LAHORE: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab President Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo has condemned what he called “brutal” action of the Punjab Police against innocent and non-violent workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) in Lahore on Tuesday.
Expressing his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families, the former chief minister said that the Punjab government’s action was an attempt to weaken the unity of the nation in support of military operation against terrorists in North Waziristan.
He said that almost entire political leadership was behind the decision of the government to take the terrorists head-on but that the abhorrent incident in Lahore had hurt that unity very badly. He pointed out that the action against unarmed workers of the PTI started at 11pm on Monday night and that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif took notice of the incident next morning only when people started falling. He recalled that PAT Chief Dr Tahirul Qadari staged a sit-in in front of the Parliament House last year but that the PPP never thought of resorting to use of force.
The situation returned to normalcy as a result of negotiations and no damage was done to democratic process, he added. He said that he did not recall any occasion when PAT workers had resorted to violence. Wattoo lauded the stance of PPP Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who was consistent in maintaining that terrorists had to be defeated on their turf and said that the operation ordered against terrorists in North Waziristan had vindicated Bilawal’s stance.