LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) plans to bring accountability campaign to the Punjab towards the end of this month. The party says the Punjab will be the focus of its campaign titled Tehreek-i-Ehtisaab.
Meanwhile, other opposition parties are gearing up to launch their own movements against the government over the Panama Papers controversy over the coming weekend.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Leader of Opposition in the Provincial Assembly Mehmoodur Rasheed said the party had announced two marches for the first and second week of August. It intends to bring the campaign to the Punjab in the third week of August, he said.
The campaign will kick off under PTI chairman Imran Khan on August 7 in the form of a protest march from Peshawar. The rally is expected to enter the Punjab by August 20.
“The party has announced a march from Peshawar to Attock on August 7. It will be followed by another march from Rawalpindi to Islamabad on August 13,” Rasheed said. “In the next round the campaign will enter the Punjab where it may take the form of rallies, protest marches and shutting down of cities.”
He said the party might announce a schedule of activities related to the movement in the province in the second week of August.
Former Punjab president Ejaz Chauhdry has recommended a 25-day campaign to reach out to the rural population across the province. The party will also take part in a protest movement that the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has announced to launch on August 6.
“Although our focus will be on the movement to be launched on August 7, we will also participate in relevant political gatherings,” said Rasheed who had represented the PTI at an All Parties Conference (APC) called by PAT chief Tahirul Qadri on July 31.
Rasheed, who has reached out to the Pakistan Peoples Party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and the Jamaat-i-Islami, said there would be symbolic representation of opposition parties at PTI’s jalsas held across the Punjab as part of the accountability campaign. The opposition had resolved following an APC held in July to take up the issue during the next Provincial Assembly session. The session is expected to be called on August 4 according to the calendar issued at the beginning of the new parliamentary year in June. A notification in this regard is pending. Rasheed said August 15 was a tentative date for the session. “The opposition will aggressively use that forum to push the government to address the Panama Papers issue,” he said.
“The movement will continue until they [the government] hold a transparent investigation into the Panama Papers allegations, or until they resign.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2016.
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