LAHORE – Minhanjul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on Tuesday hinted at conditional participation in upcoming general elections and asked his party men to apply for party tickets for upcoming elections.

However, he said that the final decision to contest elections would be taken on March 17 after PAT Federal council and parliamentary board meeting which is scheduled be held on March 13.

Dr Qadri is leaving for Canada on today (Wednesday) for medical check-up and would return back on March 11 or 12.  Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, he said that the final decision to contest polls would be taken after reviewing the performance of Election Commission regarding electoral process in the light of the constitutional amendments agreed with PAT. He said that the decision would be announced at the PAT public meeting at Rawalpindi on March 17.

He announced that PAT’s 15-member parliamentary board was constituted which would be headed by Dr Rahiq Abbasi. He said that the board would receive ticket applications and scrutinise them on its own to ensure candidates fulfil requirements of Articles 62 and 63. He also said a 14-member committee headed by Akram Zaki was constituted to review party manifesto.

Dr Qadri criticised Election Commission and federal government, for non-serious attitude towards the proposed reforms demanded by PAT in its Islamabad sit-in.

Dr Qadri warned that upcoming elections could be the last polls for protecting democracy in the country. “If the upcoming polls are rigged, the country’s existence could be at risk,” he said and criticised the ECP for withdrawing the decision to submit degrees of parliamentarians. He said that the retreat was a question mark on the impartiality of ECP.

He demanded of the ECP to seek and scrutinise ten years old record of the parliamentarians. He further demanded the ECP to call lists of loan defaulters and get them published in the newspapers, and also call all the cases under NAB and the tax-evaders record from FBR, so that all the corrupt and criminals must be sorted out.