After being inactive for seven years, Dr Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has re-entered the political scene, announcing that it will actively participate in the upcoming February 2024 general elections.
“We shall take full part in the upcoming elections from our own platform and on our electoral symbol,” PAT’s central president Qazi Zahid Hussain told a press conference on Friday.
Qazi Zahid Hussain, accompanied by party officials including information secretary Nurella Siddiqui, and Raja Zahid, said that PAT candidates will champion the cause of comprehensive reforms in the system, initiating mass-contact campaigns and electioneering immediately.
Notably, PAT abstained from the 2013 polls but actively participated in the 2015-16 local body elections.
Hussain clarified that Dr Qadri had endorsed the decision following a two-day consultation by the PAT central executive council. Responding to queries, Siddiqui confirmed that Dr Qadri would not partake in the electioneering process for PAT nominees.
Highlighting the party’s stance on candidate commitments, Siddiqui stated that once a candidate submits nominations from the PAT platform, withdrawing in favor of another party’s nominee would result in expulsion from the party.
Additionally, Siddiqui ruled out the possibility of electoral alliances, noting that decisions regarding post-poll cooperation would be made at a later stage.
Despite being former partners in protest, a party insider revealed to Dawn that any political cooperation with Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was unlikely.
The insider cited the PTI’s alleged failure to deliver justice to PAT in the 2014 Model Town tragedy, where 14 party activists lost their lives in a police raid, during the PTI’s approximately four-year rule.