LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehrik Chairman Dr Tahirul Qadri is all set to lead a sit-in at The Mall today (Friday) to seek justice for 14 workers killed by police shooting at party secretariat two years ago.
The sit-in will start after 6 pm and scheduled to continue till Saturday morning as participants will disperse after having Sehri. The stage and iron container for Dr Tahirul Qadri will reach Faisal Chowk outside the Punjab Assembly Friday afternoon. The road will be closed for traffic and fences will be erected on both sides.
PAT workers will start coming in the evening while leaders and political allies were expected to reach the venue after Iftari when Dr Qadri was expected to arrive there. The PAT sources said Dr Tahirul Qadri issued instructions to all party workers and leaders to attend Friday’s sit-in because he would make a very important announcement there.
Entire security measures will be manned by the PAT workers with metal detectors and walk-through gates while Punjab police personnel will remain present on nearby positions to meet any emergency requirement.
Qadri remained busy Thursday in making preparations for the sit-in and contacting political allies and affiliated organisations. He faced a setback in the afternoon when his meeting with the PML-Q leaders Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Elahi scheduled earlier was cancelled.
The PML-Q leaders decided against coming to Model Town because of some health problem. However, they assured PAT leadership that they would join the sit-in. The PPP leadership had already decided against joining the PAT sit-in while two other major allies, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) leader Allama Nasir Abbas Jafri and Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) leader Allama Hamid Raza were scheduled to send their representative delegation to the sit-in.
However, Pakistan Tehrik Insaf leader and former Punjab governor Ch Sarwar met with Qadri and assured him of support for the cause of sit-in. He also announced that a representative delegation of the PTI leadership would join PAT sit-in. Jamaat-i-Islami Ameer Sirajul Haq also contacted Tahirul Qadri on phone and assured cooperation for PAT struggle of seeking justice for Model Town victims.
PAT sources said Sirajul Haq expressed his desire that the heirs of Model Town victims must be given justice and corruption and cruelty should be wiped out from the country. Earlier, PAT central working committee had an important meeting to finalise the preparations of the sit-in. Addressing the meeting, Qadri said he would not forget those who sacrificed their lives for the cause of the party and would never rest until the culprits are given exemplary punishment.
PAT chief sent a special message to the traders of Mall Road assuring them that they need not fear any trouble due to PAT sit-in and should continue with their businesses by keeping their shops open. He said the PAT workers were peace loving citizens and would also do shopping from them which would promote their businesses.
He assured the Mall Road traders that party workers will take care that no untoward incident occurs and will protect the traders and their businesses. Qadri was given a complete report regarding the preparations for the sit-in. He was informed that the sit-in would benefit the coming fundraising campaign and the promotion of Aitkaf city of the party scheduled to be held during the last 10 days of Ramazan.