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LAHORE, Feb 3: Pakistan Awami Tehrik chief Dr Tahirul Qadri claimed on Sunday if he had not given “last warning” to the government for a dialogue and then called off the sit-in at D-Square, Islamabad, martial law would have been imposed in the country.

“Had I avoided deciding about ending the long march and sit-in in Islamabad, the country would have faced the martial law in next five minutes. I did this only to save democracy,” Qadri said in a media briefing here after meeting of the party’s general council at its Township headquarters.

He said no one should think his war against the corrupt system had ended, as it would continue till completion of the Pakistan Awami Tehrik’s agenda.

“I have given a rest to the government. And I have given a rest to you (the media) because you had also got tired because of the extensive work you had to do on a daily basis in those days (of sit-in). But we are not tired,” he said.

Qadri claimed if the PAT leadership felt holding another march was necessary, the party would this time take the entire population of the country to Islamabad. “If required, we will start the long march from Lahore and visit every district. And then gathering people from all districts, we will hold a long march of all people of Pakistan on Islamabad,” he warned.

About contesting the upcoming general elections, Qadri said the PAT general council’s meeting had decided to hold a survey on union council level in order to know the public opinion about ‘whether or not the PAT should participate in the elections’. He also announced quitting the PAT’s president’s slot, appointing Dr Raheeq Abbas as its new head. “However, I would continue leading the party for giving my input to its leaders on various important issues,” he hastened to add.

Rejecting the ‘efforts’ being done for creating Bahawalpur Janoobi Punjab (BJP) province, Dr Qadri said his party was in favour of ‘Janoobi Punjab province’ sans Bahawlapur.