ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf yesterday invited the Pakistan People’s Party to join its anti-government rally on September 3 in Lahore, however, the PPP did not immediately confirm its participation.

PTI leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi who met PPP veterans Aitzaz Ahsan and Khurshid Shah here, said the PPP had been invited to participate in the ‘accountability rally.’

Aitzaz Ahsan, opposition leader in the Senate, said that the decision to take part in PTI’s rally shall be made by the party’s leadership.

The PTI has been in contact with other political parties in the recent days to make its Lahore rally a real success. The PTI leaders have contacted Pakistan Awami Tehrik chief Tahirul Qadri and Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) leaders on the issue.

PTI chief Imran Khan will lead the party’s accountability rally to exert pressure on the government to investigate the Panama leaks.

There have been widespread speculations that in near future Imran Khan and PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari could lead a rally against the government together but there has never been a confirmation by either party.

PPP leaders said even if the party decided to join the PTI rally on September 3, the top leadership will not be in attendance.

The PTI said it will support the bill presented by Aitzaz Ahsan in the parliament for investigation into the Panama leaks.

Aitzaz Ahsan said the PPP and the PTI had the same stance over Panama leaks. “Everyone must be held accountable, but the accountability must begin with Prime Minister,” he maintained.

The PPP leader said it was ridiculous that Prime Minister’s team was directed by the premier to formalize code of conduct of accountability. He said PM Sharif’s children appeared in the Panama leaks with links to offshore companies so they must be held accountable.

Ahsan said the people and political parties of Pakistan including PPP and PTI wanted a free and fair investigation into the Panamagate Scandal.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the Terms of Reference Committee became useless due to the government alleged stubbornness.

He said the negotiations with government over Panama leaks had become a dead horse and the ToR Committee had become powerless.

With reference to the PTI’s petition at the Supreme Court against Prime Minister Sharif, seeking his disqualification as the leader of the government and placing Sharif family members’ names on the Exit Control List, Qureshi said he and his party hoped the reference would be entertained as per the law.

Aitzaz Ahsan, however, said that PPP did not have any intention to go to the apex court for now.

Opposition leader in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah also announced to bring a motion in the House against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain for his anti-Pakistan speech.

“We are hopeful all the parties will support our move. We cannot compromise on the integrity of Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari felicitated the elected mayors and chairmen who took oath of their offices across the Sindh province.

In a message he said: “Today begins a new era in the history of local governance. Those taking over the rein of local governments as elected representatives have chosen great responsibilities to serve citizens of their respective areas.”

He said from cleanliness to provision of civic amenities at the doorsteps of people, “your performance should be more visible than in verbal form.”

Bilawal said that Sindh province had achieved a local government system through party-based elections for the first time in decades.

Besides the civic amenities, the new local bodies shall also act as nurseries of grassroots democracy to strengthen the democratic order with full public participation, he maintained.

He eulogized the hard work and untiring efforts of former Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP women wing president Faryal Talpur in the local government elections in which PPP won all over the province clinching the chairmanships of all the District Councils in the province and victories in other committees.