Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri has said that elections without reforms would result in disaster for the country. He said that he would present a reform agenda before the entire nation and state institutions on December 23.
Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri expressed these views while talking to Islamabad-based senior journalists through video conferencing on December 4, 2012. Ahmad Nawaz Anjum, Sardar Mansoor Khan, Ghulam Ali Khan, Dr Umar Riaz Abbasi, Anar Khan Gondal, Ishaq Haris, Shamraiz Awan, Malik Tahir Javed and others were also present on the occasion.
He said that his agenda would be practicable for survival of the country. He said that the country’s system was in a dilapidated condition and poised on the verge of collapse. He said that he was coming to change the destiny of the nation.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that he struggled all his life for the welfare of the poor and thought of ways and means to make a difference to their lives. He said that the poor’s role in the electioneering process was confined to casting their vote once in five years and then they are left to fend for themselves. Those who get voted into power justify all their doings and misdoings by invoking public mandate. He said that this conduct was against the spirit of democracy.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the concept of democracy, its meaning and connotation was mutilated and distorted beyond recognition in Pakistan. He said that the Pakistani version lacked spirit of democracy. He said that people of 25 countries were getting the fruits of real democracy in the world, whereas 53 countries possessed defective democratic structures. He said that Pakistan was not among the 78 countries branded as democracies in the world. He said that Pakistan’s position on democratic ladder was way down. He said that if we wanted to save the country, we needed to struggle for a system which gave people their due share in education, health, job opportunities and development.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri made it clear that Pakistan was being run under political authoritarianism. He said that what we called democracy in the country was defined as fraud and a sham globally, for the current electoral system paved the way for civilian dictatorship. He said that real democracies were known for rule of law, delivery of service at people’s doorsteps, protection of their rights, honour, life and properties.
Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that the exercise of elections came to be known as democracy in Pakistan. He said that state resources, which in fact belong to people, were mercilessly misused by the ruling elite.
He made it clear that his reform agenda would empower the voter giving him right to question their elected representatives. He said that voters were qualified to hold their representatives accountable over latter’s performance as this was what democracy was all about. He said that the idea of public oversight and scrutiny was at heart of democracy.
Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri said that Pakistan’s biggest problem was terrorism and it was unfortunate that no effective legislation could be carried out in five years. He said that the country’s foreign policy was also in need of revamping, adding that the practice to hold previous government responsible for all problems should be shunned as responsibility for any act of commission or omission lay with the government of the day.
He also answered questions of journalists.