two phases. He warned that if the political activists were tortured then the ANP activists throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will come out and make the government accountable for its acts.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman said it is a matter of great satisfaction for him that all the opposition parties have decided to participate in the march against the government. He said the JUI-F and ANP have a history of struggle for restoration of democracy in the country. He said the JUI-F believes that the July 25 elections were rigged and the incumbent government was imposed on the people of the country through manipulated polls. He said his party has announced the march against the government to get rid of the illegitimate government.

Although the Maulana claims that he has the support of all opposition parties, but the main opposition parties, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), are still undecided over the level of support to be given to the JUI-F during the march. Both parties have apparently given assurance to the Maulana to be part of the march, but they are non-committal on participation in the sit-in. The PML-N is reportedly facing strong internal disagreement over the level of participation in the march.

The PML-N president Shahbaz Sharif is expected to meet Fazlur Rehman today (Tuesday) to discuss the matter. The Maulana has held sever meetings with the opposition leaders during the last few days to try to build a unanimous strategy for the march.

On Monday, the PPP also expressed reservations over the support of the JUI-F to the candidate of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the by-poll on a provincial assembly seat in Larkana and sought explanation from the Mauling’s party.