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Interior Minister Rehman Mailk. — Photo by AP/File

ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Monday challenged Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Tahirul Qadri’s prior claims that four million people had participated in his long march from Lahore to Islamabad.

The federal interior minister further said that the number of participants in the long march could not be greater than 25,000-30,000, adding that he would inform Qadri about the actual numbers when the latter would arrive in Islamabad.

The interior minister also threatened to issue a 'white paper' against Qadri and demanded that the latter leave Islamabad on moral grounds.

He added that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) was probing the expenditure of the long march.

The interior minister further said that fool-proof security arrangements had been made for the long march and that the interior ministry had provided security for the long march as promised.

Malik has previously dismissed Qadri’s long march as “nothing more than a blanket march” and a “suicide attack on democracy.”

He has also accused the TMQ chief of attempting to derail the democratic process and postpone the upcoming general elections.