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TMQ’s alternate plans to reach Islamabad

January 11, 2013

Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri. — File photo

LAHORE, Jan 10: The leadership of Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) has directed all its divisional and district heads to start shifting workers to Rawalpindi and Islamabad or the areas close to the twin cities with immediate effect in order to ensure their timely participation in the long march.

The decision has been taken to ensure participation of a maximum number of workers in the march in case the authorities create any hurdle, Dawn has learnt.

Party sources say that there are three plans to make the march a success.

The plan A suggests making the arrangements in routine, such as advance booking of buses, lodging/boarding of the workers on the way and in Islamabad and other things necessary in this regard.

The plan B suggests shifting of participants to Islamabad or Rawalpindi or the places near the two cities in case the authorities start creating hurdles. The plan C suggests reaching Islamabad by all means but in a peaceful manner.

A party official said workers from TMQ chapters of Azad Kashmir and some neighbouring districts of Rawalpindi had already reached Islamabad or Rawalpindi on their own under the plan B. He said 15,000 buses had already been booked in order to transport workers from Lahore, Nankana Sahib, Sheikhupura and Kasur. He said the TMQ leadership had asked all of its workers of central and south Punjab, Sindh to start gathering in Islamabad till 9am on Jan 13.

Another official said the leadership would hold the long march on Islamabad from Lahore by all means. “We have to reach there by removing all hurdles whether containers, barriers or anything else on the way,” TMQ media team chief Qazi Faizul Islam told this reporter. He urged the Punjab and federal governments to facilitate the TMQ in organizing this march peacefully rather than planning to disrupt it.

Meanwhile, the TMQ chief organizer Rahiq Ahmad Abbasi has rejected the interior minister’s statement. “The minister’s statement to allow entry of the TMQ chief Dr Tahirul Qadri in Islamabad subject to an NOC is wrong and baseless and a part of disinformation,” Abbasi said in a statement on Tuesday. He said party officials, soon after the Dec 23 rally in Lahore, had informed the Islamabad commissioner about holding the long march.

Meanwhile, TMQ chief Dr Tahirul Qadri postponed his scheduled press conference twice on Thursday. The party had organized the news conferences with reference to passing of the Jan 10 deadline given by Mr Qadri in his Dec 23 rally to the government for the acceptance of his demands related to the formation of an honest and trustworthy interim set-up and holding general elections within 90 days or so after introducing electoral reforms in the country.

Party sources said the press conference was cancelled due to MQM chief Altaf Hussain’s address. Now Qadri would hold the news conference on Friday (today) at 3pm.