The Pakistan Awami Terreek (PAT) is all set to stage a sit-in at the Faisal Chowk (Charing Cross) in front of Punjab Assembly Lahore today (Friday) to mark the second anniversary of the Model Town killings.
The weather in Lahore has been punishing in recent days and a small pre-monsoon which provided temporary relief to citizens may end on Friday.
The PAT has said that this is a ‘token’ sit-in and will end the same day, but it is hard to predict how things will turn out once the protestors are lodged in front of the Punjab Assembly.
According to reports, a special container has been arranged for Tahirul Qadri which, in addition to being bomb proof, contains air conditioning, a kitchen and a small library.
PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri reached Lahore Wednesday to lead the participants who are going to stage a protest and sit-in against the non-delivery of justice for the Model Town tragedy.
After his arrival in Pakistan, Qadri personally met delegates of various political parties of the country while he also talked to some other political leaders on the phone. He invited them to support their cause and to join the sit-in.
Talking to media on Wednesday, Qadri once again vowed to avenge the deaths of those killed two years ago in Model Town and said that he will make a special announcement at today’s demonstration. He said that this protest will be peaceful as their purpose is to seek justice for the victims of the Model Town tragedy.
Qadri requested Army Chief General Raheel Shareef to intervene to provide them justice, as he believed that even the FIR of the incident was registered only at the army chief’s orders.
On the other hand, Ch Sarwar has confirmed to send a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) delegation to the PAT’s sit-in.
PAT spokesperson Noorullah Siddiqui told Pakistan Today that PTI central leader Ch Sarwar called on Dr Tahirul Qadri on Wednesday evening and assured him to join PAT at the Mall Road. He said that the PAT chief contacted Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Imran Masood, Jamet-e-Islami Chief Sirajul Haq and others while PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi and MQM’s Farooq Sattar contacted PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur and assured him of their support and also promised to send their delegates to the sit-in.
After getting conditional permission from the City District Government, PAT management started preparing the stage for the sit-in last night. According to party sources 20,000 chairs and carpets will be placed at the venue of the sit-in while lights will be installed at both sides of the road from Charing Cross to Regal Chowk. They said that there will be two different stages; one for the guests and speakers while the other will be especially arranged for the families of those martyred.
Spokesman for DIG Operations Hammad Raza told Pakistan Today that the police has taken all possible measures to secure the rally and prevent any untoward incident. He said that more than 2,000 police personnel including women police will be deployed at the venue while additional personnel will also be deployed throughout the city to secure participants of rallies at other points in the city.