Qadri, Altaf start 'journey to revolution' from Karachi
02 January, 2013
KARACHI: Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran chief Tahirul Qadri on Tuesday said that first there should be reforms in the country and then elections.
Addressing a large rally organised by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) at the Jinnah Ground, Qadri said, "From Karachi today, begins the path to revolution. On 14 January the people's parliament will make its decision." He said that he wanted to return to the people a "genuine democracy", and added that MQM chief Altaf Hussain has answered the call for true democracy in Pakistan.
Qadri said that Islamabad will become Tahrir Square on January 14 but assured that the long march would be peaceful. He said that he only wants those people to participate in the elections who are permitted to do so by the constitution of the country. The Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran chief said that his agenda is aimed against feudal and exploitative forces in the country. Earlier on, Qadri arrived at MQM headquarter Nine Zero where he was received by members of the Rabita Committee and MQM workers.
Qadri said that Islamabad is going to be the biggest 'Tahreer Square' of the world on January 14 where four million people will gather to "demolish the wall of cruelty with one stroke". He again denied allegations that he or the MQM had a hidden agenda in the planned long march on January 14. He said that the MQM has remained allied to other parties and even supported the president and prime minister's candidatures, and if there was no hidden agenda at that time then the same is true for now.
Qadri said that their agenda for January 14 long march was elimination of feudalism and bringing real democracy, rule of law and implementation of the constitution in letter and spirit. "No leaf will break and no bullet will be fired on January 14," he added. While noting that they were being accused of wanting to derail the system, he rhetorically asked which system. "We do not accept the system which does not run under the constitution."
Qadri also dispelled the impression that he wanted to become the caretaker prime minister. "We only want an impartial caretaker government," he said, adding that people will not accept a caretaker government through 'mukmuka'. He said that they want holding of general elections according to the articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
Addressing the gathering through telephone from London, MQM chief Altaf Hussain said that his party had been struggling for years against the rotten system that is prevalent in Pakistan. "People who spend millions of rupees in buying election tickets cannot solve the problems of the masses," the MQM chief said. "The long march will prove to be a quick march for looters," he said. Altaf also invited other political and religious parties to participate in the long march.
Altaf said that the "suppressed" masses would decide their future in a public parliament on January 14 in Islamabad. "There would be a revolution against tyranny and injustice," he declared, and added that the MQM has been struggling to topple the devastated and declining system. He made it clear that the march was not meant to delay elections or to derail democracy, but to save Pakistan.
He added that the journey towards evolutionary change in Pakistan has started and the army and other national institutions should support the revolution instead of putting stumbling blocks in its way. MQM leader Farooq Sattar, while addressing the rally earlier on, had said that the large gathering was proof that the people want change. He also said that Altaf and Tahirul Qadri's agenda is one and the same.
People will never support unconstitutional demands
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Tuesday said that the people would never support any unconstitutional demand of any individual, as it would be treacherous.
"Holding of public processions and debates is a constitutional right, however, no one will be allowed to breach the law," the information minister said while talking to newsmen after attending the birthday celebration of Pakistan Baitul Maal Chairman Zamurd Khan at the Pakistan Sweet Home.
Replying to a question about the announcements by the government's coalition partners, including Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Pakistan Muslim League-Q, to support Dr Tahirul Qadri's long march, he said they were still part of the government.
However, he said that the Chaudhry brothers had old ties with Dr Qadri and had announced to support him for electoral reforms, which had always been demanded by all the parties.
Kaira said around two and a half months were left till the end of the government's tenure. He said the government and the assemblies would complete their constitutional terms. While welcoming Dr Qadri back in the country, the minister said that he should contest elections according to the constitution, as an independent election commission has already been formed.