Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri on Monday — making good on an earlier threat — called for a nationwide movement starting January 17 with an eye on ousting the PLM-N government.
Addressing a press conference in Lahore following a meeting with key opposition leaders, Qadri regretted that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah were “given a seven-day deadline to tender their resignations but they failed to do so”.
“Now we will not ask for resignations, but will take them ourselves. We will not stop at resignations but will bring down the PML-N government too,” Qadri said.
The PAT chief believes the incumbent government has lost its moral standing and should have been dissolved. “Now we will kick off nationwide protests in a bid to topple the PML-N government,” he said.
“We have all options open as we seek an end to their oppression,” Qadri added. He also announced the formation of a seven-member action committee to manage the campaign. The committee will hold its first meeting on January 11 to chalk-out a plan of action.
The calls for agitation follow an ‘All Parties Conference’ held in December, following which several opposition parties had held the Government of Punjab, the Punjab police, as well as Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif responsible for the Model Town incident.
Fourteen people had been killed and 100 others injured when police launched an assault on supporters gathered outside Qadir’s residence in Model Town, Lahore in 2014.
“The PML-N is directly complicit in the tragedy,” the joint declaration issued after the conference had read. The two government officials were also warned that they would face civil agitation in case they failed to resign by January 7.
Participants of the conference had also demanded that the people who were responsible for the change in the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath be handed strict punishments.