LAHORE - The PAT and its allies have decided to expand their alliance with the likely inclusion of MQM to launch the second and decisive round of their campaign against the government after Muharramul Haram.

In a meeting, the first after the end of 70-day-long sit-in in Islamabad, at PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri’s residence here Sunday, the leaders also decided to take part in local bodies’ elections. “We have serious concerns on present legislation on the structure of local bodies adopted by Punjab Assembly. It gives no power to the elected members,” said Dr Qadri while briefing media.

PML-Q chief Ch Shujaat Hussain and Majlis-e-Wahdatul Muslimeen chief Raja Nasir Abbas were also present on the occasion. Dr Qadri rejected the whole process about local body polls and announced to issue white paper on Punjab Assembly’s legislation. He reiterated his stance on Model Town tragedy, saying no compromise would be made with the govt on the matter.

In the meeting, the allies decided to make strategy for movement against government after Muharrum. The insiders informed that MQM would be approached for an alliance.  “Ch Shujaat Hussain, Dr Rahique Abbasi and Allama Nasir Abbas have been given the task to persuade the MQM to become part of the anti-government drive,” said a PAT leader.

Meanwhile, Dr Tahirul Qadri is going abroad for two weeks in the first week of November. He shared this information with his party men at his first meeting here on Sunday after returning from the 70-day sit-in in the federal capital.

District and tehsil presidents and secretaries- general were present at the meeting. Many of the participants also asked questions about the outcome of the sit-in.

Most of the participants were of the view that the PAT should contest the by-election from its own platform. This clearly meant that they were advising the leadership not to join hands with the allies like the PML-Q. “Elections from the PAT platform will provide the party with an opportunity to assess its following among the people,” some PAT leaders argued.

The question-answer session in the consultative meeting, however, remained inconclusive as Dr Qadri told his party men that he would hold another session with them on November 2 to sort out the modalities.  Although many party leaders feel upset over reports of a deal between Dr Qadri and the government, they did not ask questions about the same.

The meeting decided to put up a candidate on a provincial seat in Bhakkar, which fell vacant after death of a legislator.

Dr Qadri is scheduled to address a public meeting in Bhakkar on November 23.

It was also decided that the party would be re-organised from the centre to the union council level.

All steps in this regard, Dr Qadri said, would be taken in consultation with the party leaders and workers.