PAI decides to hold rallies in Sindh, Punjab

Alliance flays victimisation of Jang Group of newspapers;
calls for resignation of government

By our correspondent

LAHORE: Charge-sheeting the prime minister, Pakistan Awami Ittehad (PAI) has announced to launch first phase of its anti-government movement from Thatta on February 17, which will culminate at Jehlum on February 25.

The announcement regarding the phase-II will be made on February 28 at a meeting of heads of the component parties of PAI in Islamabad. This was stated by PAI President Dr Tahirul Qadri after a meeting of PAI chiefs at Minhajul Quran Secretariat on Monday.

Tahirul Qadri, flanked by PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto, Nawabzada Nasirullah Khan, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Hamid Nasir Chattah, General Aslam Beg, Khalid Kharal, Hussain Haqqani and other leaders of the Ittehad, announced that all went well in the completely peaceful meeting, and the rumours of differences in the Ittehad were unfounded.

He announced the PAI had unanimously decided to launch anti-government movement, and its first phase would start from Sindh. Six public meetings would be held with the first on February 17 in Thata, second on 18th in Badin, third in Mirpurkhas on February 19, fourth in Gujrat on 23rd, fifth in Lalamusa on 24th and the last in Jehlum on February 25.

He also announced that the PAI had unanimously condemned the high-handedness of the government against the press, the fourth pillar of the state, in general and against the Jang Group of newspapers in particular, and would hold protest rallies in Lahore from the Lahore High Court to the Punjab Assembly Hall on Feb 4 at 11 am and on 13th in Islamabad, which would be led by the entire PAI leadership.

He said it was unanimously emphasised that PAI was an election alliance, and a 7-member committee had been formed to decide the basic principles and modalities in this regard, and present its report to the heads. He said the committee would consist of Nawabzada Nasirullah Khan, Mian Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo, Mirza Aslam Beg, Iqbal Haider, Aitzaz Ahsan, Hussain Haqqani and Kabir Ali Wasti.

A second committee was also formed on this occasion to accelerate the process of PAI alliance with PONM and finalise the details. Manzoor Wattoo will be the coordinator of this committee comprising Benazir Bhutto, Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan, Hamid Nasir Chattah, Manzoor Wattoo and Gen (retd) Aslam Beg.

This committee will present its report in the heads' meeting in Islamabad. Dr Qadri announced the PAI had decided to issue a charge-sheet to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the copies of which would be presented by a delegation led by Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan to President Rafiq Tarar, the Chief Justice of Pakistan, four chief justices of the high courts, and all the chiefs of the armed forces.

He said the PAI would work on the preparation of its sub-organisations from February to the 1st of March. He announced that PAI would observe a complete strike on February 5 throughout the country to show solidarity with the Kashmiris and demanded of the government to make this strike a success by announcing a public holiday on that day.

He said the meeting had expressed its concern over the establishment of the military courts in the country, and termed the move as 'no-confidence' against the judiciary, judges and the Constitution. Qadri said the meeting had unanimously condemned the insult of the Senate and termed it as a conspiracy against the Federation.

The meeting also expressed concern over increasing price-hike and self-immolations due to unemployment caused by the downsizing, and demanded of the government to resign. The meeting condemned the atrocities against the Muslims of Kosovo, Kashmir, Bosnia and other parts of the world and demanded of the government to resign since it had not been able to raise an effective voice against these atrocities. He also called the accountability a one-sided hoax. Dr Qadri said the government was about to go and PAI's movement against it would soon culminate in its ouster.

The News International Pakistan