Democratic process: Qadri calls for polling day boycott, sit-ins

Says places on the Punjab caretaker cabinet being sold for Rs70m each.

Our Correspondent March 20, 2013
A heinous conspiracy against Pakistan was hatched in 2010 which will end up destroying the country by 2015, says Tahirul Qadri. PHOTO: ONLINE/ FILE


Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri at a press conference on Tuesday urged party workers to stage sit-ins across the country on the polling day.

He said that the PAT will not take part in the next elections. “I have decided to carry on my movement against the corrupt electoral system,” said Qadri.

He said that negotiations regarding the caretaker set up were “the first round of rigging in the general elections.” A place on the caretaker provincial cabinet was being sold for Rs70 million, he said.

Such caretaker setups had only existed in four countries, Rwanda, Kosovo, Nepal and Poland, Qadri said. It was a flawed and corrupt system, he added.

None of the demands made at the Islamabad sit-in had been met, he said. “The nomination papers approved by the election commission allow tax defaulters and evaders, loan defaulters and corrupt people to contest elections,” said Qadri.

He said that the Supreme Court’s ruling of June 8, 2012, that allowed for an additional column of ‘vote for none’ on the ballot papers must be implemented in letter and spirit.

The PAT has decided to take practical steps and stage sit-ins to protest the corrupt electoral system, he said.

Qadri said that he did not want to disrupt the polling process so he had asked PAT workers to protest away from polling stations.

He said that the election commission had allowed corrupt elements to contest elections in a plot to split the country. “A heinous conspiracy against Pakistan was hatched in 2010 which will end up destroying the country by 2015,” Qadri said, without elaborating.

“Terrorism, radicalism and extremism will be rise, the next government will be incompetent,” he predicted. “The next government will further weaken the state institutions,” said Qadri.

He said that he would propose a vision for the country under which the prime minister would be elected directly by the people. The PAT would introduce a new system where there would be no room for corrupt politicians at all, he said.

Qadri vowed that his struggle would continue till the “corrupt system” was abolished.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 20th, 2013.


Fasi | 9 years ago | Reply

@Maria, lets focus on the message rather than the messenger. He makes some valid points and it does not really matter if he is a Canadian citizen, more than half of our parliament, civil service, judiciary has dual nationalities and they get to sit in their office. Lets just be honest to ourselves, most of the people in Pakistan would never refuse to a Canadian/British/American citizenship if they are offered. I am not TUQ supporter but my point is that dual nationality does not justify anything unless we pass the law where individuals have to renounce their nationality after taking oath as a citizen of another country, like India.

Maria | 9 years ago | Reply

I think Tahirul Qadri has already wasted enough time of Pakistanis. I am glad none of his demands have been met because he is no one to be black mailing the government and state of Pakistan. Let him try to blackmail the government of Canada while he was there collecting social assistance and pleading for asylum as a refugee. I am very upset that such a character can go on trying to disrupt the elections and system of Pakistan. He has already upset White Canadians when he said he needed to become a Canadian to use "free" health care which is paid by Canadian tax payers and because he needed visa free travel - not because he had any love for Canada or wanted to be part of Canadian society. How can such a person ever be honest to Pakistan when he has shown he is not honest to Canada?

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