ISLAMABAD - Finally on the 22nd day of his sit-in in the federal capital Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) head Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri on Wednesday at least showed some respect for Supreme Court and directed his followers to vacate premises of Parliament House but still did not bother to pay head to the apex court order of clearing Constitutional Avenue.
Qadri during his speech reiterated his demand for the resignation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. He also threatened the government to prolong his sit-in as long as possible. He said, “I am here for the revenge of martyrs of Model Town firing. I will sit here for the whole year waiting for the resignation of Sharif brothers,” he maintained.
Contrary to Dr Qadri, PAT leader Raheeq Abbasi signaled to withdraw the demand for the resignation of Prime Minister saying, “His party would withdraw “unjust demands” in a bid to end the prevailing political stalemate”. It is believed that resignation of Shahbaz Sharif is not considered unjust by PAT keeping in view the Model Town incident, he said.
Abbasi also said that they had put their demands in front of the “Political Jirga” and they should tell if their demands were unjust. It is interesting that all political parties other than PTI from the very first day are terming the demand for Prime Minister resignation as unjust. So the message between the lines can be considered that PAT is going to withdraw the demand for the PM resignation.
In his address, Qadri again denied the allegation that his workers had stormed the Pakistan Television building. He said, “We did not attack the PTV, we had no such plan, some well-trained people had shut down the transmission of PTV under a plan for few minutes”.
Interestingly, his partner Imran Khan on the attack day had said that PAT workers had entered the PTV building and it was not denied by Qadri that day but the situation later changed and Qadri had to face wide condemnation from different quarters.
Qadri in his speech also came down hard on PPP and said that PPP might not like his criticism but it should control its leader (Khursheed Shah). Then he directly warned Shah saying, “I ask Khursheed Shah to hold his tongue otherwise I will expose the PPP.”
He accused PPP of breaking the country into two pieces in the past. He reminded that Zulifkar Bhutto was the person who shouted the slogan, “You are there and we are here” that consequently broke the country into two units and Bangladesh came into existence.
He also repeated his demand for throwing out the present government and also demanded that all the accused in the Model Town case should be arrested and their names should be entered in the Exit Control List. Referring to finding of judicial commission, he asked Shahbaz Sharif to honor his commitment and resign from his seat. The government, he said, could not reject the commission’s report on Model Town killing.
Dr Qadri categorically denied that his party had any plan to sabotage the democratic course.
After the ISPR’s clarification over Javed Hashmi’s claims, Qadri made few speeches but did not repeat his demand for the resignations of Prime Minister and Chief Minister Punjab. But the events took place on Wednesday again made him strong when MQM landed in the battlefield on the side of Qadri and threatened the government to tender its resignations if the matter was not solved amicably.
But the protestors (followers) of Dr Qadri seemed exhausted on Wednesday and the number was also seen decreased drastically. Only the inner circle of hardcore followers is left with Qadri on the scene. Many of his followers are also falling ill due to bad conditions, which may not allow Qadri to prolong his sit-in for a long time.