LAHORE- Some interesting developments have begun to take place as the day of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf showdown in capital Islamabad draws near.

The old-ally, Pakistan Awami Tehrik of Dr Tahirul Qadri, has announced joining the November 2 sit-in while the mistrusted ally, Pakistan People’s Party, has also begun to send signals it too could join the anti-government protest eventually.

A rather ominous development however came from within the capital, where the Shuhada Foundation of Lal Masjid cleric Maulana Aziz said it could extend support to PTI for Islamabad lockdown as “the government has crossed its limits in its enmity with Islam and the country”.

If all these forces somehow come together eventually, it would be a rather strange and uneasy assortment. Whereas the PPP is secular in character, the PAT is basically a religious party with a moderate orientation, while Shuhda Foundation of Pakistan is exclusively a religious pressure group having an extremist outlook and character.

In a dramatic move, PAT chief yesterday announced his party would participate in PTI’s protest.

“I have conveyed Khurram Nawaz Gandapur (PAT secretary general) about the decision (of joining PTI protest),” Qadri announced. “I cannot confirm my participation in protest at this moment but it will be clear within a couple of days,” he added.

PAT chief was talking to a Pakistani TV channel from Amman (capital of Jordon), where he has gone to attend the International Sirah Conference along with other scholars from across the Muslim world.

Political analysts are terming it a breakthrough for the PTI which had been left alone in its efforts to bring the PM to account on Panama Papers issue.

Qadri had declared Imran his ‘political cousin’ when both parties held Islamabad sit-in (during August to Dec 2014) but then things went bad between them. Both the leaders never came close to each other until the PAT started Tehreek Qisas (blood for blood movement) in August 2016 to seek justice in Model Town incident and PTI, at the same time, started movement against PM Nawaz Sharif on Panama leaks issue.

Both parties workers had attended each others’ protests but later PAT refused to attend PTI’s Raiwind March of September 30 for unknown reasons.

The breach of trust between the two parties was being seen going heavily in favour of the government when suddenly now PAT again announced joining hands with PTI yesterday.

Qadri in his TV talk said PAT and PTI had the common agenda against corruption and on Model Town incident.

“Khan Sahib phoned me, invited our party in the protest and said sorry twice on his earlier words. I welcomed him and assure our participation,” Qadri said.

He said he would never make compromise with the rulers on Model Town killings and “corruption” of Sharifs.

PAT spokesperson said a PTI delegation was visiting PAT head office today to discuss strategy for the protest. He said PAT workers would fully participate in Islamabad lockdown.

PPP leader Senator Aitzaz Ahsan yesterday warned his party would join hands with Imran Khan for Nov 2 protest if the government reacted irresponsibly.

“If the political workers are subjected to state violence on November 2, the PPP will be forced to review its existing policy,” he told the media outside Lahore High Court.

He also said the PPP considers Imran to be on ‘rightful stance’ and reiterated that accountability should begin from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family.

The prime minister has been running away from accountability and no national institution took even a single step for accountability on Panama leaks, he said.

“Had the same allegation been levelled against any other party, the government would have taken action much earlier.”

A protest is a democratic right of all parties, Aitzaz said, adding that some ministers have been misleading the government. “Nawaz Sharif will have to present himself for accountability.”

On the other hand, Shuhada Foundation of Pakistan (Lal Masjid) said it was mulling to join PTI sit-in and their central Shoora would meet in a couple of days to take a final decision.

A statement issued by spokesman Hafiz Ehtasham Ahmed in Islamabad said the government was committing serious human rights violations across the country and tightening noose around the religious entities to please India and the US.

It said they believe the government has also become a threat to the national security and was conspiring against the national institutions.