Appeals army to support struggle for revolution instead of opposing it
|Tahir ul Qadri’s factor, who landed in Pakistan from Canada after four and a half years like a ‘bomb shell.’|
Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri on Tuesday said that first there should be reforms in the country and then elections.
Addressing a large rally organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) at the Jinnah Ground, Qadri said, “From Karachi today, begins the path to revolution. On 14 January the people’s parliament will make its decision.” He said that he wanted to return to the people a “genuine democracy”, and added that MQM chief Altaf Hussain has answered the call for true democracy in Pakistan.
Qadri said that Islamabad will become Tahrir Square on January 14 but assured that the long march would be peaceful. He said that he only wants those people to participate in the elections who are permitted to do so by the constitution of the country. The Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran chief said that his agenda is aimed against feudal and exploitative forces in the country. Earlier on, Qadri arrived at MQM headquarter Nine Zero where he was received by members of the Rabita Committee and MQM workers.
Qadri said that Islamabad is going to be the biggest ‘Tahreer Square’ of the world on January 14 where four million people will gather to “demolish the wall of cruelty with one stroke”. He again denied allegations that he or the MQM had a hidden agenda in the planned long march on January 14. He said that the MQM has remained allied to other parties and even supported the president and prime minister’s candidatures, and if there was no hidden agenda at that time then the same is true for now.
Addressing the gathering through telephone from London, MQM chief Altaf Hussain said that his party had been struggling for years against the rotten system that is prevalent in Pakistan. “People who spend millions of rupees in buying election tickets cannot solve the problems of the masses,” the MQM chief said. “The long march will prove to be a quick march for looters,” he said. Altaf also invited other political and religious parties to participate in the long march.
Altaf said that the “suppressed” masses would decide their future in a public parliament on January 14 in Islamabad. “There would be a revolution against tyranny and injustice,” he declared, and added that the MQM has been struggling to topple the devastated and declining system. He made it clear that the march was not meant to delay elections or to derail democracy, but to save Pakistan. He added that the journey towards evolutionary change in Pakistan has started and the army and other national institutions should support the revolution instead of putting stumbling blocks in its way. MQM leader Farooq Sattar, while addressing the rally earlier on, had said that the large gathering was proof that the people want change. He also said that Altaf and Tahirul Qadri’s agenda is one and the same.
After staging a mammoth show at Lahore on Dec. 23, Chief of Minhaj ul Quran Movement, Dr Tahir ul Qadri confidently challenged both major parties PPP and PML (N) and announced to launch a long march on Jan. 14, if electoral reforms are not carried by Jan. 10. After wagging fingers on Qadri’s entry into politics, just a few months before the general elections, the ruling party has started taking his long march seriously as according to political observers Qadri has all potential to rally thousands of people, if not four million as he had claimed, to disturb the government seat in Islamabad.
In Islamabad, different organisations have started rescheduling their programmes between Jan. 10 and 14 while civil servants are also working on the same lines.
The PPP in its informal meetings and interactions has given a serious thought to Qadri’s threat and decided to prepare a strategy to maintain law and order in the capital on Jan 14. The Punjab government is yet double minded to tackle this satiation which has also caught it unawares.
The PPP sources said the party will hold a meeting in a few days on the issue as they think some “hidden hands” are behind Qadri’s move. The situation is grave and it should be handled with all seriousness, the sources said. The PPP will also consult PML (N) on the issue.