Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leadership has decided not to press other political parties to join its planned October 30 anti-government drive in Islamabad.
A senior PTI leader who wished not to be named told the Business Recorder that Imran Khan categorically made it clear to the senior PTI leadership that there was no need to beg opposition parties to be part of PTI’s anti-government rally in Islamabad as they simply could not afford to go against Nawaz Sharif.
In what is being rumoured as annoyance of opposition parties at PTI’s attempts at ‘solo flight’ over the Panama Papers issue, Imran Khan told the deputies he would not plead with any other party to join PTI’s planned October 30th Islamabad lockdown protest as all the opposition parties have a united stance on the matter.
Senior PTI leader quoted Imran Khan as saying that invitations were already extended to the opposition parties and he could not do more to ensure their participation.
“The PPP is simply reciprocating the favour of Nawaz Sharif because he had helped Asif Zardari during his party government by making the opposition almost non-existent. The PPP leaders such as Aitzaz Ahsan can not do anything unless Zardari gives them green signal, and Zardari won’t go against the Sharifs,” he reportedly told the party leadership.
As far as the question of opposition’s annoyance is concerned, the PTI extended an invitation to all before Raiwind march, but there was not a single opposition party except Sheikh Rashid who participated in the rally. The PTI leader said it was undeniable fact his party enjoyed street power and expressed the belief that street politics too was part of a democratic process.
“If state institutions continue to remain silent despite our concerns, what other options are left other than street protests, and everyone will see how people from all over the country will come to Islamabad on October 30,” the PTI leader said, adding that the party will announce its future line of action on October 30 which would be based on whether the government adopted a confrontational approach or not.
When contacted, Senator Sirajul Haq, who is chief of Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan, said that both the parties were partners in ruling coalition of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which didn’t mean that JI would follow PTI in all matters.
JI is holding rallies against the menace of corruption in different cities of the country, but it is not necessary to join the PTI in anti-government rallies, Sirajul Haq said adding that “we held a public meeting in Faisalabad on September 30 when PTI had set the stage in Raiwind”. He ruled out the possibility of joining the PTI rally in Islamabad on October 30, saying that JI already announced its own anti-corruption public meeting in Lahore on the same date.