LAHORE - Chairman Pakistan Awami Tehreek Dr Tahirul Qadri said yesterday that he was quitting politics and stepping down as party chairman to focus on academic activities.

Addressing a press conference through video link from Canada, he announced his decision to transfer powers of PAT chairman to the council and not to his sons. However, he will continue to hold the office of Tehreek Minhajul Quran chief for ideological guidance of followers.

Qadri said that struggle for justice for victims of Model Town massacre was not politics and this would continue till his last breath. He said suspension of JIT formed on the direction of larger bench of Supreme Court for investigation of Model Town case was painful, adding, the hidden hands were protecting killers.

“We will continue fight for justice. It is our right and we will continue struggle till justice for the bereaved families”, he said.

He lamented that those caught in high profile corruption cases were not getting punishment but going for settlement. Referring to the present system, he said that Parliament was just a debating club where people were defending personal interests. “Electoral system encourages rigging, corruption and use of illegal means. Parliamentarians switch parties as birds change their nests. The promised change is not seen anywhere”, he said.

“We were together in political struggle. At that time, Imran Khan was a loud voice for victims of Model Town. Now it is his responsibility to play role for justice and honour all promises of bringing real change”, he said, adding, PTI and PAT made sincere efforts for electoral reforms but could not succeed due to complicated system and weak Parliament. However, the struggle helped creating awareness among the masses, he said. “I pray for success of PTI in implantation of manifesto and bringing promised change in the country”, he said.

Referring to the accountability process, he said there was need to see that whether high profile cases ended up in settlement or punishment.

“We educated public on electoral reforms and across the board accountability during long sit-in”, he said.

“I have prepared Quran Encyclopedia having eight volumes. I am working on Sunnah Encyclopedia which will contain 40 volumes”, he said.