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January 23, 2015

PAT street power becomes a thing of past now for funds’ paucity


January 23, 2015

ISLAMABAD: While the media has once again started giving hype to the information regarding any possible meeting of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) supremo Dr Tahirul Qadri in Saudi Arabia, senior Minhaj affiliates admit that because failed show of sit-ins, the strength of Awami Tehreek as a pressure group has become a history now.
PAT President Dr Raheeq Ahmad Abbasi during an interview with The News though admitted some facts but contested that any shortcomings of the party are temporary and very soon morale of PAT workers will be restored.
Apparently, it was well planned and calculated strategy of the PML-N government during sit-ins which has damaged the PAT to the extent that even its top leaders feel that party’s street power has become a past.
Thousands used to apply for admission in Minhaj-ul-Quran University, a large number of affiliates of Awami Tehreek and religious followers of Dr Tahirul Qadri used to give donations of millions from across the world and his diehard followers here in Pakistan remain set to do anything on the orders of their leader but now things have entirely changed and even decades-long affiliates of Minhaj admit that top PAT leadership is facing trust deficit from its religious following.
“Confidence of followers of Dr Qadri was badly shattered because of illogically-long ‘dharna’, wrong promises of leadership, repeated bizarre tests of faithfulness of PAT workers, putting lives of followers in danger again and again and calls to attack different constitutional offices,” a senior PAT leader shared his thoughts with The News and added: “Unlike past thousands of applications for admission in Minhaj University, this time only a few dozen applied and donations to the party as well as its welfare projects like Minhaj were reduced by many folds.”
The PAT leader revealed that the party made great expenses during sit-in on different activities which badly shrunk

party resources. Almost negligible admission applications, very little donations, great expenses during the sit-in and overall low morale of workers and leaders led Dr Qadri to become a serious heart patient. “Dr Qadri is seriously ill and he cannot take this non-seriously,” the PAT leader added.
While responding to a question, the PAT leader said that Dr Qadri has the capabilities of restoring everything back to normal, but now even the old diehard supporters of the PAT have lost their morale and people have doubts in their minds. “As a matter of fact, most the activities in later part of sit-in as well as during some public meetings were largely financed by the party’s central leadership and unlike past these shows were not possible without continuous stream of funds for local organisation of the party,” the PAT leader said, adding: “We all know that any call of protest by PAT leadership in near future will yield almost zero result and that’s why party’s leaders in Pakistan are set to suggest to Dr Qadri to abstain from making any more mistakes now as same could prove fatal for the party already facing great crisis of image and credibility.”
According to estimations of this senior PAT leader, role of the party as a pressure group has been badly hurt and now it doesn’t have the capability to stage some big show like recent past. Few months back the PAT had attempted to topple the PML-N government with help of some other forces but failed. Its leaders acknowledge that party followers are disappointed and without proper help of others, the PAT would be unable to do something big now at its own.
PAT president Dr Raheeq Abbasi however was of the view that funding for the educational and welfare projects of Minhaj has been increased in many countries of the world as compared to that in the past. “Yes, party’s funding for political purposes is facing shortfall because of obvious reasons as most of party workers donated beyond their capability during 76 days long sit-in,” Dr Raheeq said, adding: “Majority of PAT workers in and outside Pakistan belong to working middle class and are not billionaires. Many of them are facing financial crisis for their own living as they stopped their business activates during the sit-in.”
Raheeq said the PAT has not centralised system for receiving donations and local organisations in Pakistan and outside collect funding on their own. “Our funding system is decentralised but well managed. During the sit-in, we had divided expense of food among our overseas organisations. One week was given to Europe, next to North America, next to Middle East then again to Europe and so on,” Dr Raheeq explained.
The PAT president maintained that it is wrong to say that admissions in Minhaj-ul-Quran University or any of its constituent college have been affected only because of the sit-in. “Admissions in college of Shariah has been affected because of Model Town massacre after which parents and students aspirant for new admissions were terrified,” Raheeq said adding
He said Minhaj-ul-Quran and Minhaj Welfare Foundation are separate organisations and operate independently of the PAT. Education and welfare activities are underway as per routine. He said that activities and projects of Minhaj Welfare can be checked from its web
Raheeq admitted that morale of PAT workers is down, saying, it is because of months-long political activity on national level and then a sudden pause because of bad health of PAT leader Dr Tahirul Qadri. PAT political activates were touching peaks in middle of last year and then suddenly the party had to cancel its public rallies in Sargodha, Sialkot, Mansehra and Karachi because of party chief’s health. He said the PAT will organise a series of events commemorating birth anniversary of Dr Qadri and other party events which will start from February 11 and will continue till February 28. “Morale of party workers will be restored during these events,” Dr Raheeq said, adding: “Final medical reports of Dr Qadri will also come in last week of February and we are hoping that doctors will allow Dr Qadri to restore his political activities.”
Raheeq said that PAT’s political power has not decreased and the party will prove the same whenever the party leader will order workers to show strength on roads.

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