Qadri says he wants to go beyond early elections

LAHORE: Though Imran Khan of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and Dr Tahirul Qadri of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) have the same immediate goal — to send the PML-N government packing — their final objectives are quite different.

The PTI has called for mid-term polls under a transparent system. Dr Qadri, on the other hand, says he doesn’t favour mid-term elections and wants to go even further.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, the PAT chief said: “Our objective is revolution. Our revolution is not for mid-term elections. Our revolution is for roti, kapra and makan (bread, clothes and shelter) for people.”

PAT chief meets Chaudhrys, talks to Asif Zardari

Dr Qadri met Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Pervez Elahi of PML-Q, Sunni Ittehad Council chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza and Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen president Allama Raja Nasir Abbas at the Gulberg residence of the Chaudhrys and discussed with them the upcoming “revolution march” and the “martyrs day”.

A source who attended the meeting told Dawn: “Though Dr Qadri is not in agreement with Mr Khan on the issue of early polls their objective is the same, to get rid of the Nawaz Sharif government.

“Once this goal is achieved, the rest will fall in place with the passage of time.”

Dr Qadri told the meeting that he would lead the long march, whatever the cost. He also announced that his group would pay tribute to the martyrs of Zarb-i-Azb and Model Town on Aug 10.

“The sacrifices of the army will not go to waste. Let me tell the rulers that ‘martyrs day’ will be observed peacefully,” he said.

He warned the authorities against stopping or harassing his activists and supporters.

The government, he said, would be responsible for any law and order problems erupting afterwards.

The Punjab government, even after the passage of two months, was reluctant to let an FIR be registered in the case of the innocent people killed in the Model Town tragedy, he said.

“Nobody will be hanged merely on registration of an FIR. The champions of democracy should tell me whether this is democracy.”

He said the PML-N leaders had been trying for the last one month to meet him but he had declined to meet them.

“By the end of August, neither will Nawaz be the country’s premier nor Shahbaz the Punjab chief minister.”

On the occasion, Chaudhry Shujaat said: “Freedom comes only after a revolution. The outcome of the revolution will be for the betterment of the people. Pakistan was created through a revolution.”

Meanwhile, former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari discussed the political situation with Dr Qadri by phone.

He reportedly condemned the government’s move of registering an FIR against the PAT chief.


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