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PTI-PAT to express complete solidarity with each other

27 December, 2017

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LAHORE: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan and his entire team came to express “complete solidarity” with Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri, his cause and a possibly popular and legal battle he seeks to wage in pursuit of justice for the victims of the Model Town incident.

Addressing a post-meeting joint press conference, Mr Khan also bailed Mr Qadri out from his claim of making both Asif Ali Zardari and him sit on his either side at the planned multi-party conference (MPA), saying that no political alliance was in the making at the MPA. “It does not matter who sits, and where, as long as all agree on a single cause and struggle.”

The PAT, on its part, knows the fact that it would be the PTI team, and not Mr Khan, who would attend the MPC on Saturday. “What the PAT is looking for from these parties is more of political and moral support. It knows that it would have to bear all expenses and assemble its own people if a protest movement is launched. So, as much support as it could get from these parties is enough,” says an insider of PAT politics.

“It is the presence of the parties rather than personalities (Mr Khan and Mr Zardari) that matters now, especially after both of them stubbornly refused to sit with each other,” he said.

Refusing to reveal the post-MPC agenda, Mr Qadri said: “Everything would be decided in the conference: whether it is the continuation of the legal battle, exertion of popular pressure or anything else. All these options are on the table and would be decided or even prioritised with mutual discussions and consensus.”

Mr Khan was equally evasive. “Whatever doctor sahib decides would be followed. In fact, it is not support for Tahirul Qadri per say. It is a humanitarian cause — after all 14 people lost their lives in the mayhem. We need to stop it, at least for future protest. The Sharifs have turned out to be a mafia. Politicians do not kill people or book them in different cases,” he said, referring to four cases against him and five against Tahirul Qadri in antiterrorism courts.

“I was protesting against rigging in the elections and doctor sahib seeking justice for those killed in Model Town. Where did terror come from? It is only because of the mindset of the Sharifs, nothing else. Like the PAT, the PTI is also convinced that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was also responsible for the killings because they both share the mafia mindset. My entire team is here to support his cause and we would stand by him through thick and thin,” Mr Khan said.

The “political cousins” — as they called themselves on some occasions — were of the opinion that the Sharifs had hit the fag end of their political career. One was gone because of the Panama Papers and other was going as the legal cost of Model Town incident, they believed.

In response to a question about the possibility of the PTI being part of a potential technocrats’ government, Mr Khan said that his party would stick to the Constitution of the land. According to the law of land, the only way of changing the government is one completing its term, giving way to a caretaker set-up for 60 or 90 days.

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