Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on Monday (tomorrow) with a view to ushering in a ‘revolution’ in the country. The Canadian-based cleric is optimistic that he has garnered considerable support for his movement after the Lahore tragedy. However, an anecdotal survey revealed that support is limited to the extent of condemning the Lahore incident and does not extend to participating in the “revolution”.
No major political party including Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) have shown any intent to become part of the anti-government movement envisaged by Qadri. However, all these parties have condemned the brutal killings of Qadri’s supporters by the Punjab police. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) of Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain with two seats in the national assembly (though its representation in the Senate is much higher reflecting the electoral results of 2008) and the one man Awami Muslim League (AML) of Sheikh Rashid have announced their support to Qadri’s programme.
Qadri’s Islamabad dharna during the tenure of the PPP led coalition government at D chowk Islamabad on a similar agenda failed to topple the then government though barring PML-N all other parliamentary parties sent representatives to negotiate with him. The agreement was never implemented and was seen by many as a face-saving gesture for Qadri – which many argue reflected support by the establishment – while others maintained that the government sent a team to meet him in his weather proof container because of growing concerns at the women and children located on Jinnah Avenue for days in a bitterly cold weather.
Analysts are sceptical of the cleric’s timing this time around as Ramazan is only a week away and if he insists that his followers camp out in the 45 plus degree heat he may once again place the vulnerable amongst his followers at a serious health risk. Qadri has written a letter to Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and DG ISI General Zahir-ul-Islam making it clear that he would hold the Sharif brothers and his cabinet members responsible if something happened to him and his family, as he is facing life threats.
Qadri left Canada on Saturday and is scheduled to arrive in Islamabad on Monday at 7:30 in the morning. Under an agreed 10-point agenda with PML-Q last month in London, he has vowed to launch a ‘peaceful revolution’ which includes the removal of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
Source: Business Recorder