LONDON/LAHORE - Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) Chief Dr Tahirul Qadri and PML-Q leaders, Ch Shujaat Hussain and Ch Pervaiz Elahi, held a meeting here on Friday to discuss the country’s political situation and a grand opposition alliance.

During the meeting, Tahirul Qadri said he would return to Pakistan in July this year. He, however, added he would be back in the country as and when advised by both the PML-Q leaders. The leaders of the two parties will also meet today (Saturday).

The leaders of both the parties, during the meeting, agreed that Pakistan was facing a grave situation and that there was a need to join hands to pull the country out of this situation. It was a unanimous view of the both parties that a transparent, pro-people and democratic system should be evolved to discourage concentration of power which was causing exploitation of the people.

They agreed on formulation of a devolution plan at political and government level so that the problems of the people could be solved and they could get their rights as enshrined in the Constitution. They underlined the need for strict implementation of the Constitution through electoral reforms. “The present government which has been formed as a result of the worst rigging is illegal and unconstitutional. It has not only harmed the country but has also weakened the defence of Pakistan. We have agreed on adopting a joint strategy and are establishing contacts at every level with political and religious parties as well as political figures to achieve these objectives,” they said.

The PML-Q and PAT leaders, after the meeting in London regarding formation of a grand alliance, also addressed a joint media conference. During the meeting, Ch Shujaat Hussain, Dr Tahirul Qadri, Ch Parvez Elahi, Kamil Ali Agha, Tariq Bashir Cheema, Muhammad Basharat Raja, Moonis Elahi, Dr Khalid Ranjha, Haleem Adil Sheikh, Senator Dilawar Abbas and other leaders were present.

Shujaat, addressing the press conference, said the present system was a source of all evils and corruption. Dr Tahirul Qadri said the present government was unconstitutional.

Ch Parvez Elahi said that in order to form a grand alliance, contacts were being established with PTI Chairman Imran Khan and MQM Chief Altaf Hussain.

Dr Tahirul Qadri said that people’s participation in power was their democratic right, but the rulers against it. He added a system guaranteeing the protection of people was needed in Pakistan. A corrupt system had been given the name of democracy, he remarked. Answering a question about contacts with Imran Khan, Qadri said he did not want to say anything about it at this stage.

Shujaat said, “We have asked Dr Tahirul Qadri to play his role in the prevailing circumstances, he should come to Pakistan, the people had supported him fully earlier and will be with him now as well.” He said there should be emphasis on electoral reforms for change in the system. “Talking against the armed forces is tantamount to talking against the country because they guarantee the security, defence and solidarity of Pakistan,” Shujaat said.

Ch Parvez Elahi said if the patriotic parties did not gather on one platform, the state could suffer, so they should join hands with one another as their unity would rid the people of the present corrupt system. The present government had come into power through rigging. “No defence minister of any country in the world has ever spoken against his army. Security institutions are being attacked, but the government is not with them, circumstances are rapidly moving towards deterioration, so Dr Tahirul Qadri should immediately return to Pakistan. We have gathered for a noble cause,” he said.

Ch Parvez Elahi further said, “The rulers are going to clash with the army fourth time, electoral reforms are part of our agenda, we have gathered for reforms and not for vested interests.” He said the present government had come into power as a result of rigged elections, adding the chief election commissioner had also resigned immediately after the elections in protest against rigging.

An alliance has not yet been formed, but political contacts have been started and another meeting of the two parties’ leaders will be held today (Saturday).