PAT to decide its next move today

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Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Dr Tahirul Qadri addressing the participants of Inqilab March during sit in protest in front of Parliament House.— Photo by Online
Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Dr Tahirul Qadri addressing the participants of Inqilab March during sit in protest in front of Parliament House.— Photo by Online

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Awami Tehreek will decide its next move at a meeting on Wednesday if the government failed to get an FIR registered against the people allegedly responsible for killing 14 PAT workers in Model Town on June 17.

PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri had on Monday set a 48-hour deadline for acceptance of his party’s demand. The deadline ends at 6pm on Wednesday.

It is feared that non-acceptance of PAT demand could lead to a violent confrontation between its workers and law enforcement agencies, especially after Dr Qadri told his workers that either it would be ‘shahadat’ or their demands would be accepted.

He had warned that there would ‘dama dam must qalandar’ after the expiry of the deadline.

Talks between the government and PAT, which were suspended on Sunday afternoon, could not resume after the Lahore High Court upheld on Tuesday the sessions court’s order for registration of a murder case against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and 19 other people.

Addressing his workers outside the Parliament House, Dr Qadri renewed his call for registration of an FIR against the accused.

Speaking about media leaks of the reports of the judicial commission and the joint investigation team that pointed fingers at the provincial government’s involvement in the Model Town incident, the PAT chief said: “I congratulate Pakistani media which took masks off the faces of killers.”

He said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif “kept sitting on the reports for 17 days in violation of people’s right to information”.

Meanwhile, PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain, whose party is an ally of PAT, held the government responsible for the deadlock.

“The situation could have been different today had Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif ordered registration of the FIR.”

Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2014