LAHORE - PAT Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri has said he can become a bridge to bring heads of the PPP and PTI closer.

“I can convince Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan to sit together on the negotiations table,” claimed the Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief while addressing a lawyers’ convention at his party headquarters in Model Town on Thursday.

As the PTI chairman has ruled out an alliance with the PPP as long as Zardari is head of his party, it is unclear whether Dr Qadri made the announcement to unite the PTI and PPP in his quest for an alliance of opposition parties against the PML-N or he was exclusively speaking in context of his anticipated protest movement over the Model Town killings.

Dr Qadri had said on Wednesday that Khan and Zardari would be with him on the container when he starts the protest movement to press for resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan. Heads of the PPP and PTI have already assured the PAT chief of their support in case the latter launches a movement against the Punjab government.

Addressing lawyers, Dr Qadri said Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-Q and Majlis Wahdate Muslimeen will also be with him during the protest. “All opposition parties have assured me of support,” he told the gathering.

Qadri avoided giving a timeline for his protest campaign and said he would “soon launch a campaign to put the last nail in the coffin of Shehbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah.” He reiterated the Punjab chief minister and law minister were directly responsible for the killing of 14 people in Model Town, according to findings of the Justice Ali Baqir Najafi inquiry commission on the incident. He declared the inquiry report Nature’s revenge on Sharifs.

The Model Town incident took place on June 16, 2014 and claimed lives of 14 PAT workers during a clash with Punjab Police. “Protests cannot be staged again and again. The PAT staged two famous sit-ins in the past and this will be the final,” Qadri said. He warned Sharif to step down immediately or face the protest movement.

Taunting the PML-N, Dr Qadri said the ruling party and Sharifs had always been part of the “greater plan” to oust every government in the past, but now they were talking about conspiracies against them.

Representatives of the Lahore High Court Bar Association and Lahore Bar Association on this occasion backed the resolution demanding resignation of Sharif and Sanaullah. Lawyers assured the PAT chief of their support during the protest movement.