ISLAMABAD: Amid deepening political crisis, Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) and its allied parties on Monday rejected talks with government and announced a country wide sit-in to press their demands.
Just hours before his 48-hour deadline was due to expire at midnight, the PAT chief addressed the participants of the sit-in in the afternoon and announced that similar sit-ins and protest demonstrations will be held across Pakistan.
The announcement came shortly after the government announced to form two separate committees to negotiate with both protesting parties.
Under its initial plan these committees were to include representatives of the government and Opposition parties represented in the parliament. However two major parties, Jamat-e-Islami and the Muthidda Qaumi Movement, declined to become part of the government team and said that they wanted to stay neutral.
The police has not registered FIR against the rulers despite order by a sessions court two days back. 14 people were killed in Model town Lahore, at the head office of PAT and its religious wing Minhaj ul Quran in June this year.
“There is no rule of law. Twenty five thousand workers of PAT arrested by police on the eve of martyrs’ day on August 10. These workers are missing” he said.
The PAT chief claimed that had the government not put whole Punjab under siege, thousands more people would have joined his “revolution march”.
He questioned the effectiveness of parliament which had yet to take any action against the culprits who killed his workers in Model Town. He said that Punjab Chief Minister holds 10 -12 ministries including the home ministry in Punjab.
Qadri alleged that the judicial commission formed by the government itself after the tragedy was rendered non-functional since the home department in a reply to letter to the judicial commission declined to give it more powers including the power to order registration of FIR and fix responsibility.
“No justice will come till these rulers resign,” Qadri remarked who adding that he believes the current system is a mockery of democracy and that it should be replaced by a new system of “participatory democracy” with powers devolved to grass root level.
“Democracy is more than mere elections. In democracy there is check and balance and transparency of public system. There is nothing of this in this country” he added.
He said on July 22, 2013, the Supreme Court, under the former Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, ordered appointments of head of 58 key institutions through a transparent process. Instead of implementing the court orders, the government, through a notification, brought 30 of these institutions under its own ministers, he added.
“If the handpicked people of Nawaz Shareef and Asif Ali Zrdari will be appointed as heads of key institutions, who will conduct accountability of rulers. This system cannot deliver to the people. Only Inqilab (revolution) is solution.”
Qadri appealed the people of Sindh and Balochistan to join his hands and come out on streets to launch a decisive movement to oust the national and provincial assemblies, as he pointed his guns towards the governments in these provinces. He claimed that on July 2, Sindh police had sold women to robbers who had sought shelter at Darul Amman.
Without naming him, Qadri also criticised PKPAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai who he said had been provoking the government to deal with protestors with iron hands. He said that the legislator is an MNA himself and a number of his family members including his brothers and nieces were part of the Balochistan government which negates his claim of being a democrat.
The PAT chief is expected to announce his next line of action at midnight, once his 48-hour deadline expires.
PAT, allies rule out talks till Sharif-brothers resign
Earlier, while talking to reporters after their meeting with Dr Qadri, the heads of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Majlis-e-Wahadtul Muslemeen, and Sunni Ithad Council said they will not hold talks with government.
“Talks will be held only after the Prime Minister and Punjab Chief Minister resign” Chudhary Shujaat Hussain remarked.
Majlis-e-Wahadtul Muslemeen chief Allama Abass Nasir said they will be issuing a call for country wide protests to their followers.
PTI to resign from all assemblies except K-P
As the protests entered their fifth day, PTI’s vice chairman announced that his party was resigning from National Assembly and three provincial assemblies. Except the K-P assembly, where PTI is ruling, it has been decided to quit the rest of assemblies, which has further depended the ongoing political turmoil.
He said all state institutions have been rendered non-functional by the incumbent PML-N who were using these institutions for their vested interests.
Kaira deplores Qadri’s comments on Sindh govt
Information Secretary PPP Qamar Zaman Kaira in his reaction deplored Dr Tahirul Qadri's criticism of the provincial government of PPP in Sindh as unwarranted and uncalled for.
Responding to media's queries on the subject he said that it was a sign of desperation of the part of PAT chief to drag the Sindh government in his fight with the government.