ISLAMABAD - PAT chief Tahirul Qadri, addressing sit-in participants on Monday, exhorted them to be ready for revolution and issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government to give up rule.
Qadri said he was convinced that neither there was any justice for the poor nor was any institution of the country willing to side with them. Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief’s statement came after the Supreme Court ordered clearance of Constitution Avenue by Tuesday (today).
In a charged-up tone, Qadri lifted up a white burial shroud and said he is ready to die for the cause of justice. He told the crowd the shroud will be used to wrap his body after his possible martyrdom or the same will be used to bury the rule of Nawaz government after its demise. Qadri stirred emotions to the extent that almost all of the participants of his sit-in started crying.
He applauded the efforts of the PAT supporters who he said continued to participate in "historic protest". Qadri remarked that in the history of Pakistan there was no example of this many people participating in a sit-in. "All the credit for this struggle goes to the people," he said.
Qadri said, “I ask the members of the National Assembly to leave the House before my deadline expires.” He blamed the ruling PML-N for letting the situation escalate to this stage. “The government arrested more than 10,000 of our workers before the start of this march,” he said, adding, “These people who showed up are the true representatives of the people.”
According to the PAT chief, the twelfth day of this protest was now transforming into a revolution. “We do not believe in these assemblies and so-called representatives,” he said. “The assemblies and elections were unconstitutional.”
Qadri alleged that the procedure followed to select the election setup and the way polls were carried out and assemblies were formed was in clear violation of Article 213, and added that no one from any political party could dare disagree with him on this point. “We consider the government unconstitutional from the very first day,” said Qadri.
This is not the first time during his 12 days long sit-in that he has given a deadline to the government to surrender the charge and dissolve assemblies. Earlier, he had given a deadline of 48 hours during their sit-in at Aabpara Chowk.
After the expiry of his previous deadline he announced to hold the session of ‘public parliament’ on the street. In a dramatic style he held that session and then decided to enter Red Zone posing that the decision was taken in the people’s parliament and its enforcement was a must. He had then appealed to the masses to turn up in large number for “the people's parliament” (his sit-in) and declaring it 'haraam' to sit at home after that development.
Now again he has given a deadline but hasn't yet told what he was going to do after this deadline ends, as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz seem unmoved by his pressure politics. Qadri however threatened the government that after the expiry of his new deadline he would not be responsible for anything that follows. He once again proclaimed the sit-in had turned into a revolution, so anything could happen if his call goes unheard.
Qadri, along with his other long march partner Imran Khan, is in the town for two weeks now and yet has not succeeded to force both the Sharifs to tender their resignations or get the assemblies dissolved. Certain quarters believe his demands about electoral reforms are legitimate and the government should accept those. His demand for the registration of FIR for the Model Town tragedy on the application of victims is also considered logical but his demands of dissolution of assemblies and resignations of government top brass has invited strong and widespread criticism.
Qadri said former Election Commission Additional Secretary Afzal Khan had unfolded the truth that the elections were rigged and it has vindicated his point that the existing parliament was unconstitutional and the government illegal. He also accused the government for using dialogue process to waste time as meaningful results could be brought out of it.
The PAT chief suggested PTI chairman Imran Khan that there was no need of probe into election rigging after Afzal’s disclosure. Imran Khan is not demanding dissolution of assemblies but insisting on resignation of PM Nawaz Sharif.