LAHORE – Pakistan Awami Tehreek has begun sit-in at The Mall on the second anniversary of Model Town incident in which 14 PAT workers were killed in a clash with police.

The PAT sit-in started after evening prayer and likely to continue till early morning.

While Police has made strict security measures to foil any untoward incident, the PAT has its own security arrangements of around 2,000. 

According to independent estimates, around 15,000 to 18,000 followers of Dr Qadri including women and children attended the event till filing of the report. People were still arriving from different cities to hear their leader (PAT chief Dr Qadri) speech, who is due to make some important announcements during the sit-in.

Delegations led by central leaders of opposition parties including PTI, PPP, Jamaat-e-Islami, PML-Q and others attended the protest.

A large number of female party workers and youth at the sit-in were raising slogans in favor of their leader. They were weaving party flags to show their zeal and fervor for the party.

“We are ready to sacrifice our lives to bring revolution in the country. We want justice for Model Town victims and obey our leader’s (Dr Qadri) orders for next strategy,” said a charged female worker. PAT leaders and workers were actively posting all updates about sit-in on Facebook and Twitter where a hashtag (#ModelTownMartyrsDay) has already started.

Protests also continued in Karachi Numaish Churangi and reportedly in some other cities in line with Lahore’s protest.

In his latest video message, Qadri said that the duration of the party’s sit-in would depend upon the government’s attitude. He said he received reports of police torture on PAT workers in some cities and this violence could compel us to prolong the sit-in. He asked his party workers to ensure discipline during the sit –in.

Dr Qadri left his residence in Model Town at 9.30 pm to reach at the sit-in venue and likely to address his party workers after mid night.

A party insider told The Nation: “Dr Sahib will demand making public the Judicial Inquiry Report on Model Town incident and he will ask the Punjab government to give the copies of two Joint Investigation Teams’ reports to the PAT.

The party leader said: “He (Qadri) will give a deadline to the government for providing justice to the victims and announce countrywide protest if the rulers refuse to budge.

He will demand trial by a military court.

PAT spokesperson said 15,000 chairs were placed for women and elders and mats were laid in the centre of the road for young workers.“ Big TV screens and loud speakers for the participants were installed for the participants who arrived to listen their leader’s speech,” he added.