Imran moves to join Qadri’s anti-ECP front
LAHORE: Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf and Pakistan Awami Tehrik of Dr Tahirul Qadri have joined hands and called for a powerful Election Commission and an impartial caretaker government to ensure free and fair general elections.
Dr Tahirul Qadri plans to file a petition in the Supreme Court on Thursday (today) to seek reconstitution of the ECP on the grounds that its foundation was void ab initio.
At a meeting here on Wednesday, a delegation of PTI and Dr Qadri also agreed to oppose any move to get the elections postponed and said the country’s future was linked to the continuation of democratic process.
The PTI delegation — headed by its Vice-Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and senior leader Javed Hashmi — met Dr Qadri at his Minhajul Quran secretariat.
Taking to reporters, Dr Qadri denied that formation of an electoral alliance between the two parties had been discussed. He said their first meeting had exchanged views on their future political strategy, apprehensions about a clash between national
institutions and political and economic challenges confronting the country.
He said they had agreed that the political system in the country was decaying and the government had failed to work in accordance with the Constitution in its letter and spirit. People have been deprived of justice.
“In the current situation, it is not possible to hold free and fair elections,” Dr Qadri said.
He said PAT would continue to hold meetings with PTI because they shared common objective of ending the status quo, eliminating corruption and upholding supremacy of the Constitution and democratic norms.
Answering a question about the political strategy of PTI, Javed Hashmi said the party had started a process of bringing together all ‘pro-change’ forces. He also said Dr Qadri had rejected a perception that he wanted to get the elections delayed. When asked if PTI would join Dr Qadri’s ‘March of revolution,’ he said it had not been discussed at the meeting. Dr Qadri has announced to hold the march in six cities, beginning from Gujranwala, from Feb 15 to March 10.
Shah Mohammad Qureshi said PTI would not indulge in any extra-constitutional practice and it stood for free, fair and timely elections.
“Neither PTI nor PAT wants to derail democracy. Army and judiciary also want continuation of democracy.”
He said the outcome of the meeting would be discussed in PTI forums and collaboration with ‘pro-change’ forces would continue.
PTI secretary-general Dr Arif Alvi, senior vice-president Ijaz Chaudhry and leader Firdous Shamim Naqvi also attended the meeting.