High-level huddle: Allies advise govt to negotiate with Qadri

Published: January 11, 2013

Sources says Dr Qadri remain the main topic of discussion during a meeting at Bilawal House in Karachi late Thursday night. PHOTO: APP

KARACHI: 

Key allies of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party have urged the government to negotiate with Minhajul Quran International chief Tahirul Qadri, who is scheduled to lead a “million-man march” through Islamabad on January 14.

Sources said Dr Qadri remained the main topic of discussion during a meeting at Bilawal House in Karachi late Thursday night.

The meeting — co-chaired by President Asif Zardari and Premier Raja Pervaiz Ashraf — was attended by MQM’s Farooq Sattar, Raza Haroon and Babar Ghauri, PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and ANP chief Asfandyar Wali Khan.

The meeting also discussed the upcoming caretaker set-up and a date to dissolve parliament and provincial assemblies.

Leaders of the coalition partners stressed the need to negotiate with Dr Qadri over his demands for sweeping reforms, sources said.

The MQM representatives told the meeting that their party has already decided to participate in Dr Qadri’s rally – but at the same time they would also continue supporting the government, democracy and fight against terrorism.

Sources said the meeting also discussed at length issues pertaining to upcoming interim set-up and dissolution of parliament and provincial assemblies.

Party leaders, however, refused to provide details, insisting instead that the meeting was not official and they were, in fact, invited for dinner.

Earlier in the day, Asfandyar Wali said, “I have come to meet PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.”

Meanwhile, Chaudhry Shujaat also said that he was invited by the president for dinner. “I will meet him, but my purpose here is to attend the dinner party.”

Sources said that a day earlier some PPP leaders suggested the president either dissolve the assemblies 24 hours before Dr Qadri’s long march or announce to do so during Bilawal’s public meeting in Thar (also scheduled for January 14) and fix a date of general elections.

According to sources, some senior members also suggested negotiating with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif on an interim government in order to consider his proposal to appoint Mehmood Khan Achakzai as caretaker prime minister to weaken Dr Qadri’s long march campaign.

They added that soon after the suggestion the president formed a four member-committee to negotiate with Nawaz and his government in Punjab on the issue.

However, no clear decision has been made so far as all leaders sought time to consult their respective parties. It is expected that an important decision would be made soon. On the other hand, presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar said all coalition partners vowed to continue their alliance and support democracy.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (10)

  • A2Z
    Jan 11, 2013 - 5:50AM

    MQM is alliy but protesting with Qadri against their own govt, shame on this so called media which is not showing the real face of MQM to people.

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  • Waqar Raja
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:52AM

    The reluctance to negotiate at the part of President is well understood. If Qadri fails it will be because of good governance and if situation goes out of his hands and ultimately Army is called in, Zardari is shaheed once again. He is beneficiary in either case.

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  • SJBhatti
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:42AM

    Corrupt electoral system must go before elections otherwise it will be a repetition of old game. We don’t expect any reforms in the presence of corrupt and incompetent bureaucracy.

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  • Navaid
    Jan 11, 2013 - 7:47AM

    @A2Z:
    We have already the seen the real face of MQM, it is in the shape of Governor Sindh, and Mustafa Kamal, who was ranked the 2nd best mayor of the world.

    Recommend

  • Mika
    Jan 11, 2013 - 8:16AM

    Why should Pakistan give in to demands of a British and a Canadian National?

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  • Polpot
    Jan 11, 2013 - 9:18AM

    Interesting Dress Code:
    ++++++++++++++++++++
    The President & PM wear black.
    The rest wear grey.

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  • Jan 11, 2013 - 9:22AM

    If leaders of nations can ‘agree to disagree,’ why can’t political leaders? Salams for 2013

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  • Mirza
    Jan 11, 2013 - 9:48AM

    I thought that ET is an independent media but there is no news of Jamia Al-Azhar’s condemnation of Qadri and rebuttal of his lies and the title he gave himself. This is another tsunami of the establishment after the previous fizzled out.

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  • Mohib
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:13PM

    Look at these people. While whole Pakistan is bleeding, they are busy playing their dirty political cards. This is so much hyped ‘Jamhooriat’ we are forced to believe in as the best system of governance.

    @ Mirza: That has fizzled out only in your imagination. Just wait and watch. If the tsunami doesn’t strike then be ready to pay for destroying this country by supporting people like the ones shown in photo above. Its because of people like you this country has reached to this point.

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  • Aysha
    Jan 11, 2013 - 6:28PM

    @A2Z:
    Very true shame on media for not showing the real face of MQM, The real face of MQM has the following features:

    1.party leader never contested elections or aspired to hold a public office, so truly a genuine leader (needless to say leads a humble ordinary man’s life, can often be seen in TESCO T shirts instead of Versace suits, adorned by some e.g former PM Gilani)

    no dynastic politics

    no relatives given party tickets (instead brother and nephew martyred)

    no attempt made to fill personal coffers

    MNAs and MPAs, educated and intelligent people none of them with fake degrees

    6.MNAs and MPAs do not become rich over night, some even live in rented houses

    zero tolerance for corruption or nepotism in MQM

    MNAs and MPAs stay in touch with people of their constituency and constituents

    MQM promotes ethnic and religious harmony (e.g. MPA Reza’s and his bodyguards funeral prayers led by sunni and shia clerics and all followed in their immat, unprecedented event in tainted history of religious discord between shia and sunni in Karachi)

    Raising voice for the oppressed (e.g. openly condemning persecution of shias and Ahmedis)

    Produced shadow budget for the first time ever in the legislative history of Pakistan

    Land reforms bill and de-weaponization bill

    Mustafa Kamal phenomenon/model, Pakistan had never seen such enthusiasm and dynamism in a public representative ever before

    Distribution of support in disaster area in the length and breadth of Pakistan regardless of ethnicity and religious belonging

    and above everything presenting a model to Pakistani politics that middle and lower middle class people can make it to parliament houses, which were largely meant for fuedals, wadras and industrialists

    The list goes on, and yes shame on the media, for their dis service to the people of Pakistan by not showing the real face of MQM.

    They should let the real face of MQM be known for the good of Pakistan, because MQM is the only hope.

    Pakistan zindabad

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