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Pak religious party Sunni Tehreek to participate in elections

Islamabad, Mon, 26 Mar 2012 ANI

Islamabad, Mar 26 (ANI): Many Pakistani religious parties are reportedly turning political, with reports saying that the Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST) has announced its willingness to participate in the upcoming elections.

Addressing some 15,000 supporters here at the 'Azad Pakistan Conference' at the Minar-i-Pakistan, PST head Sarwat Ijaz Qadri requested participants to vote for the Tehreek, or at least cooperate with the party, The Express Tribune reports.

He labelled the Difa-i-Pakistan Council formed by Ahle Hadith and Deobandi parties the "Fisad-i-Pakistan Council", and accused it of causing terrorism in the country.

Sahibzada Fazle Karim, the head of the Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), was not invited to the conference, though the Sunni Tehreek is an important component of the SIC.

A PST official said Karim was not invited, adding: "He used to take all the credit for SIC gatherings, even though most of the supporters at these gatherings were PST workers."

Criticising all political parties, Qadri said he wanted an end to "the politics which has resulted in sheltering of suicide bombers".

He said all political parties had looted the country over parliamentary seats.

"They are ruining democracy and the people of Pakistan in the name of their so-called democracy," he added.

Qadri condemned the Taliban as 'Zaliman' (oppressors) who were only targeting Barelvis. At his urging, the PST supporters reportedly took an oath not to compromise on the defence of Pakistan.

"We will lay down our lives if needed for the national interest. We do not want to rule, but we want to save the country," he added. (ANI)

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