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PPP may join sit-in: Aitzaz Ahsan

25 October, 2016

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Pakistan Peoples Party leader Aitzaz Ahsan on Monday said that although the party was not a part of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's November 2 'lockdown' of Islamabad, it would review its decision if the government resorted to 'torture' of political workers.

"We believe that Imran Khan is on the right path," Aitzaz said, adding that the process of accountability should begin with the prime minister and his family.

The prime minister has been running away from accountability, he said. The PPP leader claimed Imran Khan’s viewpoint is valid and that institutions have not been discharging their duties.

“Had the same allegation been levelled against any other party, the government would have taken action much earlier.” A protest is a democratic right of all parties, he said, adding that some ministers have been misleading the government. “Nawaz Sharif will have to present himself for accountability.”

As rivalry and verbal attacks between the parties soar, the PML-N and PTI have each been searching for allies in the PPP and the PML-Q respectively.

Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique on Saturday contacted Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Syed Khursheed Shah by telephone, whereas PTI's Shah Mahmood Qureshi contacted Pakistan Muslim-Quaid (PML-Q) leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi. Qureshi said, however, that he had not extended Chaudhry an invitation in connection to the Islamabad sit-in.

The PTI has also prepared a strategy to tackle the sit-in and any possible crackdown against the party.

PTI workers will gather at Faizabad and march towards Zero Point under Mr Khan’s leadership. “Blocking Zero Point will render Kashmir Highway, I.J. Principal Road, Murree Road and Islamabad Expressway closed and the federal capital will be in lockdown,” a senior official told Dawn.

“Party leaders are of the view that the government will close the roads themselves, helping the party’s plan to besiege Islamabad,” he said.

If PTI workers are arrested ahead of the lockdown of the capital city, the party plans to lay siege to the police station where they will be held. PTI leadership has also directed party workers to avoid arrest and "if anyone arrested, then more than 200 workers will immediately reach that police station."

PTI, PML-N back-and-forthLast week, PM Nawaz heavily criticised the PTI, saying the party's leaders are only found on containers.

"Forget about Pakistan, the PTI will have washed their hands of KP by 2018," he said, adding that the province would be ruled by the PML-N after the next general election.

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