ISLAMABAD: In an apparent change of heart, the central working committee of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek decided that their sit-in would continue in the capital, through Eidul Azha.
Umar Riaz Abbasi, a spokesperson for the party, told Dawn late on Wednesday night that despite the party’s earlier decision to allow participants to return home for Eid holidays, the party had decided that if Imran Khan spend Eid on D Chowk, so could they.
“Dr Qadri will announce the CWC decision in his address on Thursday,” said Mr Abbasi.
Earlier addressing his supporters, Dr Qadri said that he would convert his party’s sit-in into a popular movement against the government after Eidul Azha.
He said: “I will visit all major cities of the country and turn the protest sit-in into a movement after Eid because we will not let this system survive.”
He said the PAT workers would raise the ‘Go Nawaz go’ and Go Nizam go’ slogans during the movement.
“I will share details of my strategy with you tomorrow about taking the movement across the country.”
He said people were not aware of their rights, corruption of the rulers, resources of their province or the district.
The PAT chief said the common man had no knowledge about the performance of the government because of lack of administrative units.
He said the participants of the revolution march represented the poor of the country who had been forced to live without basic necessities of life.
The representatives of farmers burnt cotton bales at the sit-in as a protest against anti-agriculture policies of the government.
The wife of Allah Dita Rana, a PAT worker from Pasroor area of Sialkot district, gave birth to a daughter at the sit-in on Wednesday.
“One of our Inqilabis has been blessed with a daughter and I named her Kaneez Fatima, but later I thought that since she is born at Inqilab march I rechristened her as Inqilab Fatima,” the PAT chief said.
Addressing his followers at the sit-in, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan claimed that his party would rule the country after sweeping the next elections.
“I know that the nation has woken up for their rights,” he said.
Mr Khan said: “The PTI is celebrating the Women’s Day today. It is the responsibility of a civilised society to give respect to women.”
He said the attendance of women in large numbers at PTI’s rallies over the past years showed the difference between gatherings of his party and other political parties.
“The developed countries may be ahead of us in technology, but they don’t respect women the way we do here in Pakistan,” he claimed.
“We should not import values from Indian films because they ape Western culture which will destroy the Pakistani culture,” he said.
Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2014