Anti-govt protests: 'PAT to keep option of dialogue open'


KARACHI  : Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has changed his strategy of protest against the government following consultations at the All Parties Conference (APC), deciding to keep the option of dialogue open, Roznama Express has learnt.

On Saturday, PAT extended by a week the deadline given to Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah to resign over the killing of 14 party workers in a clash with police in 2014.

PAT and other parties have decided to keep the option for dialogue open as it can facilitate them in achieving their demands, sources said.

According to insiders, the APC decided that if Sanaullah submitted his resignation, further dialogue with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leadership could take place. Otherwise, sources added, measures to dissolve provincial assemblies will be proceeded with.

On the contrary, sources in the PML-N said Shehbaz will not resign, and the task of coaxing opponents has been given to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Senator Raja Zafarul Haq. It has been decided to approach parliamentary committees and use the option of dialogue to resolve the issue peacefully.

The APC formed a steering committee and empowered it to convene a meeting on January 8 to formulate a course of action if Shehbaz and Sanaullah did not resign by January 7. In the two phases, PAT plans to campaign in order to overthrow Punjab and federal governments, respectively.

The strategy, sources added, is based on five options, including staging a sit-in outside Punjab Assembly or Jati Umra as well as Parliament House besides countrywide protests and a civil disobedience movement.

PAT had suggested at the APC that an amalgamation of 40 political parties under one election symbol and one name be formed for general elections 2018. Pakistan Peoples Party, Tehreek-e-Insaf, Jamat-e-Islami and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan have turned down the suggestion.

Both PAT and PTI are making efforts for the dissolution of federal and provincial assemblies before March 2018 such the PML-N is deprived of majority in the Upper House of Parliament.

Meanwhile, according to sources in PAT, the party has decided to consult law experts and approach the Supreme Court over Justice Baqar Najafi’s Model Town tragedy report, which was recently made public.

The spiritual leader says he has no political agenda, struggle only aimed at protecting Khatm-e-Nabuwat

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Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/1598029/1-anti-govt-protests-pat-keep-option-dialogue-open/