PTI’s Raiwind march a solo affair

 LAHORE -  No opposition party of the mainstream will join Imran Khan’s Ehtesab March container at Raiwind on September 30 and it seems to be a solo flight.

Imran’s party has not extended a formal invitation to any opposition party, including Jamaat-e-Islami which is its coalition partner in KP.

Khan who had been desirous of launching a solo flight since the day he announced Raiwind March neither made any serious effort to contact likeminded parties of the opposition’s mainstream to join his container nor did he make any informal effort to invite them.

The Raiwind march without even symbolic support of the mainstream opposition parties carries serious political repercussions for the PTI which has already facing the issue of declining popular support.

The show which the PTI will stage on September 30 five kilometres from Jati Umra residence of the ruling family will prove a barometer for the political future of Imran Khan’s party which is out to pose a real threat to the PML-N in its claimed citadel.

PPP Secretary General Latif Khosa, when contacted to know about his party’s participation in the Raiwind show, said, “How can we own a programme for which we have not been consulted? It is PTI’s plan, so let Imran Khan and his team take care of the matter.”

“PPP has also not been formally invited to the Raiwind show. Imran Khan is seen inviting everybody through press conferences, which is against the norms of democracy. We are a mainstream party and cannot jump into the bandwagon without proper consultation and invitation,” he added.

“Imran, being the head of a mainstream political party, should learn some good manners to extend invitation to the likeminded parties,” Khosa advised the PTI chairman, adding, “We wish Khan well in his Raiwind campaign.”

Jamaat-e-Islami Naib Amir Fareed Paracha, when contacted, said, “JI will be busy in Faisalabad on September 30 to pursue his accountability drive which was started before the launch of PTI’s Ehtesaab March. We won’t be able to take part in the Raiwind rally of the PTI.”

“We have not been extended a formal invitation to the rally,” replied Paracha when asked about an invitation from Khan’s party.

ML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain said his party would take decision today (Wednesday) about its participation in the PTI Raiwind rally. Imran Khan had made a direct contact with Shujaat Hussain in Islamabad before his arrival in the provincial capital.

A senior party leader of PML-Q said the chances of his party’s participation in the Raiwind march were thin, the party chief would, however, make a final announcement.

PAT senior leader Basharat Jaspal, giving his party position, said, “Our activists are in a condition of anger over the killings of their colleagues and no justice so far. Followers of Dr Tahirul Qadri could make an effort to take on Jati Umra palace of the ruling family. That’s why the party leadership has decided to stay away from the Raiwind march.”

Awami Muslim League chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed will be the only opposition leader who will board Imran Khan’s container at Raiwind.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan, talking to a group of reporters covering his party, expressed strong possibilities of an extensive agitation if the ruling family failed to respond to their demands of accountability following the Panama leaks.

“I will announce my party’s next line of action at Raiwind on September 30 if our demands of accountability are not accepted. The next move is likely to be a widespread agitation campaign. The Ehtesab March is a peaceful protest to mobilise the masses to become part of the accountability drive while the next move can be intensive, which may ignite unrest,” warned Imran Khan who gauged the situation on ground about the possible results of his political actions.

“PTI has no differences with Dr Qadri’s party. I will invite PAT again to join the Raiwind march,” said Khan, while replying to a question regarding his non-political remarks about Dr Qadri in a media chat on his arrival in Lahore on Monday.

“All the opposition parties are with us in the parliament to pursue the Panama leaks. However, it will not be a matter for my party if they don’t join us at Raiwind because of their own plans, but they all support us and wish us well for the Raiwind march,” said the PTI chairman, responding to a query about the opposition parties’ participation in the September 30 show.

Despite a thin participation in September 3 Lahore show of accountability drive, Khan insisted his Raiwind march would attract a large number of participants, but avoided giving a figure of possible participatints.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt