Two steps back: Qadri capitulates on earlier demands

Published: February 17, 2013

A delegation of the government meets Tahirul Qadri at his residence. PHOTO: INP

Minhajul Quran International (MQI) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri seems to have capitulated on all his demands in the Islamabad Long March Declaration.

On Saturday, a government delegation, led by Law Minister Farooq H Naek and comprising Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid president Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed, met Qadri at his Model Town residence to amend the declaration.

Under the new agreement, the National Assembly, which is scheduled to be dissolved on March 16, will be dissolved on time – as opposed to Qadri’s previous demand of dissolution before March 16.

The forthcoming elections will be held within 60 days of the assembly’s dissolution, with a 14-day period being allocated for the scrutiny of nomination papers. Qadri had earlier demanded that elections be held within 90 days of the dissolution of assemblies, so that the election commission could be allocated a 30-day scrutiny period for nomination papers.

Meanwhile, regarding the caretaker prime minister under the new agreement, the government and its allies will finalise the name of the candidate before sharing it with Qadri. The MQI chief had earlier demanded that all parties build consensus with the government over the caretaker prime minister and that the judiciary and the military be involved in the process as well.

Qadri’s prime demand – the dissolution of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) – has been scrapped altogether under the new agreement. The MQI chief, tried pursuing the matter through the Supreme Court on PML-Q’s suggestion, but his petition in this regard was rejected.

Addressing a press conference following the meeting, Qadri claimed he ‘deviated’ from his demands to dispel the impression that he was trying to delay the upcoming elections.

Talking about the caretaker set-up, he said the delegation has informed him that they had yet to finalise the names of the candidates. He added that the delegation assured him that he would be consulted once the government’s paperwork was finished in this regard.

Speaking at the conference, Information Minister Kaira thanked Qadri for ‘understanding the government’s difficulties’ in fulfilling the demands of the Islamabad Long March Declaration.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • PakPower
    Feb 17, 2013 - 11:46AM

    What a fool he made of all of us! Apparently he had ulterior motives all along.

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  • Ashraful Makhlooq
    Feb 17, 2013 - 11:58AM

    Tahir-ul-Qadri why don’t you try to understand or intentionally are not trying to understand that PPP and PML-Q have deceived and fooled you by signing Islamabad Long March Agreement and you easily have made fool and I am surprised that why are you celebrating on the government’s deceiving plans and why are you considering your foolishness as your victory?Whereas PPP and PML-Q have succeeded in their missions and you have failed in your missions……

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  • MUNIB
    Feb 17, 2013 - 12:11PM

    This is GOOD for democracy. PAK public in general and its leadership (especially its establishment) have not yet digested the “DEMOCRACY” as in its classical form. If these elections and few more in future are held properly and a tradition of peaceful transition is ensured then only PAK will understand what DEMOCRACY means. Unfortunately democracy in PAK has more of a family business and a POWER tool than any welfare oriented thing.

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  • Roni
    Feb 17, 2013 - 1:02PM

    @MUNIB:
    Amen sir!

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  • A.Khan
    Feb 19, 2013 - 5:30PM

    Tahir ul Qadri is hypocrite he suddenly appear in Pakistan demanding to restructure ECP and fair election. The journalist did not ask him where did he getting funding for his long march and why PPP government sign agreement making him important. Tahir ul Qadri only motive was to make money, buying USD 69,000 bulletproof SUV, hire buses for his long march. The people are ignorant who are following him getting fool by his appearance bearded robe don’t make him religious scholar or honest person.

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