LAHORE – Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chairperson Dr Tahirul Qadri will return Pakistan after 13-day visit of Canada on Monday (tomorrow).

He left for Canada on February 27 for his medical check up. Party sources said the check up had completed and Dr Qadri would return home and would chair the PAT Federal Council meeting scheduled on March 13 in Lahore.

 They said more than 1,500 federal council members from across Pakistan would participate in the meeting which would decide whether to contest upcoming general elections or not. They said more than 80 per cent participants were of the view to contest the elections. However, after a clear back out of Election Commission (ECP) from its decisions regarding degree verification of the candidates, the PAT may decide not to contest election.

They said the federal council was the competent body for the decision, adding that the PAT expatriates members empowered party chairman for decision.

The ECP has allotted moon as election symbol to the PAT, said the party men.

They said that the decision of the federal council would be announced in PAT’s public meeting scheduled to be held on March 17 at Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi.

Talking about the contesting elections, the PAT president Dr Rahiq Abbasi said that the government was not serious to act upon long march declaration. “The Government is backing out from its promise, the Pakistan Election Commission as well as Supreme Court are also not ready to listen us, we may not contest election in this situation,” he said.

He said in case the Federal Council decides not to take part in the election rather he would go to the people and would launch awareness campaign to sensitize the masses about the need of free and fair elections. When asked whether they call for boycotting the elections, he said it would be premature to say.

“We would explore others options in our upcoming meeting,” he said.

On the other hand, the PAT Parliamentary Board is receiving application from the candidates and according a member of the board they had received about 40 applications from the candidates for National Assembly’s ticket so far.