LAHORE: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and major opposition parties, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), on Wednesday gathered at Lahore’s Faisal Chowk, The Mall, with an aim to oust the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) out of power on the pretext of seeking justice in Model Town killings.
A ‘big crowd’ of PAT loyalists, protesters and opposition leaders welcomed chief Tahirul Qadri, who arrived at the venue a little before 5 pm.
The one-day long sit-in was addressed by PAT chief Dr Qadri, PPP leader former president Asif Ali Zardari, PTI chief Imran Khan, AML chief Sheikh Rasheed and National Assembly Opposi-tion Leader Khursheed Shah addressed the two-session rally.
Addressing the allied opposition rally, PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri said that they do not want to take a step against Pakistan’s constitution and democracy, and only want an end of the “dynasty of Sharifs.”
Qadri thanked leaders and workers from all political parties for attending the show of strength in Lahore. He said that they all had gathered to get justice for the victims of Model Town tragedy.
The PAT chief went on to liken deposed premier Nawaz Sharif with Sheikh Mujib, who is seen as the main culprit behind the separation of East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. “The country is under threat from the Sheikh Mujib of this era.”
Qadri maintained that they do not want to sabotage peace in the country.
“We only want to put an end to your cruelty. If we had to take the law into our own hands, then we would not have tolerated tragedies.”He maintained that their protest is aimed at getting justice for the oppressed. “The purpose of this gathering is to get rid of the enemy. We want to end the sultanate of Sharifs,” he said. Addressing the crowd, PTI chief said:
“The two [Sharif] brothers are responsible for the Model Town incident. I can say without a speck of doubt that it [Model Town incident] was done on orders received by the police.”
He accused the Sharif brothers of being ‘fascists’ and claimed that they are not even ‘remotely democratic.’
Imran stressed that the entire country witnessed the Model Town incident on their television sets, when the police opened fire on unarmed citizens.
“Don’t say they that they were PAT workers, they were Pakistanis,” he said. “The question here is, did people get justice?”“Nowhere in the world does the police open fire on citizens. The police force only fires on terrorists, never on citizens.”
PTI chief Imran Khan criticised the parliament over Election act that elected Nawaz Sharif as the PML-N head. “I curse the parliament that made a criminal the president of a party,” he said.
PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said that the only danger to the country is from Jati Umra — the residence of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
“They do not care about Pakistan, they only care about Jati Umra,” Zardari said while addressing a joint opposition protest rally to seek justice for the Model Town tragedy in Lahore.
He claimed that only the PPP cares about Pakistan, its soil, and the people of its soil.
“They [Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz leaders] know that they can be disqualified anytime I wish to do so, but I just think for [the betterment] of Pakistan,” said Zardari.
Zardari also thanked the attendees for showing solidarity with the Model Town incident victims and promised to get justice for the families of the deceased. The PAT chief arrived at the protest site amid presence of large number of activists from various political parties. The leadership of PPP and PTI including Khursheed and Shah Mehmood Qureshi were on stage.