The Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League governments in Centre and Punjab have a major crisis on their hands as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and a coalition of minor political parties have separately announced on Wednesday that they would launch a countrywide agitation against the ruling party soon after Eidul Fitr.
The Imran Khan-led PTI has decided that it would begin a major anti-government protest movement soon after Eidul Fitr, using all options from tendering resignations from assemblies to countrywide agitation on the streets.
PTI is the third largest party which has won most number of votes during the May 2013 elections following PML-N and PPP. The decision was taken during an extraordinary meeting of the party’s core committee at Khan’s residence in Bani Gala.
A party leader, requesting anonymity, told Pakistan Today that Khan would make a formal announcement for the agitation plan during a public meeting being held at Bahawalpur on June 27. A one-month deadline would be given to the PML-N government to get the votes verification done in the four constituencies mentioned by the PTI, he added.
When contacted, PTI Punjab President Ijaz Chaudhry confirmed that the party’s top decision-making body had decided to give the government a one-month deadline for votes verification and following Eidul Fitr, “Tsunami March” would be launched.
He said that it was yet to be decided from where the march would be launched, however it was clear that the destination of the march would be Islamabad. “We will soon form an organising committee for the Tsunami March which would decide from where the march would start,” added Chaudhry.
A PTI leader anonymously said that his party had exercised all options and candidates had filed applications along with proof of rigging in the judicial tribunals, high courts and even in the Supreme Court but to no avail.
“We also took up the matter in the parliament and even with the government. We also went to NADRA for votes’ verification but it seems that the PML-N government is not ready for making the electoral process transparent. So now, we have decided to move public court which is the best decision-making body,” said a source.
The PTI leader said that the party’s core committee had also deliberated upon on a number of issues.
“The government’s indifference regarding the internally displaced persons (IDPs) was taken notice of and it was noted that the government neither took onboard the PTI leadership over North Waziristan operation and nor it was ready to provide adequate funds to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, enabling it to take care of 600,000 IDPs who have become homeless due to the military operation,” the source added.
QADRI, OTHERS HUDDLE IN LAHORE:
Meanwhile in Lahore, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri called for a meeting of all the like-minded parties on June 26 (today) to discuss the plan of action against the Sharifs government.
The meeting participants included Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed and leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Elahi.
During the meeting, consultations and discussions were held over the next plan of action to be taken regarding the formation of an anti-government grand alliance, which would be announced on Thursday.
Earlier during the day, chief of Tehreek-e-Subah Hazara Baba Haider Zaman and Pakistan People’s Party leader Shaukat Basra and Makhdoom Shahabuddin also called on Qadri and discussed the prevailing situation and the future course of action to be taken.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM), PML-Q and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) have agreed to Qadri’s invitation and will be attending the meeting. The meeting headed by Dr Qadri will discuss a future joint action by all the parties.
EFFORTS TO WOO PTI:
Talking to reporters after the meeting, Sheikh Rashid said that the opposition was moving towards striking a grand alliance against the Nawaz Sharif government.
Flanked by Shujaat and Elahi, Sheikh Rashid said that he was persuading Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan to join the opposition’s alliance. “We are an ally of PTI. It is our desire to unite all opposition parties on a single platform,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Shujaat said that the opposition could unite on one common point. “We are in contact with all opposition parties,” he added.