Opposition moot hits snag after Fazl complains of censorship

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JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman addressing the multi-party conference hosted by the PPP in Islamabad, on September 20, 2020. — Photo courtesy Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Pakistan Twitter account

The opposition’s multi-party conference — hosted in Islamabad by the PPP and termed an ‘All Parties Conference’ — ran into an unpleasant situation on Sunday with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman complaining that his speech had been “censored”.

“The government stops our voice from reaching the public as it is, but today the APC also prevented our speech from airing,” the JUI-F chief complained.

“I wish to record a protest with the PPP,” he said, adding: “This is highly unreasonable.”

At this, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that it was “at the request of one of your MPAs that we kept an in-camera session”.

An in-camera proceeding is one in which the public or the press is not permitted to participate.

“We will have a press conference after this,” Bilawal added, in an attempt to soothe his outrage.

Fazl, however, would not have it and said: “This was not in-camera.”

PPP’s Sherry Rehman interjected to say that the party was told that the JUI-F had requested an in-camera address, which the party chief denied. “We did not request such a thing,” he said.

Later, PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira said that Fazl’s address was broadcast on social media.

He said that they had informed the JUI-F chief that electronic media was to tap into the social media stream to broadcast it on television.

Pakistan’s major opposition parties have come together today to devise a strategy to oust the government which they say has “failed in all sectors”.





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