Crackdown on MQI activists collecting ‘extortion’

Published: January 11, 2013

Interior minister to register a case against Dr Qadri in the event of a terrorist attack during his long march.

ISLAMABAD: 

The government – failing to persuade Tahirul Qadri to withdraw his plans for a long march on the capital – has finally launched a crackdown against Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI)’s activists as a last-ditch effort to force Qadri to put off his million-man march on January 14.

Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Thursday ordered Islamabad police to launch an operation against MQI activists, who were allegedly forcing people to raise funds for the long march.

“I’ve ordered police to arrest Qadri’s followers, who are collecting ‘bhatta’ [extortion money] from people in Islamabad,” said Malik, adding that even government servants were involved in the illegal activity.

Furthermore, the interior minister said he would also register a case against Dr Qadri in the event of a terrorist attack during his long march since the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) had splinter groups which were hell-bent on attacking MQI rally.

“We will register a case against Qadri, if any killing or incident takes place during the long march.”

He went on to add that intelligence reports had suggested that government property will be set on fire, while banks will be looted on the eve of the long march.

Interior ministry officials claimed the government had decided to pull out police personnel from sensitive areas to deploy them in Islamabad and Rawalpindi in efforts to provide foolproof security to residents during the long march. Over 8,000 policemen have been asked to be on high alert in case of an emergency, the officials added.

Meanwhile, government servants have also been directed to stay away from the long march. “Disciplinary actions will be taken against them [government servants],” said Malik. The interior minister also pledged that he would not allow Qadri or his followers to hold a rally in Islamabad’s Blue Area.

When asked whether the government would allow Qadri to hold his long march if he failed to get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the security agencies, Malik said, “We can’t allow Qadri to hold long march until he gets NOC.”

Meanwhile, a senior official of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) told The Express Tribune that the government was in a fix about Qadri’s march.

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

Reader Comments (10)

  • Raj - USA
    Jan 11, 2013 - 11:05AM

    No sensible country would allow such activities. RM is trying his best to control but there are too many vested interests are pulling and pushing from different sides.

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  • Rabia Haroon
    Jan 11, 2013 - 11:24AM

    ALLAH save Pakistan from Canadian and British citizens.

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  • SK5
    Jan 11, 2013 - 11:58AM

    What is the government so afraid of;))

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  • Jaago
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:08PM

    The Govt of the democratic Republic taking action against a peaceful DEMOCRATIC gathering!

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  • Jan 11, 2013 - 12:30PM

    Opportunist, nothing more. This man just wanted to exploit the emotions of Pakistanis.

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  • Trax
    Jan 11, 2013 - 12:50PM

    @SK5: Exactly!
    @Rabia Haroon: May Allah save Pakistan from ill intentioned people.

    So let me get this right…someone comes and talks about having honest people in the assemblies and we have the whole current sitting government and the opposition talking against him and taking action against him?!?! What is the fuss all about? Those who are speaking against him…do you think he is talking about you when he says “dishonest people in assemblies” ? If yes, then I guess their case becomes stronger…if no, then let them go and have their demo.

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  • Jan 11, 2013 - 1:00PM

    “I’ve ordered police to arrest Qadri’s followers, who are collecting ‘bhatta’ [extortion money] from people in Islamabad,”

    This will probably have no effect on Qadri since he’s being funded by the Canadian Government!

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  • cyrus
    Jan 11, 2013 - 1:16PM

    protests and marches is part of democratic systems. to stop it through brute force is undemocratic. now which democracy is Rehman Malik saving/

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  • a&a
    Jan 11, 2013 - 2:09PM

    there is alway LONG MARCH

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  • Hamed
    Jan 12, 2013 - 8:14AM

    Let the March begin!! Get rid of these corrupt political leaders….

    Time for change has arrived. ISB HERE WE COME..

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