PAT activists not to participate in Raiwand march
LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri on Saturday announced that his party would not be part of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) march to Raiwind.
“I have decided that we will not encircle anyone’s residence, as attacking the houses is a tradition of the Sharif brothers,” Qadri said while addressing a press conference. “I am unanimously announcing that we will not launch any sort of an attack even on our worst enemies, nor will the party even block the streets leading to their residence,” Qadri remarked.
“My workers unanimously called for launching a protest but I, as leader, announce that I will not violate or desecrate the boundaries of any person’s house,” he added. “Our decision is final. We are not going to Raiwind since the march could lead to unrest.”
He said that the PAT would continue to hold peaceful protests as their democratic right.
Qadri went on to say that the houses of party workers had been attacked, but the PAT would not avenge that.
The PAT chief claimed that the Punjab government had devised another Model Town-like plan. Under the plan, he claimed, the offices of PAT and residences of the party workers would be ‘attacked’.
“I urge the Rangers, the ISI and the MI to take notice of how the government is planning to launch an attack on us over the course of which we will be framed for illegal possession of arms,” he said. “This way, the government will attack our secretariat and offices with the aim to cover up abuses committed during the Model Town violence and evade paying blood money,” Qadri alleged. The PAT chief claimed that the government wanted to ban the PAT and evade being held accountable for the Model Town violence. He also showed visas to the media that were issued to the Indians. He announced that all those Indians were not declared as employees in the record. PTI Chairman Imran Khan is set to march towards Raiwind in a bid to press the government to hold an enquiry into Panama leaks, involving family of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Earlier on Friday, Imran Khan announced that the party would launch the protest at all costs, and shut down Lahore if stopped from exercising its democratic right. However, Imran said that the PTI did not intend to besiege Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s residence and had no history of doing so. The opposition has been pressing the government for a thorough and transparent probe into the Panama Papers controversy. The parties allege that the government has been striving to evade this in an effort to conceal ill-gotten wealth.