PESHAWAR, Jan 6: Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) has set a target of 500,000 people from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and tribal areas to attend its January 14 long march on Islamabad.
“We have planned to take half a million marchers from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Islamabad,” said Khalid Durrani, provincial chief of Pakistan Awami Tehrik, a political wing of TMQ.
The Tehrik’s massive publicity campaign for the proposed march would be launched in a few days, he said, adding that the drive to invite people to participate in the march, which is billed to match Tahrir Square, would start with wall chalking across the province, while pamphlets and leaflets would also be distributed in urban and rural areas.
Mr Durrani said that they had received instructions from the central headquarters to organise a rally of 500,000 people to Islamabad though they had limited resources.
Office-bearers said that the TMQ and its sister organisations, including PAT, had networks in some districts of the province, which organised relief activities in disaster-affected areas besides operating religious and secular educational institutions where they preached their ideology in congregations held separately for men and women.
Mr Durrani said that the TMQ had a proper network at ward level in Peshawar, Mardan, Hazara division and Dera Ismail Khan, but it had not been extended to other districts. In Fata, he said, the TMQ presently had no setup.
Despite the limited network, local leaders are optimistic to achieve the target to make the show successful. Mr Durrani claimed that there was great enthusiasm among masses, and workers of other political parties, including Awami National Party, Pakistan People’s Party and Pakistan Muslim League, would also join the march in Islamabad.
According to organisers, about 30,000 workers of TMQ, including women and children, had attended Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri’s public meeting in Lahore on December 23. They said that the TMQ had very committed workers, who reached Lahore congregation two days before the programme.
Brisk preparations are underway in the province for the long march in Islamabad, which Allama Qadri had declared Pakistan’s Tahrir Square. A big number of ulema and mashaikh representing different sects and members of minorities would also join the march, they said.
On the directives of the tehrik’s central headquarters donations are also being collected from the TMQ members. Reception centres will be set up in different areas to facilitate people to get information about the rally.
“We don’t collect donations from general public and only the TMQ workers can donate,” Mr Durrani said, adding that people who would participate in the rally should take warm clothes and blankets with them. He said that the participants would get free food and accommodation in schools.
TMQ’s provincial chief Mushtaq Ali Khan Suhrawardy said that a massive publicity campaign for the proposed march would be launched in a few days. The workers, he said, would start wall chalking across the province while pamphlets and leaflets would also be distributed in urban and rural areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.