LAHORE, Jan 22: PML-Q President Senator Chaudhry Shujaat Husain has said the signatories to the Long March Declaration are its “guarantors” and mechanism for its implementation will be evolved on Jan 27.
“Participants in Dr Tahirul Qadri’s sit-in were only at five minutes distance from the parliament house and if Qadri had asked them to take over it (parliament), those criticising the government agreement with him today would not have been safe even in their own houses,” Shujaat said at a press conference here on Tuesday.
He said “some people” did not want the government succeed in talks with Dr Qadri for gaining political mileage. He said the entire nation was fully aware that different political and non-political personalities were expecting that the negotiations should not be successful.
“We did not allow replay of the Lal Masjid operation,” he added.
Flanked by Mushahid Husain Sayed, Basharat Raja and Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Shujaat said: “To stop operation against the participants in the sit-in, I had made it clear that if that happened his party would withdraw from the government. The president, the prime minister and Qadri deserve appreciation for saving the country from a major crisis through their understanding and wisdom.”
He said the declaration would prove a milestone for free, fair and transparent elections in the country. About implementation of the declaration, he said this document had been signed by the prime minister, seven federal ministers and leaders of the allies’ parties, and they all were its guarantors and they would get it implemented.
Chaudhry Shujaat said Interior Minister Rehman Malik telephoned him on Jan 16 informing him that he was going to launch an operation for dispersing the people. Then I talked to the president and the premier and warned them that a replay of the Lal Masjid operation could take place. The president said there would be no operation.
He said the prime minister asked him to meet Mr Qadri along with a couple of people. He said: “I will not go without some mandate as I had bitter experience of Lal Masjid talks. After holding successful talks in Lal Masjid episode, I asked for food arrangements for women and children but I was told (by Pervez Musharraf) to tell Maulana Ghazi first surrender to the law.”
Shujaat said he had placed three conditions to the premier for going to talk to Qadri: “The ministers and leaders of allies parties should accompany him, power to decide the matter in one sitting and decide first which demands of Mr Qadri should be accepted.”