ISLAMABAD: The top decision-making body of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government will be responsible, if democracy is derailed in Pakistan on August 14 – the day the party will stage a ‘million-man Azadi march’.
The core committee of the PTI, which met on Sunday, reiterated there would be no compromise on the Azadi march. “There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that PTI’s workers and leaders will reach Islamabad at all costs even if they have to walk the distance,” the committee said in a statement and called upon the party workers to come prepared with basic supplies.
The committee warned that any attempt to arrest PTI chairman Imran Khan or take him into ‘protective custody’ would be resisted with full force. “Tomorrow the chairman will disclose [evidence] of the massive rigging that took place in the May 2013 elections,” it added.
The committee also demanded the Sharif family compensate all those whose livelihood was impacted by the barriers put up by the government on the roads in an attempt to stop the PTI from exercising its democratic right to protest peacefully.
“All containers must be removed immediately and petrol stations reopened. The Punjab government must immediately implement the Lahore High Court order for the release of impounded motorcycles,” it added.
During the meeting the members also offered Fateha for the two PTI office-bearers who were murdered in Karachi a few days back.
Imran refuses to meet JI
Meanwhile PTI chief Imran Khan also refused to meet a Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) delegation, led by its Ameer Sirajul Haq, who wanted to convey the government’s desire to negotiate on the PTI demands. “There will be no meeting with any political party or leader before the Azadi March on August 14 where i will present my demands,” Imran reportedly told the JI leaders.
At the same time, the PTI chief said, the political parties should decide whether they stand with PTI’s democratic struggle or with those who believe in the ‘monarchy’.
The Jamaat-e-Islami’s delegation had planned to meet Imran to convey the government’s response to his demands. The JI has been active for the last few days to broker a truce between the government and the PTI by bringing them to the negotiating table.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 11th,2014.
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