Zardari stops PPP members from attending PAT event

LAHORE: PPP co-chairman and former president Asif Ali Zardari stopped on Tuesday members of his party from attending Pakistan Awami Tehreek’s ‘martyrs day’ gathering to be held in Lahore on Aug 10.

Earlier, PPP Secretary-General Sardar Latif Khosa had announced that the party’s members would attend the gathering to be organised by PAT to pay tribute to the victims of the Model Town incident.

Taking notice of Sardar Khosa’s statement, Mr Zardari declared that no member of his party would be attending the PAT event.

He also asked leaders of his party to exercise caution while issuing statements regarding Dr Tahirul Qadri’s “revolution march” and Imran Khan’s “Azadi march”.

“We don’t want to give the slightest impression that the PPP is supporting Dr Qadri,” the former president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar told Dawn.

“We condemn the Model Town incident and sympathise with families of the victims. But the PPP will not attend any PAT event because doing so may give the impression that we are supporting Dr Qadri,” Mr Babar remarked.

“This is our party’s policy statement on the issue,” he added.

Because he is active in efforts to “save democracy” and contacting various opposition leaders to find a way out of the ongoing political crisis, Mr Zardari does not want to give an impression that his party is supporting PAT or PTI at this critical juncture, according to sources in the PPP.

“Mr Zardari wants the PPP leaders to give a clear message that their party is with democratic forces and fully supports the PML-N and wants it to complete its tenure,” the sources added.

Published in Dawn, August 6th, 2014

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