Fiery Pakistani cleric Tahirul Qadri on Saturday announced his decision to quit politics and resigned as the chairman of his Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) party.
Qadri, 68, who is based in Canada, made the announcement through a video message. He, however, did not mention any reason behind the decision.
"I am retiring from Pakistani politics, political activities and from my post as PAT chairman. I am not handing over PAT leadership to my sons but transferring power to the party's council," he said in the video message issued from Canada.
Qadri also expressed disappointment for not getting justice for the 14 PAT workers killed in 2014.
"Our legal battle for the killing of our 14 workers will continue till my last breath. That is not a matter of politics it is a matter of faith," Qadri said.
Fourteen people, including two women, were killed and 100 others suffered bullet injuries when police raided the house and offices of Pakistan Awami Tahreek's (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri in Model Town.
According to a source in the party, Qadri, whose party that held anti-government protests in Islamabad in 2014 along with Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan against the then prime minister and Pakistan Muslim League (N) chief Nawaz Sharif, seems to be out of work.
The source told PTI that Qadri quit politics apparently because he did not see any "near future assignment" for him by the current Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf establishment in the country.
“Qadri is an old man. At present Imran Khan with whom he had staged a sit-in in Islamabad for two months in 2014 against the Nawaz Sharif dispensation is in the government. Therefore, he does not have any immediate task at hand to perform,” he said.
“Qadri retired from politics because he was jobless these days,” the source said.
Qadri formed PAT in May 1989 and he was first elected as a member of parliament from Lahore in 2002 elections held under Gen. Pervez Musharraf.