Tahir-ul-Qadri’s march inches towards Islamabad
NISAR AHMED THOKAR
Islamabad, Jan 14: Supporters of Tahir-ul-Qadri today inched towards Islamabad demanding sweeping electoral reforms, as authorities put up barricades and deployed riot police turning the Pakistani capital into a virtual fortress.
Qadri, who began his "long march" in Lahore yesterday, was moving towards Islamabad with around 30,000 to 50,000 supporters, witnesses in Punjab province said.
A large number of people, including men, women and supporters of Tehreek-e-Minhaj-ul-Quran have gathered at the venue of gathering at D-Chowk near Blue area in Islamabad.
Before leaving for Islamabad, Qadri said that it was a march for the protection of democracy, elimination of poverty, supremacy of the constitution and to rid the country of from prevailing corrupt system”.
Despite the fact that main religious parties have expressed their serious reservations over the move and advised their followers to stay away from the long march, the TMQ chief’s caravan was joined by a large number of people hailing from different walks of life.
According to a private news channel, the long march is just miles away from the capital city, tens of thousands of protesters boarding hundreds of buses, trucks and cars were inching towards Islamabad. The stage for the long march has been set in Blue Area near Saudi Pak Tower only a couple of miles away from Parliament House.
Meanwhile, the security in Islamabad has been put on high alert to prevent any untoward incident besides ensuring safety of the marchers. Thousands of police and Para-military troops and commandos have been deployed in the city, whereas high security “red zones” including parliament house, presidency and diplomatic enclave have been completely sealed off by erecting barricades, containers and barbed wires on the main roads, whereas educational institutes, markets and business centers remained closed on the day.
On the direction of Interior ministry cellular services have also been suspended in some parts of Islamabad and along the route of long-march.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST
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