PML-Q also agrees to join Nov 2 protest


PML-Q also agrees to join Nov 2 protest RAWALPINDI: After grouping of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) with the PTI, former railway minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Tuesday convinced the PML-Q leadership to join Imran Khan’s Islamabad ‘lockdown’ plan on November 2.

Though Dr Qadri’s presence in the Nov 2 sit-in in Islamabad is not yet confirmed, Sheikh Rashid claimed that the PAT chief would arrive in the country by November 1.

Mr Ahmed on Tuesday met PML-Q leader and former Punjab chief minister Pervaiz Elahi in Parliament House Islamabad to formally invite him to attend a public meeting at Lal Haveli on Oct 28.

Sheikh Rashid Ahmed claims PAT chief Tahirul Qadri will return by Nov 1 to join the Islamabad lockdown plan

However, a senior leader of the PML-Q told Dawn that Mr Elahi agreed to send his party workers to the Oct 28 public meeting but would not attend the event himself.

He said the party had differences over the participation in the public meeting being organised by Sheikh Rashid’s Awami Muslim League (AML).

When contacted, Sheikh Rashid told Dawn: “At the meeting in Parliament House, we discussed matters relating to Imran Khan’s Islamabad lockdown plan.”

He said Pervaiz Elahi would participate in the November 2 show along with his workers and supporters.

“We have other speakers and leaders for the public meeting,” he said when asked if Pervaiz Elahi would come to Lal Haveli on Oct 28.

He explained that the public meeting of October 28 was a warm-up session for the PTI and AML workers and supporters from NA-55 and NA-56.

“I am the elected MNA from NA-55 and Imran Khan represents NA-56 in the National Assembly and there is a need to contact the workers directly to inform them about the future plan of Imran Khan.”

He said a rally would also be held from Lal Haveli to Faizabad on Oct 28. Imran Khan would announce the future plan at the end of the rally, he added.

Sheikh Rashid claimed that Dr Qadri would return to the country before November 1 to participate in the protest sit-in.

When contacted, PML-Q leader and former Punjab law minister Raja Basharat said his party had already announced to support Imran Khan but a decision on participating in the Islamabad lockdown campaign was yet to be finalised.

“Pervaiz Elahi has called a meeting of the party leaders in Lahore on October 27 to finalise the strategy. After framing the strategy, the party will ask its workers to participate in the sit-in on November 2 or any other warm-up exercise,” he said.

He said though the PML-Q had in principle decided to participate in the sit-in on Nov 2, it would be premature to say whether workers of the party would join the public meeting on October 28.


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