Tough talk: Qadri’s demand vis-a-vis ECP puts govt in quandary

Published: January 14, 2013
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A file photo of MQI chief Tahirul Qadri taken during one of his religious lectures.

A file photo of MQI chief Tahirul Qadri taken during one of his religious lectures.

ISLAMABAD: 

Dr Tahirul Qadri whose march was rolling towards the capital has conveyed a few demands to the government, with sacking of election commission featuring as the first and foremost.

Qadri, who has vowed to make public his other demands in the federal capital, wants immediate installation of an interim setup acceptable to all stakeholders and implementation of articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution that set a strict criteria for individuals to be eligible to contest elections.

Sources said the government team headed by Chaudhry Shujaat that held many rounds of talks with Dr. Qadri had conveyed him some positive signals that it was ready to negotiate. But the government considers as ‘unconstitutional’ his demand of dissolving the election commission.

“There is no other way except bringing an amendment to the constitution with a two-thirds majority,” a cabinet member said.

In the existing constitution there are two provisions to remove ECP hierarchy: either any of the four members and the chief election commissioner resign on their own or through a Supreme Court reference.

The long march, which was overshadowed by the countrywide protests against killings of Hazara community in Quetta, is likely to enter the capital on Monday afternoon (today).

Minhajul Quran’s long march and countrywide protests of the Shia community have almost paralysed cities and towns across the country. Political pundits are predicting important changes in the next few days and fear that the situation could go out of hand if the federal government failed to act prudently.

March deal

Interior Minister Rehman Mailk has claimed that district administration of the federal capital has inked a written agreement with Minhajul Quran officials that they would not go beyond the venue reserved for them by the administration. However, the local chapter of Minhajul Quran and its central leadership have denied reaching any such agreement.

Dr. Rafeeq Abbasi, Qadri’s key aide told The Express Tribune that no such decision had been taken.

According Ibrar Raza, president of Islamabad chapter of Minhajul Quran, followers of Dr. Qadri from areas adjoining the federal capital will start gathering in Islamabad in huge numbers from Monday morning.

Besides official security personnel, around 10,000 workers of Minhajul Quran will provide security services to the long march including 5,000 local volunteers, he claimed.

Some 400 workers are preparing the stage for leadership of the long march, he added.

The stage is being erected with eight 20-foot containers.

Minhajul Quran wanted to set the stage in D-Chowk tonight but the capital administration had been restricting them and persuading them to set it up some two kilometres away from the highly sensitive area.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2013.

 

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Ricky
    Jan 14, 2013 - 10:57AM

    Here is a link some friend sent me to show the real Qadri. Pakistanis have to decide who is more credible in Islam Qadri or the most respected Al-Azhar scholars?

    http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/international/10-Jan-2013/al-azhar-scholars-expose-tahirul-qadri

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  • Sardar Shah
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:04AM

    Illogical demands by illogical man.

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  • Tabinda Naheed
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:18AM

    Foreign agenda being worked out by foreign national in Pakistan. Tahir ul Qadri please go back to Canada.

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  • Shamila Sadaf
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:31AM

    Qadri Sahib, why did you flew to canada? Why dont you leave Canadian citizenship? You are a dual national. We dont trust you. You are doing DRAMA. I am sure that you are working on some international agenda against Pakistan.

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  • Umar Usman Ch.
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:38AM

    FIR should be lodged against Tahir ul qadri in case of any law and order situation.

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  • Beatle
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:44AM

    Welcome to Islamabad.
    Have a Nice Cold.

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  • Afzaal Khan
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:44AM

    Why in God name we listening or even negotiating with Qadri, anyone demanding anything unconstitutional should be in jail

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  • Joker777
    Jan 14, 2013 - 11:57AM

    why are you doing this?? what is your purpose??? the assemblies are dissolving in 2 months anyways….why now???

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  • Born Political
    Jan 14, 2013 - 12:12PM

    Why dissolve when ECP is headed by an honest person? Just because he is old? Qadri wants to delay elections.

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  • speakupnow
    Jan 14, 2013 - 1:09PM

    Even the high courts have accepted that he is not doing anything unconstitutional. It is the right of every citizen to protest in a democratic society. All he is saying that there should a neutral caretaker government so that elections are not partial and rigged again. Otherwise, there is no point in holding elections again and again if the same corrupt politicians will be back in power to haunt people of Pakistan for the next five years.

    Just appointing a neutral chairman of ECP does not mean anything if he is powerless and cannot ensure that caretaker govt and elections would be neutral.

    Govt is filling ministries with thousands of jobs to increase vote bank and ECP is sleeping over it. Not only new jobs are being offered in thousands in different departments, those appointed on a temporary basis by the present government are being regularised in huge numbers, including those hired temporarily without any advertisement or merit.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-20195-Thousands-being-recruited-before-polls-to-win-votes

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  • Tajammal Waheed
    Jan 14, 2013 - 7:55PM

    To those criticizing Dr Qadri: For God’s sake be honest to yourself and to this unfortunate nation. Listen to what he is demanding. He is struggling for the welfare of a common man. If you can’t join him, then the least you can do is to shut up.

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