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Long march to continue according to schedule: Qadri

January 11, 2013

Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Tahirul Qadri. — File Photo by AFP/File

LAHORE: The leader of Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) Dr Tahirul Qadri on Friday said that the long march would continue as planned on Jan 14 and federal and Punjab governments would be responsible for any untoward incidents.

“No one should harbour any doubt that there will be a march, as scheduled, on time,” he said.

Speaking to media representatives at a press conference in Lahore, Qadri said the courts had declared his long march to be legal and constitutional. Therefore, all opponents calling the march unconstitutional would be guilty of committing contempt of court.

He thanked the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for their support and announced that the long march would continue despite the MQM’s withdrawal.

The MQM had announced its decision that it would not participate in Qadri’s long march earlier on Friday, citing “serious security threats” after a series of blasts killed 102 people in Quetta on Thursday.

However, in his press conference on Friday, said that he would continue with the march as planned despite security fears.

“I am not scared of death, I will convene members of my family tonight and convey my last will, to tell them what they should do if I am assassinated,” Qadri hit back. “Let them seal Islamabad, we will open our routes.”

The TMQ chief said that no organisation had issued threats of attacks on the long march. He added that should a ‘terrorist’ attack target the march, the responsibility shall fall on the federal and Punjab governments.

Moreover, Qadri said that either the federal and provincial governments had completely failed at curbing violence, or they were supporting terrorism in the country. He said that despite their incompetence, the current government continues to rule the country in an obstinate manner.

Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has called Qadri's march a “conspiracy to destabilise the government”.