Marchers could have overthrown democracy: Qadri
20 January, 2013
LAHORE: Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri said on Saturday that long marchers in Islamabad were so enthusiastic that they could have occupied the Parliament House on his orders.
Addressing a press conference, Qadri said that his orders might have led to overthrowing of democracy.
"Democracy would have been banished from the country, had I directed the sit-in participants to capture parliament," he said.
He said the sit-in participants had only two options: one was to go ahead and capture parliament and the other was to wait for the rulers to come forward for talks.
He said that the peaceful march attended by "millions of people" had established a great example in the entire world.
Qadri said that arrangements had been finalised to launch an operation against the protesters on January 16 but police deployed for the security of the march had decided to defy any order of crackdown on the marchers.
He claimed that the Punjab government provided the federal government a force of 6,000 commandoes to bear down on the sit-in, but people in top ranks were against it.
Qadri said that the rulers were not prepared to enter a dialogue from January 16 to 17, adding, "I had to say that I am giving the last call after which they showed up."
By not sparing any chance to the negotiations, these rulers wanted to roll back democracy from the country, he asserted.
He said the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) rallied support from all political parties to oppose the Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran.
Qadri said that he would not contest the upcoming elections and a decision about fielding Awami Tehreek candidates would be taken soon.
He said that he was neither leaving Pakistan nor summoned by Canadian police.
He said negotiations would be held with the government on January 27 on the agreement reached on Thursday, adding that he was confident that the Islamabad Long March Declaration would be implemented in letter and spirit.
Replying to criticism that he got nothing out of the long march, Qadri claimed that he had been "100 percent successful".