ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira scoffed at Dr Tahirul Qadri and the demands he had put forward during his long march in Islamabad on Wednesday.
Speaking on behalf of the government, Kaira responded to each of the four demands put forward by Qadri and questioned their credibility. “He wants the government, assemblies, parliament and the election commission to be dissolved and then get the caretaker government to himself… But if all these things are dissolved, then how will new things be formed?”
Kaira claimed that Qadri wants consultation of army and judiciary in the formation of the caretaker setup but doesn’t tell how it can exactly be done. “The old system of caretaker government doesn’t exist anymore. Things are structured now.”
“He [Qadri] says he respects the chief election commissioner, but also says that he is 86 years old and not capable of handling rigging. So what do you need – a pehlwan to use force against rigging?” Kaira questioned. He added that the four officials of election commission, whose credibility was questioned by Qadri, were former judges and were appointed constitutionally by the parliament.
“He [Qadri] said that the government is in the ‘bunkers’ and not with the people. Where is he sitting himself right now?” Kaira said while mocking Qadri’s bomb-proof truck in which he has been residing during the march.
Advice for Qadri
Kaira offered advice to Qadri for bringing change in the country. “You should provide your manifesto, register your party, renounce your Canadian citizenship, become eligible to run for elections, summon votes, get a 2/3rd majority, come to the assembly and then bring a change through the Constitution.”
The minister said that Qadri will be welcomed if he chooses this path, but playing with peoples’ emotions and using religion for his purposes is improper.
He appealed to Qadri to spare the women and children from his march. “Mothers with their infants are at the march braving the severe cold.”