LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Dr Tahirul Qadri has announced that an agitation campaign will be launched across the country on January 17 by various like-minded opposition parties to force the Punjab chief minister and the law minister to tender resignations.
“All members of the steering committee have agreed to launch the protest movement from January 17 for overthrowing the government,” said Qadri at the PAT headquarters in Model Town after a meeting of the representatives of around a dozen political parties forming the steering committee.
He said that the protest campaign would focus mainly on the killings in the Model Town incident three years ago, besides holding elements in the Punjab and the federal government responsible for the ‘change’ in the Finality of Prophethood clause in the election law and ‘corruption perpetrated by the Sharif family and the ruling party’.
Modalities of the protest campaign would be decided by a seven-member action committee scheduled to meet on January 11.
He said the main agenda of the opposition campaign would be to oust the PML-N government, but the rulers would also be held accountable for ’amending the law on the Finality of Prophethood’ as well as for corruption.
The protest movement, Qadri said, would begin from Lahore. The invitations to attend and address the protest had already been sent to heads of all opposition parties, including PTI’s Imran Khan and PPP’s Asif Ali Zardari.
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He said that the opposition parties could also support Pir Hameedud Din Sialivi’s movement to secure Rana Sanullah’s resignation.
Sialvi has announced a protest march in this regard on January 13 from Data Darbar to Faisal Chowk.
Qadri said the action committee was fully empowered to make key decisions regarding the protest campaign.
Members of the action committee included head of Awami Muslim League Sheikh Rasheed, PPP’s Qamar Zaman Kaira, Jamaat-i-Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch, PTI’s Aleem Khan, PML-Q’s Chaudhry Zaheerudin, Sunni Ittehad Council chief Sahibzada Hamid Raza and Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen leader Nasir Sheerazi while PPP’s Manzoor Wattoo and PTI’s Jahangir Tareen will act as coordinators.
Earlier, Sheikh Rasheed, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Jahangir Tareen, Aleem Khan, Kamil Ali Aga, Chaudhry Zaheerudin, Liaquat Baloch, Nasir Sheerazi, Hamid Raza and leaders of the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP) as well as various lawyers and traders organisations attended the meeting chaired by the PAT chief.
The meeting was held on the expiry of the January 7 deadline that called upon Punjab CM Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Ranaullah Sanaullah to quit their posts.
The deadline was given on December 31 at an all-party conference hosted by the PAT.
The conference had unanimously adopted a resolution holding former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz and Sanaullah responsible for the Model Town killings, urging them to resign from their posts.
It was declared that if neither of the PML-N leaders resigned, a protest movement would be launched for ousting them both.
On Sunday, Qadri had announced that the movement would now no longer limit itself to securing resignations of Shehbaz and Sana, but it would continue until the whole PML-N government was overthrown.
He said that the protest campaign would be launched countrywide.
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