Qadri and his family not to contest Pak polls



Lahore: Firebrand cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri, who led a massive protest demanding electoral reforms in Pakistan, has announced that he and his family will not contest the upcoming general election to discourage "dynastic politics".

"My wife, two sons, daughters, daughters-in-law and sons-in-law will not contest the elections. Though there is no legal issue, I have made this decision just to discourage dynastic politics," Qadri told reporters here on Wednesday.

However, leaders of other political parties believe Qadri decided not to contest polls, expected to be held in May, to retain his Canadian nationality.

Under Pakistani laws, a person has to give up his dual nationality to contest elections.

Qadri, who heads the Tehrik Minhaj-ul-Quran, has made conflicting statements on whether his Pakistan Awami Tehrik party will participate in the general election.

The cleric recently led thousands of his followers in a long march from Lahore to Islamabad and staged a sit-in outside parliament for four days to press the government to accept his charter of demands regarding electoral reforms.

Qadri inked a face-saving agreement with the government, which said it would hold further talks to implement his demands.

The ruling Pakistan Peoples Party and main opposition PML-N have questioned why a person who does not want to become part of the electoral process is pressing for electoral reforms.

"I ask Qadri sahib to first announce he will take part in elections and then demand electoral reforms," PML-N spokesman Pervaiz Rashid said.

PTI