Govt has a few tricks up its sleeve if all else fails to stop Qadri


The Pakistan People’s Party-led government is making covert efforts to disrupt the Tehreek Minhajul Quran’s (TMQ) long march scheduled for January 14 and all measures are being adopted to discourage those who have announced to join the march. A source in the government told Pakistan Today that the government was making multiple efforts to disrupt Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march with the support of the Punjab government.
It was Interior Minister Rehman Malik who repeated terrorism threats to the long march of Tahirul Qadri for the second consecutive day on Saturday. Malik told reporters that intelligence reports suggested that there was a serious threat to the long march participants. Malik also claimed on Friday that there were clues of terrorists present in suburbs of Islamabad where 90 percent Afghan refugees were living illegally. A source in the coalition parties said that there was a possibility that most of the transporter associations would give a strike call to create artificial shortage of transport.
“Different options would be used to create artificial shortage of transport. The suspension of compressed natural gas (CNG) is one of them. This would be followed by petrol shortage and later several transporters’ associations may go for strike in protest to the petrol and CNG shortage. This all process may help thwart the long march plans of TMQ,” he added. Source said further the strike call could be announced from across the country to block all possibilities of provision of transport to the long march participants. He said the coalition partners were playing on both sides in a bid to settle different scores. “The CNG association’s support to Dr Qadri’s march is being backed by the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), a major coalition partner,
while another coalition partner, Awami National Party (ANP) was putting pressure over the transporters’ association to give a strike call across the country so no transport could be attained by TMQ,” he added. Meanwhile, to add fuel to the fire, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) chief Ahmed Ludhianvi said that the long march announced by his party against the targeted killings of his party leaders, which was also supported by the Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), might be delayed or rescheduled keeping in view the possibility of a confrontation between the followers of both the religious groups. “We are considering some options to review our long march schedule to avoid possibility of confrontation between both the religious parties. We had announced to launch the long march from Karachi on January 11 which would have reached Islamabad on January 18. However, now we are considering an option to postpone the march or to limit it only in Karachi and Islamabad on the dates announced earlier. Final decision would be taken on Sunday as our Karachi chapter is considering all options to avoid confrontation,” he added. Separately, a source said that Pir Moinul Haq, caretaker of Darbar Golra Sharif, who announced to provide food to around 200,000 participants of the long march, was being hounded by the government agencies and he has gone underground. “Pir Sahib has been approached by certain officials and has been questioned from whom he would provide food to over 200,000 people. He has also been questioned details of his tax returns and his income details. So Pir Sahib has gone underground,” said a close aide. Pir was not available for comment, despite several attempts. After contacting his landline number, an attendant, Muhammad Irfan, said Pir was not available and was out of the city. Meanwhile, Shaikh Rashid Ahmed, the chief of Awami Muslim League (AML), has also withdrawn his offer to provide food and shelter to the march participants in Rawalpindi. A source close to Shaikh Rashid said that the DPC leadership had asked Ahmed to withdraw his offer as the DPC was against the march. Source added that the DPC, which comprised mostly of extreme right parties, were opposed by Dr Qadri. Despite repeated attempts, Ahmed was not available for comment.