Qadri says parliament to be vacated

Published September 4, 2014
Tahirul Qadri addresses supporters in Islamabad September 3, 2014. — Photo by Reuters
Tahirul Qadri addresses supporters in Islamabad September 3, 2014. — Photo by Reuters

ISLAMABAD: Offering a glimmer of hope that the prevailing impasse may end soon, Dr Tahirul Qadri ordered his supporters on Wednesday to vacate the premises of parliament by Thursday.

But even as the moderate cleric appeared to soften his stance, his neighbour on Constitution Avenue, Imran Khan, took an even more confrontational stance and boasted that he was having the time of his life being the scourge of the Sharif brothers’ existence.

Dr Qadri’s, whose speech a day earlier from atop Mr Khan’s container had signalled a coming together of sorts for both protesting parties, appeared to soften his tone on Wednesday, as he called upon supporters who were sick or injured to “return home and not stick around simply for my sake”.

His interaction with his supporters, though limited, featured appeals to take good care of sick children and others who had been severely affected by life on the road over these past few weeks.

Denying that his workers attacked the Parliament House on Sunday night, he said: “My supporters are compelled to reside in the lawn of the Parliament House because they fear teargas if they come out of the compound.”


Imran says he’s glad to have exposed schism within parties, society


He also lashed out at the Pakistan People’s Party and singled out Syed Khursheed Shah for particular venom. “Mr Zardari, tell Khursheed Shah to hold his tongue, otherwise I will be forced to lay bare all your secrets,” he said, but reserved special praise for the party’s late great leader, Benazir Bhutto. “She was a lifetime member of Minhajul Quran and her membership plaque resides in Bilawal House to this day,” he claimed.

He said it was unfortunate the authorities had not arrested those nominated in the latest Model Town FIR and demanded that their names be placed on the Exit Control List.

Social schism

In his rambling address, delivered over the course of Wednesday night with regular intervals, Imran Khan said that he was enjoying the fact that he had been able to divide public opinion in the ongoing political crisis.

“Political parties are divided and the phonies have now been exposed,” he said.

He also expressed his dissatisfaction with his own party workers, saying “Cowards were acting selfishly and were afraid of going to prison,” adding that it was good that division within his own party had been exposed. “Now I know who will stand with me in trying times,” he bellowed.

Referring to certain individuals within his party as “all talk and no action”, he said things had now gone beyond the point of no return.

He proudly claimed that he was putting his tigers to the test and that time would tell who was right and who was wrong.

Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2014

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...
Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...