Business Recorder: PAT to contest all elections: Qadri

Chairman Pakistan Awami Tehreek Allama Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that PAT will not leave the field open for opponents and put up its candidates on all the national and provincial assemblies' seats and also participate in the local bodies' elections whenever these were held.

Addressing a mammoth public meeting at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday night, Qadri said that PAT would continue to demand and struggle for the formation of national government for holding fair and credible accountability, electoral reforms and holding free and fair general elections in the country. "But if the elections were forced on us without reforms and accountability, then we will not leave the field open but contest on all seats in consultation with our present and future allies," he declared.

Dr Qadri unveiled his economic and social agenda for making Pakistan a strong, prosperous and modern Islamic welfare state. He said that strategically Pakistan is located at a unique place that is gateway for the four biggest economies of the world. "We can exploit our geographical position by improving transit infrastructure, promote religious and scenic tourism and using our agricultural, industrial and human resource potential," he added. Dr Qadri said that if elected to power, PAT would make every Division of the country a province to devolve power to gross root level so that problems of the people could be solved at their door steps. The provinces would be responsible for generation of electricity as Pakistan has tremendous potential to produce thousands of megawatt cheep electricity.

The PAT chief severely criticised PML-N and PPP governments for not doing enough for ameliorating the lot of the poor and marginalized people of the country and "transferring the national resources abroad in the foreign banks for personal use."

He said that PML-N and PPP or the present Parliament cannot solve the problems of the nation. "They have corrupted all the institutions of the country. This country cannot survive if the present rulers remain in power. Law and order has completely broken down, even a venerated person like Edhi is not safe in this country," he added.

He alleged that Nawaz government was determined to gage the media. He said that despite directions of the Supreme Court and High Court the Federal government had not appointed permanent chairman of the Pemra. He warned against any attempt to gag the independent press and TV channels.

Dr Tahirul Qadri said that only retribution (Qisas) would settle the issue of Model Town incident martyrs.

Thanking the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q), Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC) and Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) leaders, Tahirul Qadri said that a historic sit-in was staged in Islamabad that continued for 65 days.

Showing a newspaper's clip during his speech, Qadri said that Pakistan government imported thousands of tear-gas shells for dealing with PAT's revolution march and sit-in.

"Pakistan will have to eradicate the menace of terrorism from its soil in order to provide the international community with a stable environment for investment. The security situation of the country will be improved after the revolution," he added.

Announcing his 10-point agenda for the poor, PAT chief said that people would be given all the basic necessities of life at low cost. He said that households having less than Rs 15000 as monthly incomes will be given subsidy on basic necessities and will have exemption from all taxes. Free land will be provided to the farmers for cultivation. Women will be given economic security by providing them with jobs. Disparity among the salaries of government employees will be minimised. Poor will have free education and health treatment, he added.