PAT will not take part in Elections 2018: Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri's press conference
Addressing a crowded press conference in the central secretariat in Model Town, PAT Chairman Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that we will not become part of the electoral system that safeguards the corrupt elements who have declared a war on the state. He said that the PAT will neither take part in elections nor award tickets to any candidate, stating that those candidates who submitted nomination papers with the Election Commission will take them back. He asked if the winning horses are required, what then the need of staging sit-ins was. He said that the current system belongs to the winning horses, not the people. He said that he could see disappointment increasing along with evil post-election. He said that thieves, robbers, looters and criminal elements will be elected to the assemblies in different hues and colours. He said that the present system is not accepting the educated people from the middle class. He stated categorically that we will not budge an inch from our position and ideology. He said that while corruption is galloping at the speed of an aircraft, accountability process is moving on at a snail’s pace.
Neither electoral reforms were made nor any seriousness was shown in the accountability process. We cannot be part of such an election which does not have anything good for the people. Similar faces are seen in assembly time and again. God knows how long it will go.— Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri (@TahirulQadri) June 23, 2018
PAT Secretary General Khurram Nawaz Gandapur, Noorullah Siddiqi, Sardar Shakir Mazari, Nishat Ahmad Bajwa, Mian Rehan Maqbool, Raja Zahid and others were present on the occasion.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that many notices were taken but no decision has been handed down as yet. He said that the Asghar Khan case, public money lying in Swiss courts, foreign bank accounts and properties and the loans waved off on political grounds came up on the radar but no outcome has come. He said that the Chief Justice of Pakistan, while taking notice of the delay in administration of justice to the martyrs of Model Town two and half months ago, had passed the instructions that the appeals pending before the LHC should be decided in 15 days, stating that we are not even getting the date of hearing now.
Dr Qadri said that the Election Reforms Committee also played fraud with the people of Pakistan. He said that both religious and non- religious political parties were part of the committee and all of them joined hands to delete the columns regarding qualifications under Articles 62&63 in addition to changing the text about the belief in the finality of the prophethood. He said that discussions centred on other topics in the meetings of the committee held in closed doors whereas a different kind of reporting was done on TV. He said unequivocally that we will never become part of this rigged system marked by corruption and malpractices. He said that the PAT stands for reforms and change in the system.
The PAT Chairman said that he is the voice of the millions of the people and vowed to keep fulfilling this responsibility till the last breath of his life. He said that he talked about saving the state, not politics in December 2012, led a long march to press for reforms ahead of 2013 elections and educated the people about Articles 62&63. He said that there was a great surge of political awareness afterwards. He said that though a lot of noise was made about accountability over the last one year, no decision has been announced as yet and the process even seems to lack seriousness. He said that the conclusive arguments have been made in some of the corruption cases but the verdicts have not been given. He said that his party’s position remains unwavering: reforms to be followed by accountability and then elections.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that more than 21000 candidates submitted their nomination papers for 1000 positions of National and Provincial Assemblies. He said that as per the reports of NADRA, FBR, State Bank and FIA, there are serious charges of corruption, rape, money laundering, illegal practices and even murders against 2700 people whose nomination papers were accepted. He said that the police officers who gave ‘clean-chit’ to the Sharif brothers, the masterminds of Model Town tragedy, have been appointed in Lahore. He said that he is giving detailed guidelines to the workers, stating that we fully believe in democracy but the one which protects and serves the interests of the masses, not of the corrupt lot. He said that the current version of democracy protects the looters and plunderers.
The PAT leader said that the present system of elections lacks public approval. 47% voters stayed away from the electoral process in 1985 and 188 and during elections of 1990 and 1993, 60% of the citizens did not use their right to vote. Likewise, 68%, 59%, 60% and 48% people did not vote in elections of 1997, 2002, 2008 and 2013 respectively. He said that the so-called electoral system has failed the people and is undermining the state. He said that he has been struggling for last 38 years for the educated middle class people to go to the assemblies, vowing that the democratic struggle will continue unabated. He said that the PAT is the only real opposition of this oppressive system.