The revolution marches announced by Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) kicked off with a march and big public meeting in Gujranwala city of Punjab on February 15. The public meeting, which was held in Gulshan-e-Iqbal ground Gujranwala, was attended by people belonging to all walks of life in large number from across the city and adjoining areas. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered his keynote speech to the energetic crowds.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri led the revolution march. The people of Kamoke and Muridke extended a very warm welcome to the marchers and threw rose petals on them. When the march entered Gujranwala city, the people gave it a thunderous reception at different places along the route. A large number of women also attended the public meeting.
Addressing the participants of mammoth public meeting, Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the landlords had occupied Pakistan. He said: “I have come to rid the country of this occupation mafia and would not be content unless the people got back their due rights.’ He said that the internal structure of Quaid-e-Azam’s Pakistan had been destroyed. ‘Did Quaid-e-Azam want such a Pakistan,’ he asked.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the people continued to vote for fake degree holders for the sake of their interests but it was now about time that they changed their pattern of voting to pave the way for comprehensive change in the country.
Dr Qadri said that he was fighting a war for the restoration of the people’s rights. He said that the powerful vested interests ganged up against him when he raised the voice of the truth He said that the country had been under military and civilian authoritarianism. He said that when the very people elected by the electorate turn their back on the latter and resort to every trick in the book to amass benefits from the system, it was called political authoritarianism. He said that politicians fostered political authoritarianism, adding that if the people did not get bread, clothes and shelter under the so-called democratic system, it was also called dictatorship.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the doctors were on strike and protesting for their rights for many months and the rulers were not paying any heed to their demands. He said that there was no budget for health as the resources were spent on the luxuries of the rulers. He said that the country needed constitutional revolution and democratic system to be on trajectory of growth and development.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Pakistan had become most dangerous country of the world where foreign investors were not interested to invest their capital. He said that Quaid-e-Azam did not get Pakistan for the land lords, industrialists and powerful people to commit oppression on the poor and the week. He said that Pakistani leadership failed to weld federating units together. He said that justice system would have to be improved to remove anarchy from the country. He said that the looters and plunderers would not be entitled to people’s votes now.
Dr Qadri asked the PAT and MQI workers to vote for his candidates if the party decided to join the electoral fray and support him if he decided to boycott the elections. He said that industrialists would never legislate for betterment of the poor. He asked the people whether they wanted to trade off their honour in the hands of the corrupt politicians. He said that his purpose was to educate people about the Constitution and he would continue to struggle for this cause so that they could see the politicians in the eye and scrutinize their candidatures.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that it was unfortunate that military and civilian dictators ruled the country since its inception and the people, who were the real stakeholders, remained disenfranchised. They never saw the glimpse of real democracy in the country, he held.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri highlighted four variables, which would become the basis of the revolution. The first pivot of the revolution, he said, was that the lands should be snatched from the land lords and distributed among the landless farmers. The second pivot was that the labourers should be made shareholders in the profits by doing away with capitalistic industrialism. The third pivot of the revolution was that the monthly corruption of 150 billion rupees should be eliminated and the same should be spent on the well-being of the poor in the form of poverty reduction programmes. The fourth pivot was that the moneyed classes should be brought under the tax net and rigorous taxation, which hurt the poor, should be done away with through progressive tax reforms.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that no big leader or interest group of the corrupt political system could block the way of revolution. He further said that provision of seven items of daily use such as bread, clothes, shelter, education, health, and employment etc would have to be ensured under the Constitution of Pakistan. He said that 1.6 million cases lay pending before the country’s judiciary. He asked where the people should go to get their grievances redressed in a corrupt system. He asked the people to get their votes registered at the earliest.
Moreover talking to journalists, Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri said that in the presence of current Election Commission, there were chances of poll results being marked by rigging, duress and killings instead of fair and transparent elections because an Election Commission, which was formed on ill intentions, was not able to deliver. He said that it was futile to expect fair and free polls from it. He said that political parties would not be able to do anything but regret when the poll results would come. He said that his decision to approach Supreme Court was correct as it was a matter of public importance. He said that he would continue to wage struggle for the purpose for which he went to Supreme Court. He said that a decision would soon be taken whether to take part in upcoming polls or not.
Stringent security measures were put in place on the occasion. A huge stage was prepared for the public meeting.