Lahore rally: PTI intensifies efforts to unite Opp bigwigs atop one container

  • PAT announces to join PTI’s Sep 3 rally, PTI to reciprocate PAT’s rally
  • PML-Q, PPP to decide soon

In a major push for his party’s Lahore accountability rally scheduled for September 3, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan has intensified political contacts in order to bring bigwigs of all opposition parties at one platform or even one container – a task deemed too difficult even by senior opposition politicians.

Khan has tasked top PTI leaders with contacting opposition leaders and inviting them to the Lahore rally.

In this regard, PTI Secretary-General Jahangir Khan Tareen and Abdul Aleem Khan called on Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi and invited his party leadership to join the PTI’s rally.

Furthermore, PTI bigwig Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been tasked with heading into talks with senior Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader Khursheed Shah in the federal capital today to seek his party’s participation in the Lahore rally.

The PTI chief also telephoned Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and discussed with him the possibility of a joint rally in Lahore.

In their meeting with PML-Q leader Pervaiz Elahi, PTI leaders Jahangir Tareen and Abdul Aleem Khan discussed the possibility of waging a joint struggle against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to help build pressure for a probe into the Panamagate.

Nevertheless, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain holds the view that the major problem among the opposition parties is they look only for petty personal objectives.

“The problem in formation of a grand opposition is that everyone among opposition leaders wants to become next prime minister of the country. The immediate thing needed among the opposition politicians is that they need to unite on one-point ie get Nawaz Sharif ousted from the prime minister’s slot. Once the premier is gone, then the opposition leaders may wage their campaign for the prime minister’s slot,” Shujaat said talking to Pakistan Today.

The PML-Q chief confirmed that the PTI leadership did discuss with his party the possibility to unite on one container, adding that “we will hold another follow-up meeting to discuss the pros and cons of PTI’s Lahore rally”.

Later in the day, PTI leader and Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mehmoodur Rasheed and former Punjab governor Chaudhry Sarwar visited the PAT headquarters and discussed the possibility of a joint rally on September 3 with PAT delegation, led by Khurram Nawaz Gandapur.

Both the parties decided to support each other’s protest movements against Nawaz Sharif-led government. They said the two political parties would continue their campaign until the premier was taken to task and justice was done in the Model Town tragedy and Panamagate.

Gandapur informed the PTI leaders that his party workers and leaders would take part in PTI’s rally in Lahore. To reciprocate the move, the PTI would be on roads, side by side, with PAT workers, it was decided.

Both the parties have put in top gear the preparations to give a tough time to the government on September 3. PTI’s Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Mehmoodur Rasheed said that the PTI’s protest would continue unabated till the accountability of the prime minister and justice for the martyrs of the Model Town tragedy.

The PTI and PAT also attached significance to the silence of the government over the anti-state statements of MQM chief Altaf Hussain. The leaders underscored that there was no stumbling block in the meeting of Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri.

PTI spokesman Naeemul Haq told Pakistan Today that Imran Khan was pushing all of his party leaders to reach out to all opposition politicians on one-point agenda – to get justice for Pakistan’s oppressed nation by holding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accountable in the Panamagate.

He said that other than holding fruitful meetings with the PAT and PML-Q, Shah Mahmood Qureshi would meet with PPP’s Khursheed Shah today (Tuesday) to extend PTI’s invitation for Lahore rally.

Haq said the PTI would not only mobilise the public over the Panamagte but it was also using all available platforms, including the courts and parliament.

“We have moved a reference against the prime minister and his close family members with the Supreme Court. We also filed a reference with parliament, the Election Commission of Pakistan and also with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). We will not let this corrupt family loot and plunder the national wealth and leave the country. We will bring them to justice,” he concluded.