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Qadri back at the barricades.

Third protest movement to kick off on January 17 The excitable Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief is again at the selfsame spot he so hugely relishes when resident in Pakistan, the limelight, amidst much fiery rhetoric of street agitation. His two earlier attempts could achieve nothing, the first spluttering out amid rumours of a tradeoff, the second(the famousdharnaof August 2014 with Imran Khan) cut short by the numbing Army Public School, Peshawar terrorist attack.

Now he is back in business, big business, as the All Parties Conference held last December gained him the support of multiple political parties, including PTI and PPP on getting justice for the killings of more than a dozen PAT activists in cold blood. The agenda too has been enlarged, with the call for Punjab chief minister and law minister's resignation falling on deaf ears, and replaced by the ambitious goal of toppling the federal government through nation-wide protests.

400The Steering and Action Committees constituted to draft 'war plans' and direct the coming campaign, undoubtedly comprise an impressive cast of characters, including Latif Khosa, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Shafqat Mahmood, Jahangir Tareen, Kamil Ali Agha, Jamshed Dasti, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur and surprise, surprise, Sheikh Rashid. With such a formidable force boosting him, will the maverick PAT chief be third time lucky in getting justice?Despite the present bonhomie, it is a moot point how far his mainstream party allies will go along in the unpredictable venture, which can also unravel their provincial governments in KP and Sindh.

400That innocent people were killed in cold blood cannot be wished away, nor is resignation so sinful that the Punjab law minister who reportedly sticks out in the Justice Baqar Najafi report (and is currently also in Pir Sialvi's crosshairs for a different reason) could not tender it and prevent the rising storm. The border situation is also hazardous, and more internal instability, apart from themujhe keuoon nikalaoutcries, will only invite the opportunistic attention of foreign foes.

This brewing situation has 'handle with care' written all over it and needs to be urgently forestalled, 'sorted out' being the correct expression.

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Publication:Pakistan Today (Lahore, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 10, 2018
Words:394
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