LAHORE - In a shocking move the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) staged a demonstration yesterday against the Orange Line Metro Train project without engaging other opposition parties despite the fact the opposition had decided a joint protest on Tuesday.

After the last Friday sitting of the Punjab Assembly, parties in opposition had decided to stage a joint protest against the Orange Line on February 2, but the PPP held a protest demonstration at Jain Mandar (Old Anarkali) against the Orange Line.

The unpredictable protest was held despite the fact that PPP leadership, in two meetings with other opposition, had decided to launch a joint protest.

PPP welcomed Punjab Assembly Opposition Leader Mian Mehmood-ur-Rasheed with slogans “Go Imran Go” when he reached the protest venue.

Some PTI leaders termed the PPP move as sabotaging to the joint opposition efforts relating to Orange Line project which would bulldoze the rights of many belonging to the metropolitan.

Imran Khan’s followers in the provincial assembly termed the move as a secret understanding between the PPP and PML-N. The protest, they believe aimed to blow the steam out of the joint opposition protest against the Orange Line planned for Feb 2.

Later talking to media, Mr Rasheed said: “All the opposition parties had decided to launch a joint protest against the Orange Line. I am speechless about the treatment meted out to me by the PPP activists.”

However, the Opp leader when reached by The Nation said: “Senior PPP leaders Aitzaz Ahsan, Mian Manzoor Wattoo and Samina Kahlid Ghurki called me and apologised for what happened at Jain Mandar protest.”

“The party is determining why they made such mistake or the local party leadership failed to convey to the city cadres about a joint move of the opposition on the issue,” added Rasheed while giving more details about Sunday’s episode.

“The PPP leaders participated in the first meeting at Opposition Chambers to ponder upon the joint move on Orange Line protest. They had also participated in another meeting at chairman secretariat the other day to finalise the details of February 2 protest.”

On the other hand, senior PTI leaders said they presume the PPP was in some kind of secret understanding with the PML-N regarding federal government’s role relating to Rangers operation in Sindh. “Now with the arrival of Lyari gang lord Uzair Baloch to the scene, the PPP fears a fresh blow at anytime in Sindh. It seems the PPP is following the policy, ‘You scratch my back and I scratch yours’,” said the PPP leaders, conditioning anonymity.