LAHORE – Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) Chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has warned both the federal and provincial governments against creating hurdles and harassing workers as well as transporters ahead of the long march to Islamabad.
Talking to media people after meeting a delegation of Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen (MWM) that called on him on Tuesday, Qadri said he would not be able to guarantee peace during the march since workers would be out of his control in case of resistance from the authorities.
Saying the march was aimed at ensuring electoral reforms for the sake of the common man, he threatened with tit-for-tat if the government tried to snatch the constitutional rights of the people. He said: “We are not cowards and foil attempts to deprive the masses of their constitutional rights.”
Terming all the government’s cautions to call off the march because of terrorism threats baseless, he said all those threats were fabricated by the government to prevent the march. He referred to a statement of a banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman clarifying that his organisation had not issued any threat to Dr Qadri’s proposed march despite having ideological differences with him. He announced, “If anything happens to him, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Pervaiz Ashraf, federal and Punjab governments will be held responsible. He lamented both the federal and Punjab governments had placed barricades and containers on the routes to deter the marchers while leaders of his party were being harassed and there was an alleged plan of detaining at least 200 TMQ leaders ahead of 14 January. He referred to a report that all MNAs and MPAs had been directed to foil the march in their constituencies.
Allama Amin Shaheedi said his party fully endorsed the aims and objectives of Dr Qadri for solving the pressing problems of the country and bringing about the needed electoral and political reforms. The MWM delegation comprised Shafqat Shirazi, Ahmad Iqbal, Abuzar Mehdvi, Nasir Abbas Shirazi and others.
Later, Dr Qadri announced the schedule for the long march, according to which he would lead the first caravan from Model Town on the morning of January 13 to reach Islamabad via GT Road. He directed the workers to use three separate routes to reach Islamabad as GT Road was being closed for the marchers by erecting barricades and containers.
The march would reach Islamabad on January 14 after brief stops at Muridke, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Kharian, Lalamusa, Jhelum and Rawat. Dr Qadri said he would announce a package of electoral reforms on January 10.