Secret mediations between government officials and Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran President Dr Tahirul Qadri are currently underway, with a strong possibility that Qadri will call off his long march scheduled on January 14, sources told Pakistan Today.
Sources close to Qadri revealed that the government initiated talks with the Minhajul Quran senior leadership and it is likely that Qadri, too, will reconsider his call for the long march. Sources further said that “big news” is expected within the next two days about the future of Qadri’s long march to Islamabad.
They said that despite official statements by the government condemning his threat of a long march on January 14, secret mediations have been underway to convince the leader to call it off.
Former prime minister of Pakistan Yousaf Raza Gilani, while talking to Pakistan Today, said that Dr Qadri should play a role in saving democracy first. He further said that organising a long march to destabilise the current set-up was contradictory to his claims.
Gilani further said that demanding amendments to the constitution just before the elections was undemocratic, adding that if Qadri wanted to see constitutional reforms, he should join the parliament after being elected by the people.
Commenting on the situation, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf President Javed Hashmi said that Qadri should not play a “destablising” role in Pakistan’s politics. He further said that Qadri should not join hands to derail the upcoming elections and pose a threat to democracy.
The former speaker of the National Assembly said that protection of democracy was the priority of the government, adding that democratic transition from one government to the other must not be halted.
Local political leaders favoring the establishment of a new province in southern Punjab alleged that Qadri’s long march was the hand of “foreign elements” in the country which did not want to see Pakistan prosper. They said that if Qadri wanted to change the status quo in the country, he should do so by contesting in elections and joining the parliament.
Resolution against Tahirul Qadri tabled in KP Assembly
A resolution against Dr Tahirul Qadri was tabled in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Saturday, asking the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to continue preparations for upcoming general elections. PML-N lawmaker Javed Abbasi submitted the resolution. The resolution read that several forces wanted to derail democracy and the demands for electoral reforms are being made to get the elections delayed. It also read that those elements knew that the people would reject them in the upcoming elections. The ECP should continue its preparations for the next general elections without fear, the resolution added.