THE POLITICS OF PAKISTAN AWAMI TEHREEK: AN ASSESSENT
Keywords:Awami Tehreek, Bravelies, electoral politics
Pakistan Awami Tehrik (PAT) is a political party founded by renowned Islamic scholar Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri in 1989. The party hasstrong roots among the people of Bravelvi school of thought which is the dominant sect in Pakistan. The Chairman and founder of the party openly claims to be a staunch Bravelvi. The formation of PAT was highly disliked the pre- existing religious political parties which represented the Bravelvi school of thought. It was alleged that Dr Qadri wanted to divide the Bravelvies and the new party would weak the political strength of Bravelvies. The other religious political parties also did not welcome the PAT due to one reason or the other.
The PAT came into limelight in 2012 when its workers gathered in Islamabad for a dharna. Siayast nahe Riasat Bachao, (save the country and not the politics) was the slogan of PAT. The party demanded for a new political system. The PAT parlayed the system of capital and its sit-in troubled the PPP government. Again, the part made a big sit-in in Islamabad and gathered its worker all over the country. The dharna lasted for several days and its was shook the government of Nawaz Sharif.
The present study is an effort to assess the politics of PAT. It highlights the political ideology of the party and its involvement in day to day politics. The study traces out the causes of poor performance of the PAT in the electoral politics. Meanwhile, the ideological shift of PAT leadership with passing time is also be discussed in this paper.