LAHORE - PTI Chairman Imran Khan yesterday phoned PAT chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri, inviting him to attend the former’s protest march scheduled to be held in Lahore on September 3.

It was the first formal contact between the two ‘political cousins’ after two years.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek, had staged months-long sit-in in Islamabad in 2014, during which Dr Qadri had declared Imran Khan his political cousin. But they did not come close to each other after the sit-ins which failed to achieve the desired results. Political observers now again anticipate an alliance between the two hard-core opponents of Sharifs. Awami Muslim League president Sheikh Rashid, another rival of the ruling family, also made a prediction about PTI-PAT alliance.

Dr Tahirul Qadri, in his recent interview with The Nation, said the unity among opposition ranks was vital to oust “rule of the corrupt over the country.”

PTI and PAT are holding protest rallies in Lahore and Islamabad respectively on September 3.

PAT spokesperson Noorullah Siddiqui told The Nation that both the leaders discussed political cooperation and agreed to participate in each other’s protest marches.

“PAT workers will attend PTI Lahore March and PTI members will participate in our Qisas and Pakistan Solidarity March in Islamabad on the same day,” said Noorullah.

“Imran Khan Sahib phoned Dr Sahib after attending Borewala meeting. Both the leaders discussed in detail the political situation and had unanimity of views on Model Town and Panama Leaks issue. Khan Sahib invited Dr Sahib to attend the PTI march and the latter accepted the invitaion,” he said.

Earlier, PTI and PAT leaders held a meeting in Model Town and, in a press conference, made announcement to participate in each other’s protest marches.

“We will fully participate in the PTI rally. The days of corrupt regime are numbered,” PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said in the press conference after holding a meeting with PTI leaders, Ch Sarwar, Mehmoodur Rasheed and Samsam Ali Bokhari, who visited the PAT head office and held talks with Gandapur.

Noorullah Siddiqui who also attended the meeting told The Nation that PTI leaders sought PAT support for Lahore March. He said since both the parties had almost the same agenda, their cooperation with each other would further strengthen the anti-government move.

PTI and PAT have separately been holding anti-government protest marches for the last month. On the other side, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan Sunni Ittehad and Majlis-e-Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen have also taken to streets in their anti-government drives.

JI is taking out rallies in different cities under the slogan of accountability movement, Sunni Ittehad has announced to launch movement for disqualification of the prime minister from September 1 and MWM which has major street power of its Shia workers is out against PML-N for “its role in Shia genocide.”

The PAT spokesperson claimed all opposition parties would soon be on one platform against the government.

JI spokesperson Ameerul Azeem, talking to The Nation, also predicated alliance of all opposition parties in near future. But, he said, it would be too early to unite the opposition on a “single container.”

“It will depend upon the attitude of the leaders of different parties,” said Ameerul Azeem. He said the JI was always ready to take part in any opposition parties protest if it was invited.