ISLAMABAD - Though two different crowds of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) are sitting at the Constitution Avenue some feet away from each other, yet it looks both are ready to react together in case of any severe action from the government or law enforcement agencies.
It is not clear what is the binding force between the two of them or which force had bound both of them to protest separately but react together in case of any action from the government.
As the rumours of a police operation started spreading on Thursday noon, the leaders of the both protesting parties went on to say publicly that they would act together in case of any action taken against one of them.
PTI Chief Imran Khan was the first who came on the stage in the afternoon and said that he had conveyed a message to PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri that in case of any police action against both of them or anyone of the protesting parties, both would act together and agitate against this action.
Addressing his speech in the day before a thin crowd, Khan said that the government has removed Inspector General of Police (IGP) Islamabad Aftab Cheema who had refused to obey illegal orders of the government. “He was dutiful police officer who heard the voice of his conscience and refused to take severe action against the protestors,” Imran said.
Imran said the government was planning a police operation early in the morning when the number of the crowd was thin. He said that Khalid Khattak had been made acting IGP Islamabad and asked, “Khalid Khattak hear your voice of conscience as the rulers will not live in Pakistan for a long time.
“But this is not the game of Khalid Khattak as this is the game of Secretary Interior Shahid Khan who is a courtier of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and has been given this post as a reward for rigging the election,” Khan alleged and warned secretary interior in a bizarre way to avoid any action against his workers otherwise he would not spare him. “In case of police attack on us, we will be united,” he stressed.
Khan said that on one hand, the government was talking about negotiations and on the other hand the police had started gathering here in the morning to start an action.
“Hear me the government of Nawaz Sharif, never try to do this foolish mistake,” he said
As Imran Khan ended his speech, the sound system of the PAT was switched on and a senior leader of the party said if the government took any police action against them or the PTI protestors, both of the protesting parties would act together. He said though both the parties were staging their separate sit-in, yet both were same in case of any action.
PTI Vice-chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi in his speech said that the government was forcing the TV channels to stop their live coverage and asking them to remove their DSNG vans from the protest venue.
He said this would an attack on the freedom of expression. Similar kind of words came from the PAT about the freedom of expression after Qureshi’s speech.