ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) on Sunday began their formal protest against the government across the country, demanding Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani resign from his office after being convicted by the Supreme Court.
The PML-N staged protest rallies in Gujranwala and Karachi, demanding an immediate resignation of Gilani.
However, internal scuffles, mismanagement and lack of zeal turned the rallies chaotic.
The PML-N’s rally at the Karachi Press Club was marred by mismanagement, forcing media to boycott the rally after being manhandled by unruly workers.
In Gujranwala, the PML-N had already announced the launch of its protest movement against Gilani’s refusal to step down after his conviction by the Supreme Court in the contempt case.
The organizers had made arrangements for around 8,000 to 10,000 people, but protestors turned frenzied as they burnt effigies.
Members of the PML-N youth wing also scuffled with the rally organisers when they tried to get on the stage.
Addressing the Gujranwala rally, PML-N leader Khwaja Saad Rafique said the convicted prime minister should resign, else the entire Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) government would have to face public justice.
The PML-N workers and parliamentarians staged a huge protest at Rail Bazaar and rallied across Gujranwala.
Saad said Gilani was a convict and had no moral ground to govern the country.
He said that before the “long march”, the PM would have to do a “quick march” towards the pavilion.
“We are pro-democracy and have given them time to mend their selves, but instead of doing something for the betterment of the masses they have exploited the whole nation. Now the Supreme Court has declared him (Gilani) a convict and he should resign otherwise a long march will decide his fate and people will elect honest people to rule the land of pure,” Saad said.
He said the so-called prime minister was involved in various corruption scandals and had played with the future of the people through nepotism.
Zaeem Qadri said the prime minister had put the country on the track of destruction.
He said the PM had looted the public exchequer and the common man was even worse than before.
Imran: Meanwhile in Islamabad, PTI Chairman Imran Khan called upon PML-N President Nawaz Sharif to resign from the assemblies if his party was serious about “disastrous policies” of the government.
“Mian Sahab prove you are a real tiger by coming out of the assemblies,” Imran demanded while addressing a rally staged outside Parliament House to express solidarity with the judiciary. Imran called Nawaz a “paper tiger” and challenged him to hold public meetings in Quetta and Karachi, where the PTI had organized massive gatherings.
“If Mian Sahab holds public meetings in Quetta and Karachi, he would be the leader of entire Pakistan, otherwise he would be the leader of Punjab only,” he said.
The PTI chief also took to task President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani and slammed the resolution passed in favour of the latter by parliament a few days ago.
“I don’t accept this resolution and it has no worth. If the parliamentary resolutions had any worth, the drone strikes against Pakistan would have been stopped,” Imran said.
He said Gilani should be ashamed of getting such resolutions passed from parliament against the judgment of the Supreme Court.
Imran held President Asif Zardari responsible for the predator strikes on Pakistani territory by the US.
He asked Gilani why was he not writing to the Swiss authorities, saying the PM had been in fact protecting a thief and dacoit of national exchequer by defying court orders.
Imran also announced to approach all parties included in the former All Pakistan Democratic Movement (APDM) that boycotted the 2008 general election to take them on board against the designs of the rulers.
He also announced to hold a massive public gathering in Liaqat Bagh Rawalpindi later this month and declared that PTI would bring the youth across the country to Islamabad if the rulers remained bent upon their anti-judiciary plans.