LAHORE - PTI top leadership has politely refused to an informal invitation of the parties rallying behind the PAT to become part of the welcome to Dr Tahirul Qadri on his return, The Nation has learnt.
Key leaders of the PTI told this correspondent on Sunday that leaders of political parties rallying behind Dr Tahirul Qadri and some followers of Dr Qadri had informally invited Imran Khan and other party leaders to extend physical support to them by becoming part of PAT leader’s welcome at Islamabad.
However, PTI high command has politely refused to oblige the invitation but the party would extend support to Dr Qadri over Minhaj workers killings even by protesting on the roads side-by-side the PAT and Minhaj workers.
They informed that decision concerning no participation in Dr Qadri’s welcome had been taken by the party’s top leadership during a recent meeting.
They added that PAT leaders extended an informal invitation to PTI chairman during his visit to Minhajul Quran Secretariat, while the political parties supporting Dr Qadri had made a separate similar request to the PTI leadership.
Key leaders of Imran’s tsunami informing about further details of the party meeting said that PTI had decided that it would not ally itself with Dr Qadri’s campaign of reform at any stage but it would focus on its anti-rigging drive and build the momentum of their party by converting it into a long march.
They informed that party leaders, during the meeting, were of the opinion that PTI being the second largest political party in Punjab don’t need the support of a party which desired change by unconstitutional means and didn’t believe in the established parliamentary system in the state.
They added that party leaders were of the view that political groups supporting Dr Qadri had no political significance in the electoral arena. PTI should not let the PAT and its supporting parties use shoulders of the PTI to achieve their political targets.
Ijaz Chaudhry, PTI Punjab president and core committee member, when contacted said, “We will not participate in PAT campaign starting with the arrival of Dr Tahirul Qadri at Islamabad, however, we morally and politically support all those forces desirous of reforms in the existing system but only through constitutional means.”
He said, “PTI is advancing its own drive to reform the system starting with anti-rigging campaign, which can be expanded to cover other issues.”
Ijaz said, “A great injustice was done with Dr Qadri’s followers and PTI will support them even by coming on roads seeking justice for them but it will not become part of their campaign.”
It may be mentioned here that PAT and PML-Q, while joining hands in London under a 10-point agenda of reforms, had invited Imran Khan to support them but PTI chairman following the advice of his party men, had stayed away from a meeting with PML-Q chief Chuadhry Shujaat Hussain and PAT head Dr Tahirul Qadri.
Core committee, a policy-making body of the PTI, had advised Imran to stay away from PAT, which was neither part of the parliament nor did it believe in change through constitutional means.
They further advised Imran that PTI didn’t need to join hands with any ‘tonga party’ whether it was Awami Muslim League of Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed or Muslim League of Chaudhrys of Gujrat, which were supporting Dr Qadri.