Matter of principle: PAT to stay away from Raiwind march

Qadri accuses Punjab government of conspiring to ban Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran

Ali Usman September 11, 2016
In this file photo, PTI chairman Imran Khan embraces PAT chief Tahirul Qadri. PHOTO: REUTERS

LAHORE: Leader of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Dr Tahirul Qadri announced on Saturday that his party would not participate in the planned march to the palatial home of the Sharifs in Raiwind.

Dr Qadri said the move may be an unpopular one because his party supporters were keen to go ahead with the march but he insisted it was a matter of principle. He built his case against the march by remarking that it “is the PML-N which is famous for attacking the homes of its opponents”.

“Our movement will make the rulers realise that there is one thing known as morality and understand that nothing can be achieved through violence and terrorism.”

Earlier, he accused the Punjab government of conspiring to ban his party’s non-political wing Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran and declare it a terrorist organisation.

Addressing a news conference in Model Town, Qadri said that this was how the Punjab government planned to save Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in the Model Town killing case.

He alleged that search operations would be launched and PAT workers would be implicated in fabricated cases, adding that Punjab police could also claim to seize weapons from its offices.

He said: “Our line of action on the second phase of the Qisas Movement will be made public after the decision on PAT’s petition for registering a case against the rulers by the Anti-Terrorism Court.”

He warned the security agencies that the rulers were planning to “unleash a new Model Town tragedy” only to implicate PAT in it”.

The PAT chief said: “We will resist any move by the police to enter any PAT and Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran offices or homes of our workers and leaders.” He said he had information that the police planned to raid “our offices and homes … during the Eid holidays”.

He accused the police of conspiring to implicate PAT and Minajul Quran in money-laundering and illegal arms hoarding charges.

Talking about issuing visas to Indians to work in mills owned by members of the ruling party, the PAT chief alleged that these Indians had been issued multiple-entry visas on the recommendation of Ramzan Sugar Mills.

According to him, Ramazan Sugar Mills offices were gutted soon after his news conference and no government ambulance was allowed to enter the mills, adding that only two private ambulances had entered the premises.

He said that he had not received any defamation notice from any court yet and if and when they receive it “we will give a fitting response”.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2016.


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