Speaking to media in Lahore before leaving for Rawalpindi, Qadri said the tactics of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government to stop PAT activists from staging ‘Qasas’ (blood money) rally in Rawalpindi were unlawful, undemocratic and inhumane.
He said that Sharif brothers were trying to repeat the history that unfolded on June 17, 2014, in Model Town when Lahore came to a standstill.
“Today, Rawalpindi was closed and not a single entry point was left where containers were not placed,” said PAT’s head.
According to him, PAT has staged at least 105 protests nationwide, but the government seemed to be more concerned only about Saturday’s protest.
“Rawalpindi has been taken hostage by the centre and the Punjab governments only because I am making an appearance at the last rally of PAT’s first round of protests against a baseless rule of Nawaz Sharif,” said Qadri.
Assuring Nawaz Sharif and his government that Rawalpindi’s protest would be peaceful, PAT’s head told them to open all the entry points and let the protesters including him in.
“Qasas rally is our democratic and constitutional right,” Qadri said to the prime minister and added, “PML-N has staged similar protests in the past during the tenure of Pakistan People’s Party.”
PAT stages a ‘Qasas’ (blood money) rally in the city today, supporting Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI) Ehtesab (accountability) March in Lahore.
Well-known cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri had announced a massive protest against what he called the failure of the PML-N government officials to deliver justice in the ‘Model Town’ firing incident in which at least 14 people had died and more than 100 others wounded.
According to the latest details, final arrangements for the rally have been made for PAT’s rally and authorities have closed the Murree road until the rally ends today.
However, the orders of government, all the roads at different points were blocked with containers.
Thousands of police officials were deployed across the city while metro bus service was also suspended.
Earlier on Saturday, Dr Tahirul Qadri also refused to take security from the Punjab government.
Shaikh Rasheed to attend PAT’s rally
Chief of Awami Muslim League party Shaikh Rasheed reached the famous Laal Haveli (Red Mansion) on Saturday to attend PAT’s rally today.
All the roads in Rawalpindi leading towards Laal Haveli were blocked, in a bid to stop the AML Chief from attending PAT’s rally.
Shaikh Rasheed, who is a huge supporter PTI and PAT, warned that PML-N government would be responsible if the situation worsened in the city due to its tactics
Even if the government closed the entire city, it would not be able to stop the rally, he said.
Rasheed asked PML-N to remove containers from the roads of Rawalpindi, otherwise the rally would be diverted towards Islamabad.