After Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri's announcement of retirement from politics, Pakistan Awami Tehreek announced the formation of its 12-member Supreme Council on Tuesday. The Supreme Council has been mandated to exercise the powers vested in the office of the Chairman PAT. Secretary General PAT Khurram Nawaz Gandapur announced the names of the members of the Council in a press conference, which include Qazi Zahid Hussain, Basharat Jaspal, Fayyaz Warraich, Wadera Sultanuddin Shahwani, Noorullah Siddiqui, Arif Chaudhry, Zafar Iqbal, Khalid Durrani, Sardar Mansoor Khan, Qazi Shafique, and Mian Rehan Maqbool. The membership of the Supreme Council can be increased as and when needed. The representation from Sindh, Balochistan, KP and AJK has also been ensured in the Council. Khurram Nawaz Gandapur will also be part of the newly constituted Supreme Council.
Addressing the press conference along with the members of the Supreme Council, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri waged exemplary struggle to change the system that is based on oppression and exploitation. He said the PAT's struggle is to eliminate the gap between the rich and the poor. He said we want to see the institutions become subservient to the constitution, independent and sovereign. He said we want such institutions whose decisions enjoy the credibility of the people. He made it clear that according to the vision and guidelines of Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri, PAT will continue to play its political role in the country. He said we pay rich tributes to Dr Qadri for rendering exemplary services for highlighting the need for reforms and political awakening, adding that we will continue moving forward in the light of his intellectual guidance.
Answering the questions of media men, Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said we staged a sit-in because we did not have representation in the Parliament. He said those who have representation in Parliament, then why are they out on the roads and why are they not talking about reforms and parliamentary supremacy inside the House? He said we are not part of the PTI government at any level. He, however, made it clear if the PTI would work on the agenda of change and reform of the system, we would extend our support to them.
Khurram Nawaz Gandapur also announced to take an active part in the next local government elections. He said for the last 35 years, the nation has seen only one game: how to bring Nawaz Sharif into power; how to oust him from power; how to make him leave the country; how to manipulate his way back into the country; how to catch Nawaz Sharif in corruption and how to let me go off the hook. He said it appears it is the only issue in the country. He said when the news of a decrease in platelets appears, it causes a storm on media and political conversations and they start literally keeping a count of the platelets.
Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said, on the other hand, the kidneys of one of the prisoners of Model Town failed, what to speak of the grant of bail on health grounds, the plea was not fixed for hearing and the captive Hamayon Bashir breathed his last in jail. He said it is the height of oppression that the jail authorities did not hand over the dead body to the family members for the 18 hours because no doctor was available to do the post mortem. He said the bereaved family arranged the doctor who conducted the post mortem and then the dead body was handed over to them. He asked as to how Pakistan can get an honorable place in the presence of such an oppressive system. He made it categorically clear that the struggle for justice in the Model Town case is an article of faith with us, which would continue unabated, come what may. He said the government may have changed but the system of oppression continues to remain the same.
Khurram Nawaz Gandapur said the PAT is an ideological party. He said we will continue to wage struggle to bring Pakistan back on track of democracy as per our ideology. He said the central office-holders, provincial office bearers, and district presidents were part of the consultative process who sat down with the members of the Supreme Council to talk about matters related to the membership drive, reorganization and participation in the local government elections.
Meanwhile, a resolution adopted in a high-powered meeting paid rich tributes to Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri for his struggle for reforms in the system. The families of the martyrs of Model Town tragedy were also appreciated for their courage and steadfastness. A dua was made for the departed souls of Model Town on the occasion.