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Marching to a different beat?

Published Jan 11, 2013 04:39pm


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As Islamabad braces itself for the long march announced for Jan 14 by Tahirul Qadri, chief of the Tehrik-i-Minhajul-Quran, many questions arise with regard to the possibilities and likely outcomes of the TMQ’s stated objectives that the event aims at.

Developments on the march have witnessed many twists during the past few days with the two major coalition allies of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) -- the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) announcing their support for Qadri’s march.

However, the MQM, after previously announcing its participation in the event, later decided not to join the march and announced on Jan 11 that it would continue to morally support the TMQ.

Furthermore, the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI), had earlier announced not to join the march whereas the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) and PPP, the main parties that the TMQ stands to oppose, have been issuing statements in attempts to play down the event.

Separately, the federal government has been referring to terrorist threats that may target the event after claiming to have intercepted communications among the ranks of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

The government’s claims have however been denied by the TTP.

Moreover, recently, the Lahore High Court also dismissed a petition against the proposed march. The plea, which requested the court to restrain Qadri from holding the march, had cited security concerns as its primary argument.

Qadri had also sought for additional security, a request which was reportedly declined by the Punjab government after the federal government had forwarded its own request for assistance to the provincial government.

Would Qadri’s march succeed in achieving its stated objectives? And would the federal government be able to manage the situation without resorting to violence in case of a crowd that may charge into aggression? Also, what immediate and long-term outcomes could it lead to in relation to the country’s political scenario?


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Comments (31) Closed

Agha Ata (USA) Jan 11, 2013 07:02pm
Qadri has introduced and established himself as an important political entity with a BANG. The purpose of the long march has already been achieved. :)
hashmi Jan 11, 2013 06:57pm
Dr SAHABA ZINDABAD.. we love u!!
fiaz Jan 11, 2013 06:46pm
Zulfiqar Jan 11, 2013 04:52pm
I do not see any thing wrong in this march and i hope it will be peacfull as TQM is saying....
khanm Jan 13, 2013 08:35am
It does not mean to a start to change. One should look for the credibility of the person subjectively and objectively. He left Pakistanis for a better life in Canada. Now he rekindles his feelings for poor Pakistanis. It does not jive.
Safia Jan 13, 2013 07:06am
If Dr Tahir ul Qadri wants a real change in Pakistan, he should contest elections and avoid marches which could lead to violence. Secondly, why has he become so interested in Pakistani politics now? was he waiting for canadian citizenship... or else why doesnt he asks his family members to come and participate in this march and show how committed he is towards Pakistan. Pakistani have seen enough... we have not yet recovered from the horrific Quetta bombings.. no more act of violence now... PLEASE
Mehreen Jan 13, 2013 08:05am
I don't see any bravery in his actions. It is more like taking the back door. If he genuinely cares for change then why not prove himself as a leader by sweepingly winning the elections. Power is not in mobilizing mobs. Power is in winning hearts and minds of people. I didn't even know this person till he surfaced last month. What service has he done for the people of Pakistan? Do we even look at the bio's of people before recognizing them as so called leader or heroes?
Marina Jan 11, 2013 08:02pm
Qadri's long march would not sabotage the upcoming elections - which presumably would not be as much fair and transparent as claimed. The main outcome would be the unchallangable status of the elections in the pretext of Qadri's demands and abstention of political parties from demanding electoral reforms. There would left no moral grounds of raising any voice against poll riggings if they have no reservations regarding the electoral process.
S. A. M. Jan 13, 2013 12:50pm
Mehreen it seems you are living on Mars. How fair elections are in Pakistan it is nothing ambiguous. In so many incidents it has been seen that the the person had not even gone to cast hi vote but yes it had been done by someone ELSE.Moreover it has also been seen that one person gives votes several times. So in this scenario where do you a newcomer stand who does not believe in using baton to prove that he is right!. Please think it over.
S. A. M. Jan 13, 2013 12:58pm
What choice you and I have. Most of our leaders left the country for their own sake. we can start with Benazir she lived in th UK for a long time she came back when time was ripe. Nawaz Sharif went to Saudi Arab for almost a decade. He became when he though it was the right time for him to make a come back. Altaf Hussain is not only living in UK but also is a British Citizen. He does not even talk of coming back but still he is controlling the party matters and taking a very vibrant part in Pakistan's politics. Not to forget that we had one imported prime minister in the form of Moin Qureshi. So if we have one more specimen that fine with me at least. Hey Overseas Pakistains you are most welcome to play politrics on us.
Mehtab Afzal Jan 11, 2013 09:20pm
I wish Dr sahib may achieve all the goals he has aimed but apparently it does not seem quite favorable to stage this protest. I am unable to comprehend what might have led Dr Sahib to do this two months before election. If any unpleasant event happens during his protest who is going to be responsible for that?
ABDUL HAQ Jan 11, 2013 10:03pm
To the queation "Would Tahirul Qadri
Khan Jan 12, 2013 12:58am
Neya Chera, puri chaal..................
Syed Imran Jan 12, 2013 01:07am
i am surprised thatsome people voted negatively on this! This too is part of our problem in addition to the current people in power. We are chamchas and so insensitive and ill nformed on the issues and problems of the people -- and then we pine for democracy!
Waqas umer Jan 12, 2013 02:39am
Whatever the out come we should at least support the effort against the fuedal lords of Pakistan...Pharos of these times....I pray to almighty that achieves his goal of electoral reforms in the land of pure... Pakistan Zindabad
Farooq Ali Jan 12, 2013 04:28am
It is a paper tiger and a showbiz method for innocent masses.
millerd348 Jan 13, 2013 11:28am
Agreed with your astute political observation. Jan 12, 2013 05:03am
If there is democracy, it should be allowed and expect peacfull and provide security. This is responsibility of the sitting government. We should appreciate and wellcome those want a positive change for the masses. At least somebody think about it because what we have been having during last 5 years and what is the present condition of the country. Those experienced faces could not give better result. Lets understand it. There should be changes in the system. Make your minds positive for good days. Nobody will make you good.
millerd348 Jan 13, 2013 11:25am
I don't think he would even ponder standing in election. He knows that in order to participate he has to renounce his Canadian connection which it doesn't appear he is ready to do. He may have a hundred ten reasons for it. Irrespective of this I believe this is a bold step and the nation should support him. It is evidently clear nothing may come out of it , but the very fact that Dr Tahir-ul Qadri has taken an action against the fraudulent electoral system and endemic corruption is itself an evidence of the man's potency and charisma. So far we have been hearing a lame threats from the politicians who may be or not be the omens of change. Anything force that obstructs and marginalised the two tried political parties must be good and we should support it. Mr Tahir ul Qadri has the support of many. It is only through the electoral reform that he is proposing , can the hegemony of the two party system can be broken and a third force can emerge. The survival of this nation hinges on this third force. Lets hope that this nation has achieved enough political maturity to able to bring a change through the ballot box. Dr Qadris long march is a small but right step towards it.
AQEEL PUNJWANI Jan 12, 2013 05:07am
You are right, we are with you. qadam barao hum tumhare sath hai.....
khanm Jan 12, 2013 05:46am
My advice to Qadri Shahab., never point your finger at some one else
Mohammed Jan 13, 2013 11:01am
with due respect i would only ask you that, did you go through all your leader ( Dr. Tahir qadri ) statement which has been given within Pakistan and outside Pakistan ( Canada) posted on FB. could you kindly review those statement and I am quite sure you will change your opinion!!!
Ejaz Jan 12, 2013 06:24am
Dr. Tahirul Qadri reminds me of 'Anna Hazare' movemebt and protests in India. The out come will be same here as in India. Nil.
Muslim Jan 12, 2013 09:36am
A brave man, and a courageous act, he is the ideal Muslim and stands for the Truth. Whatever the outcome, at least we know there are heroes willing to stand against criminals and villains. Brave men like Dr. Qadri will inspire a whole generation of true Muslims. One day Pakistan
millerd348 Jan 13, 2013 11:59am
I am not Dr Qadri's supporter but I give the guy a full credit for taking the bold step. I admire his determination and stand against the electoral process system and raging corruption. It is indeed a wake up call. Deviously designed and manipulated electoral system has been in place for decades promoting corruption and maintaining political hegemony and status quo of the two corrupt political parties to prevent a change. It is a conniving, clandestine hatched up political conspiracy against the naive uninformed and unsuspecting nation. In plain Urdu we call it "MILI BAGATH" or in English we say you scratch my back and I scratch yours.
S. A. M. Jan 12, 2013 01:46pm
It is the first step in the right direction. Someone has to take a start which gives others the encouragement to follow. We should not be expecting very big change from the March but should appreciate that at least somebody has the guts to rise against the cruelties of our present times. I wish Dr Tahri ul Qadri all the best and sincerely hope that we have more and more such people in our society. With a concerted effort yes it is possible to uproot the corrupt government + bureaucracy
EmMoosa Jan 12, 2013 05:26pm
Atleast some one has shown courage against the corrupt system and rulers either they are sitting in Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi or Quetta. Please support this old man's young voice.
Ahmed Jan 12, 2013 05:37pm
I am amazed that so many comments indicate Pakistanis see nothing wrong with this appearance of Qadri from Canada with no specific issue. If Pakistanis are serious about the issues facing the nation, this is the time when they should focus attention on the respective political parties and what they have to offer to the electorate. If Qadri is serious, he should run for elections rather than seek the short-cut to power with his unstated "demands".
S. A. M. Jan 12, 2013 05:58pm
It means nobody should ever make a start to change things for better for the masses?
kunal Jan 12, 2013 06:54pm
Why does Dr. Tahirul Qadri hold a Canadian citizenship? He and his entire family are based out of Canada.
NASAH (USA) Jan 13, 2013 03:06am
Leading a mob is easier than leading an ELECTION.