Tahir-ul Qadri's 'long march' puts PPP, PML-N in same boat

PRESS TRUST OF INDIA

Lahore, Jan 2: Rattled by the sudden re-emergence of Tahir-ul-Qadri, Pakistan's two main political parties -– PPP and PML-N –- have joined hands to deal with his planned protest in Islamabad on January 14 and are speaking in the same voice against him.
 Qadri recently returned to Pakistan after living in Canada for seven years and announced he would lead a "long march" from Lahore to Islamabad this month to pressure the Pakistan People's Party-led government to hold consultations with the judiciary and army on forming a caretaker set-up to oversee the upcoming general election.
 Former premier Nawaz Sharif, whose PML-N party rules the most populous province of Punjab, chaired a meeting in Lahore today to review the situation arising from Qadri's threat to launch his long march.
 "If the participants of Qadri's long march do not take the law into their hands, the Punjab government will allow them to reach their destination," Sharif said.
 However, he said the PML-N would block all efforts to derail democracy and elements behind such efforts would not succeed.
 The cleric, who heads the Tehrik Minhaj-ul-Quran, has said he is ready to meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf to discuss the formation of a caretaker set-up but would not take back his call for the long march.
 "The world will see another Tahrir Square in Islamabad on January 14," he claimed.
 PML-N leaders have been rattled by the support extended to Qadri by parties like Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and PML-Q since he held a massive rally at the Minar-e-Pakistan on December 23.
 Both the MQM and PML-Q are members of the PPP-led ruling coalition at the centre.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 2 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 3 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST




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