LAHORE - Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has decided not to join the Azadi march of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf scheduled on Independence Day (August 14) towards the federal capital against the alleged rigging in the May 2013 general elections.
It was being speculated that the two parties, having the same agenda of ousting the incumbent government, would be launching a joint movement. PTI announced to hold a long march under the name of Azadi March on August 14 while PAT is still reluctant to give any date for its movement.
It was being thought that PAT would join the PTI Azadi March, but Dr Raheeq Abbasi, while talking to this correspondent, categorically denied such reports. “Joining the PTI march is out of question as we have our own agenda,” said Dr Abbasi. He asserted that PTI was holding the march against the rigging only, but PAT’s drive would be to change the whole system.
The PAT which is determined to bring a revolution and change the whole governing system is likely to give its long march call in the last week of August. However, the PAT president said they were holding consultations to finalise the date. He said the party leadership’s meetings were underway and the decision in this regard was expected by Saturday (today). “After the decision is taken, the party chief, Dr Tahirul Qadri, will announce the date,” he said.
Since his return from Canada after the Model Town tragedy in June 2014, Dr Tahirul Qadri has been claiming that his revolution is only a few weeks away, following which the masses would get all the fundamental rights from Article 1 to Article 40 as enshrined in the Constitution and there will be a ruthless accountability.
However, despite meetings of the party leaders on daily basis, the date has yet to be finalised. A party leader told this scribe that there were proposals to finalise the date after watching the momentum of PTI’s Azadi March. He, however, said the party leadership was somewhat confused about announcing the date for the revolution.
According to media reports, PAT would start its march towards Islamabad on August 13 and the party leadership and workers would spend a night in Gujrat. It is also reported that the workers of PAT and PML-Q would stay in Rawalpindi on August 14 and march towards the federal capital on August 15. According to the party leaders, the final date of the PAT movement is likely to be announced on Sunday (August 3).
On the other hand, in an interview, Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid has expressed the hope that PTI and PAT would call off their long marches as some political parties and leaders would play their role as a bridge among the government, Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Meanwhile, a delegation of MQM called on Dr Tahirul Qadri at his residence on Friday. The delegation, led by Haidar Abbas Rizvi, comprised Abdul Haseeb, Amir Baloch, Iqbal Qureshi and Rana Ashraf. PAT President Dr Raheeq Abbasi, Raja Zahid Mehmood and others were also present on the occasion. During the meeting, the MQM delegation expressed grief over the Model Town tragedy.
Later, talking to media persons, Haider Abbas Rizvi said MQM supported the stance of Dr Tahirul Qadri. He said during the meeting, they had also discussed the revolution. About joining the revolution of Dr Qadri, he said they would raise the issue at the meeting of the Coordination Committee w.hich could decide on whether to join the PAT revolution or not.
Regarding the bathing deaths in Karachi, he said the Sindh government was responsible for the tragic incident.