PAT still open to joining PTI’s rally

Backdoor efforts to convince Tahirul Qadri ongoing

Ali Usman September 26, 2016
Backdoor efforts to convince Tahirul Qadri ongoing. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) may eventually announce participating in Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Raiwind rally if its top leadership contacts PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.

Though on September 10, Qadri had announced his party would not join Imran Khan’s latest move against the government, backdoor efforts are under way to convince him to join the march, PAT insiders told The Express Tribune.

“The possibility of PAT attending the march is still there provided the PTI’s top leadership directly contacts the PAT chief,” a senior PAT leader said.

Awami Muslim League chief Shaikh Rasheed has been in contact with the PAT leadership and has invited them to participate in the Raiwind rally. “We have cordial relations with him but this is not his event,” he said.

He added the PTI had thrice agreed to a meeting with Qadri when he was in Pakistan but never showed up. “We believe some elements within the PTI do not want us to participate in the march,” he said.

Another PAT leader said it was possible Qadri might still direct his workers to participate in PTI’s Raiwind march. “For this to happen, second-level leadership talks will not work now,” he said.

Shaikh Rasheed said he had not spoken directly to Qadri since he left Pakistan.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2016.


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