Tahirul Qadri to land in Pakistan on June 3 to prepare for elections


LAHORE: Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) leader Tahirul Qadri is scheduled to return to Pakistan on June 3 in order to overview PAT’s preparations for the upcoming general elections and develop alliances with Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), a local media outlet reported on Tuesday.

PAT leaders are currently in negotiations with PPP and PML-Q to explore the possibility of participating in the elections under a joint symbol, at least in Punjab.

“The PPP can contest on whatever symbol it wants in Sindh or any other province, but PAT is asking it to field joint candidates on a joint symbol and the PPP is listening. Similarly, the PML-Q is striving hard to gather all splinter factions of Muslim Leagues and some other religious groups, it was also talking to PAT for an umbrella alliance, covering all its sub-alliances. The talks are inching towards consensus and that is why the PAT chief is arriving,” said PAT spokesman Noorullah Siddiqui in response to a question over why the PPP and PML-Q would change their symbols when they have already obtained their desired symbols.

The spokesman said that an alliance with PTI is unrealistic because it has grown too large for an alliance or to make seat adjustments.

“The PAT had two major demands: making the Justice Baqar Najfi report public and justice for Model Town massacre. The report has been made public and the court is hearing the case on a daily basis now after a suo motu. The party thus has no issue to agitate at its previous level,” he said.

“If alliance with other parties matures and contest becomes a single symbol affair, Tahirul Qadri would become part of the election campaign and stay till elections. If it is only seat adjustments and all parties contest on their individual symbols, the PAT chief might decide to leave early. The PAT is going to put up its own candidates on selective seats (and their details cannot be diverged at this stage) and cooperate with others on the rest of the seats,” he said in response to how long Tahirul Qadri would stay in the country.