Fazlur Rehman alleges Election 2024 more manipulated than 2018

Fazlur Rehman Alleges Increased Rigging in 2024 Elections; Calls for Anti-Government Movement

Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman asserted on Saturday that the general elections held on February 8, 2024, were more tampered with than those of 2018.

Rehman’s statement followed a surprising alignment between the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), founded by Imran Khan, and the JUI-F, former adversaries, who now appear to share ideological unity against the PML-N-led government.

Rehman played a pivotal role in uniting traditional rivals PML-N and PPP under the Pakistan Democratic Movement, leading to the removal of Imran Khan from power in April 2022 through a historic no-confidence motion in the National Assembly.

However, after 16 months in power, tensions arose between JUI-F and its former allies when they felt sidelined in the formation of a new government following the February 8 elections, with Rehman alleging electoral theft.

Addressing a gathering in Balochistan’s Pishin, Rehman emphasized the importance of unity among political factions, stating, “This is not the time for conflict. Politicians have always been manipulated [by the establishment].”

Earlier in February, Rehman accused retired General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former spymaster Lt. General Faiz Hamid of orchestrating Khan’s ouster.

Referring to widespread rigging in the recent polls, Rehman stated, “These assemblies are influenced and manipulated.”

He reiterated their commitment to leading protests against electoral rigging, recalling their movement against rigging in the 2018 elections.

Rehman declared their determination to prevent an illegitimate government from functioning, asserting that their anti-government movement would persist.

In March, JUI-F announced a boycott of upcoming by-elections and pledged to launch a protest campaign from Balochistan against the extensive rigging in the February 8 polls.

Last week, the six-party opposition alliance initiated its protest campaign against the government with a rally in Pishin, where PTI leader Omar Ayub vowed to fight for their rights through the “Tehreek Tahafuz Ayin” movement.