MULTAN - Former Punjab Governor and PPP South Punjab President Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood declared on Thursday the PPP is going to launch “Go Nawaz Go” drive across the country from Friday (today) if the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declined to step down immediately.

Addressing a news conference here at Multan Press Club, he said that protest demonstrations would be held to force the Prime Minister to resign from his office under the campaign. “If Nawaz Sharif still refuses to resign, we’ll launch second phase of the movement from July 17 and it will continue till his removal from Prime Minister office,” he further announced. He was of the opinion that Mian Nawaz Sharif has no more right to go on foreign tours as Prime Minister because the Supreme Court had issued a charge sheet against him. Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood was of the opinion that the days of Mian Nawaz Sharif has been numbered and the time for him has come to go back.

Giving details of the demonstrations, he disclosed that protest would be organised in three districts—Muzzafargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan and Rahim Yar Khan—of South Punjab on Friday (today). On July 15, this practice will be replicated in three more districts—Multan, Bahawalpur and Layyah—in South Punjab followed by another round of demonstrations in Khanewal, Bahawalnagar and Lodhran on Sunday (July 16). He said that the last round of demonstrations would take place in Vehari and Rajanpur on Monday (July 17) after which next round of protest drive would be announced. He said that all wings of PPP would fully participate in the demonstrations. He said the PPP divisional, district and city leadership in south Punjab would remain fully engaged in the protest strategy.

To a query on possibility of PTI’s participation in PPP’s protest drive, he declined to rule out the chances of PTI’s joining hands with the PPP, saying it was a chance for the PTI to become a part of Charter of Democracy signed among the political parties for the promotion of democracy in the country. He told the journalists that the PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had already given a protest call and the party would follow it by staging demonstration.

He warned that the dignity and writ of the Prime Minister office is at stake while Mian Nawaz Sharif failed to furnish documents in his defence in Panamagate scandal. He alleged that the Prime Minister and his family submitted fake documents which proved them guilty and the only option left for Mian Nawaz Sharif was to resign from his office.

He accused Mian Nawaz Sharif of victimising Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari during his tenures in government in the 1990s, claiming Nawaz government committed crimes against PPP. He maintained that Asif Ali Zardari was subjected to vehement physical torture and his tongue was cut while other people were tortured to become approvers against him. He recalled that Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was also made to stand outside prison for hours with her small children to meet her spouse. “He (Nawaz Sharif) used to advise Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani to resign but he himself is reluctant to resign. Nawaz Sharif should immediately resign and wait for the Supreme Court final verdict in Panamagate scandal,” he suggested.

He claimed that the PPP would emerge as the largest party of the country by securing seats from all the four provinces in the next general elections under Bilawal’s leadership.

Answering a question on recent wave of defections from the PPP, he said that the party did not need electables but its workers. Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood accused PTI of promoting the politics of opportunism, saying Imran Khan turned his party into the party of turncoats instead of creating Naya Pakistan. He rejected reports regarding former federal minister Sardar Qayyum Jatoi’s defection.

PPP South Punjab office bearers including Abdul Qadir Shaheen, South Punjab PPP vice president Khawaja Rizwan Allam, PPP Multan city president Malik Nasim Labar were also present on this occasion.