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JI chief sees establishment behind long march

January 16, 2013

LAHORE, Jan 15: Jamaat-i-Islami chief Syed Munawwar Hasan sees the role of the establishment in facilitating Dr Tahirul Qadri organize the long march and take it to D-Chowk of the federal capital from Lahore smoothly.

“We too have been holding long marches on Islamabad in the past but we were always stopped outside the capital. Marchers led by Mr Qadri couldn’t have entered the federal capital and reached even up to D-Square without the backing of the military establishment,” Mr Hasan said while talking to Dawn here on Tuesday. He termed the long march a `Mukmuka’ (deal) between the establishment and Mr Qadri to cause the collapse of political and democratic system in the country.

He said the MQM’s surprising decisions to join Qadri-led long march and then withdrawal and the PML-Q leadership’s earlier endorsement to the TMQ agenda could also be the part of establishment’s game. “President Asif Ali Zardari, too, is equally responsible for creating a situation the country is presently facing in the form of long march,” he deplored. He also criticized media for playing an `irresponsible’ role by giving a hype to Dr Qadri unnecessarily.

Talking about Tuesday’s Supreme Court verdict, the JI leader held the marchers responsible for unnecessarily creating an impression of having the support of the judiciary soon after it announced a landmark verdict to arrest the prime minister and other accused in the rental power case. “We are sure that the judiciary has decided this case on merit. The decision on Tuesday was a continuity of the apex court’s previous directions it issued to the government. We do not see in it any kind of link nor any sort of bid to wrap up the system,” he explained.

Commenting on Dr Qadri’s demands, he said though Mr Qadri’s demand of forming an interim set-up with the consultation of all political parties was genuine, his condition to involve military and judiciary in the process was absolutely unconstitutional.

“The TMQ chief should not have demanded dissolution of the Election Commission of Pakistan keeping in view the integrity of the Chief Election Commissioner and his appointment in result of a broad-based consensus. Had Qadri talked about empowering the CEC instead of dissolving it, the demand would have made sense,” he said.

When asked how the country could get rid of the deadlock created in Islamabad due to the long march, the JI amir said as an APC had been called by the PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for Jan 16 (today), the participants including the JI would try to find a way out to avert any untoward situation.

Earlier, while addressing party’s central Shoora, the JI chief said that Dr Qadri could not be successful in realizing his foreign agenda to prevent a silently advancing change in the country. “Though the forces opposing a real change and an Islamic revolution in the country wanted to cause disappointment among the people, the masses will not be befooled through such dramas.”

He appreciated the army chief for responding to India in a befitting manner. He said the JI was not against the US itself, but it was against the anti-Islam and anti-Muslim policies of Washington.