LAHORE - The Pakistan Awami Tehreek yesterday launched the first phase of its ‘Qisas Movement” from Lahore, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Gujranwala and Faisalabad, with Dr Tahirul Qadri claiming the drive would result in ouster of Sharifs from power and they will have to face action for killing more than a dozen PAT workers in Model Town.

The PAT spokesperson stated that thousands of people participated in the rallies held in five cities. It said the delegations of different opposition parties also attended the protest rallies.

Dr Qadri did not participate in the first phase of the protest movement but delivered a telephonic address to the protesters from his residence in Model Town. He said he will lead the movement in final stage but at the same time avoided giving time frame for it.

In Lahore, around 3,000-4,000 PAT workers, among them majority were of women, participated in the protest at The Mall where Dr Qadri made telephonic address to them.  The protest in Lahore was led by party secretary general Khurram Nawaz Gandapur.

Delegations from PTI, PPP, PML-Q, Awami Muslim League, Jamaat-e-Islami, Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen and Sunni Ittehad Council participated in the protest.

Holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans “Qisas, Not Diyat—Blood for Blood, Not Blood Money” and “G0-Nawaz-Go”,  the PAT workers continued chanting slogans against the PML-N government during their three-hour sit-in at the main artery which was blocked for all kind of traffic since morning. Strict security arrangements were made by the security agencies to tackle any law and order issue. Police had placed heavy containers around Punjab Assembly and other government buildings to avoid any untoward situation during protest.

Addressing protesters in Lahore, Dr Qadri said the rule of Sharifs over the country will end when the PAT movement will enter into the final phase.

“Rulers must notice the anger of PAT workers who today expressed their resolve to take the revenge of our martyrs even without my presence. I’m not attending the first phase of protests just to make clear upon Sharifs to be ready for final public impeachment,” he said. Dr Qadri added the PAT was not the only party which demanded Qisas (blood for blood) for Model Town victims but all opposition parties also backed it.

“We have started our protests from today and PTI is starting its movement from tomorrow (Sunday). Soon millions of people will take to the roads under umbrella of united opposition,” he added.

Dr Qadri said the days of Sharif family rule (Nawaz Sharif, Shehbaz Sharif) over Pakistan were numbered and no country in world except India would give asylum to them.

"Justice will be served, accountability will be held and we will get Qasas in the Model Town murder case," he said.

A statement issued by the PAT said Awami Muslim League president Sheikh Rasheed supervised the rally from Numaish Chowrangi to Tibet Centre in Rawalpindi.

“PAT staged protest at Kachehri Chowk led by Basharat Jaspal in Faisalabad. Sajid Mahmood led rally held in Sialkot and Gujranwala,” it stated.

The PAT claimed the local administration in Islamabad barred its workers from holding a sit-in at Abpara Chowk.