Participants at Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT)’s sit-in seem unaware of what kind of revolution the party leadership wished to bring and how, given this is the second such an attempt by Dr Tahirul Qadri in consecutive years.
The Express Tribune received mixed responses to a survey it conducted regarding the impact of the sit-in on routine life in the federal capital.
Muhammad Ahmed and Muhammad Bilal, students of B.S Mathematics, from Government College University Faisalabad said that they came here to bring change in the country. “Dr Qadri wants to bring a “green revolution”, which will be a peaceful and without any bloodshed,” they said.
The Pakistan-Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came into power through rigging, the protesters claimed.
Muhammad Adnan and Talha Ashraf, first year students in a Faisalabad college expressed almost similar views. They said that Dr Qadri had given a 10-point agenda to bring change in the country and it would be an Islamic revolution.
Ejaz Shah, a businessman and Fareed Hassan a private school teacher both hailing from Muzaffargarh District said that it would be a democratic revolution and would come through elections.
They stressed bringing reform in the election commission.
They said that Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan were billionaires and were disconnected with the plight of the poor of the country.
When asked about the luxury bullet proof jeep being used by Qadri, they said that this was a gift from one of Qadri’s followers and maintained that Qadri could earn Rs40 to Rs50 million per month in the form of books royalties, which he had devoted for Minhajul Quran Trust.
Qadri seems to be impressed by the ideas of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity of the French Revolution.
The PAT chief’s speeches at the sit-ins show his understanding of the various socialist and nationalist revolutions that took place in the Europe as well as in Asia during the past three centuries. The ideas seemed to have inspired Dr Qadri’s 10-point charter of demands.
The PAT chief has demanded provision of shelter for all homeless people, interest-free loans for middle-income groups for a period of 25 years, payment of allowance for the jobless, provision of essential items at half the price to people belonging to low-income group etc.
Abid Hassan Minto, President of Awami Workers Party (AWP), a left-wing party, while commenting on the 10-point agenda of Dr Qadri said the PAT chief just gives political slogans to attract poor segment of the society, but he did not give any programme for land reforms or equal sharing of wealth.
Minto, who is also a constitutional expert, said that Dr Qadri had failed to present any programme regarding distribution of land among farmers.
He maintained that currently two economic systems were prevailing in the country — feudal and capitalist — which were being run by international financial institutions.
Around 60 per cent of the population of the country lives in villages and they are peasants and small growers.
Qadri neither presented a mechanism or economic system under which he plans to distribute loans among the poor, nor did he speak about land reforms or about termination of the feudal system, Minto criticised.
AWP Secretary Education and Culture Akhtar Hussain Advocate termed Qadri’s “Inqilabi agenda” a jugglery of words and said that did not speak about alternative to the World Bank and under which economic system he was intending to bring the “Inqilab”.
Hussain said that Qadri also failed to speak about the privatisation programme being carried out by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 22nd, 2014.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ