Preparations complete in Lahore for PAT sit-in

Preparations have been completed for Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) sit-in at Mall Road’s Istanbul Chowk on Wednesday, despite the Lahore High Court’s orders denying permission for Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri-led sit-in earlier this week.

The Lahore High Court and the city administration earlier this week barred PAT from making arrangements for a sit-in announced by party chief Tahir-ul Qadri. However, PAT maintained that whether it received permission or not, the rally would be held as per schedule.

PAT leader Noorullah Siddiqui said on Tuesday the sit-in would be held by those affected by the Model Town incident and that it would be a peaceful protest, not a rally.

Earlier today, Qadri’s container along with other equipment was transferred to Istanbul Chowk ahead of the scheduled sit-in.

The road leading from Museum to Istanbul Chowk has been closed to traffic. Heavy contingents of police as well as bomb disposal squad have been deployed at the site to prevent any untoward incident.

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rashid reached Lahore for the occasion, while PML-Q also lent its support to PAT for the sit-in.

In 2016, Qadri led a sit-in in Rawalpindi, demanding justice for families of Model Town victims. Qadri’s other sit-in and long march against the government was in 2013, where he accused the government of being corrupt and incompetent.

The Lahore High Court today heard the case against the sit-in again, filed by a leader of the traders union who said the sit-ins and rallies were hurting businesses and adversely impacting the basic rights of the public.

The court instructed the traders community, PAT and Advocate General to resolve the matter.


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