LAHORE: The protest rally, led by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), has concluded peacefully here at Mall Road on Wednesday after a round of heated speeches by various political leaders.
The rally brought a number of opposition parties together including two big forces – Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) – at one stage.
However, co-chairperson PPP Asif Ali Zardari and chairman PTI Imran Khan addressed the rally in separate sessions and they did not face each other.
Chairman PAT Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri, who addressed the people twice, said that the opposition parties gathered at the protest rally just to end the rule of the ‘Sharifia Empire’ and they did not want to over-rule the Constitution.
He demanded resignations from chief minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif and provincial minister for law Rana Sanaullah over the tragedy of Model Town.
Other speakers included Syed Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Chaudhry Aitezaz Ahsan of PPP, Chaudhry Pervez Ilahi of PML-Q, Syed Mustafa Kamal of Paksarzameen Party (PSP) and Sheikh Rasheed of Awami Muslim League.
Imran Khan said that both the Sharif Brothers were responsible for the Model Town tragedy.
He said that there is no place in the world where police shoot at citizens but here in Punjab, police kills innocent people. He said eleven children were killed in Kasur.
Imran announced to support Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, chairman of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) for his campaign to seek justice for the victims of the Model Town tragedy.
Asif Zardari said that there is no danger for Pakistan but it is threatened only from Jati Umra and we have to topple its government.
Khursheed Shah said that the opposition parties gathered here just for seeking justice.
Shaikh Rasheed, addressing on the occasion, announced to resign from the membership of the National Assembly.
The protests were announced by the PAT seeking to remove PML-N government when it failed to provide justice to the Model Town victims.
Earlier today, the Lahore High Court (LHC) allowed PAT to hold protest rally with a condition to wrap it up by 12 midnight. The media was also directed to not cover the rally after midnight.
A full bench, led by Justice Amin-ud-Din Khan, issued the order on a petition moved by Naeem Mir, a local trader. Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Justice Shahid Karim Khan were the other members of the bench.
When the hearing resumed today, the Advocate General Punjab informed the court about the steps taken by the authorities to stop the protest rally.
The AG said that the protest organizers have already been informed of the court rulings and relevant laws in this regard.
Advocate Asad Manzoor Butt, the counsel of the petitioner, argued that the planned protest on The Mall was an open violation of law and tantamount to destroying businesses besides other challenges for citizens.
The counsel argued that the protest was unconstitutional as all the opposition parties had come out against an elected government. He said the protests caused loss of millions of rupees.
Advocate AK Dogar had adopted the similar contention. Both the petitioners asked the court to order the government authorities to stop the protest.
Latif Khosa, counsel for the protesters said that it is their right to launch protests against injustices and the parties have not decided on the future course of action.
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