Seven-point charter: PTI to use long march as strategy of last resort

Published: January 17, 2013
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The top leadership of PTI has decided not to join hands with firebrand cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The top leadership of PTI has decided not to join hands with firebrand cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The top leadership of PTI has decided not to join hands with firebrand cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri. PHOTO: AFP/FILE A supporter of Tahirul Qadri gestures near a tent during the third day of protests in Islamabad. PHOTO: REUTERS
ISLAMABAD: 

Differences among party leaders led the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday to not launch a long march just yet against the government for the execution of party chief Imran Khan’s seven-point charter of demands.

PTI insiders told The Express Tribune that a long march, if any, would be regarded as a strategy of last resort if all attempts to install a neutral caretaker government set-up failed.

The top leadership of PTI has decided not to join hands with firebrand cleric Dr Tahirul Qadri, chief of Minhajul Quran International (MQI).

The move comes following the party think-tank’s recommendations, which advised Khan that by staging a dharna outside the Parliament House in Islamabad, MQI has won over the hearts of the oppressed people.

“Imran refused to join hands with Qadri after sensing political pressure in favour of other [political] parties,” said an anonymous party leader who attended the meeting. “We have decided to stand by other parties, paving the way for holding the next general elections on time.”

Khan remained silent when senior PTI leaders told him that the party could not strike while the iron is hot. “We should [have] played with the public sentiments before Qadri sahib gathered the crowd,” the leader said, while quoting Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

PTI President Javed Hashmi and Qureshi told the participants of the meeting that allying with Dr Qadri at the moment would prove to be a disastrous move for PTI, the party leader added. They also criticised those party leaders who recommended Khan to be a part of the influential scholar’s dharna, he claimed. In its recommendations, the party’s Islamabad leadership asked the PTI chief to join forces with MQI as soon as possible.

“Even though there is strong support for MQI within PTI’s ranks, we took the decision to strengthen the democratic process,” said another PTI leader.

“We will not participate in Qadri’s long march,” PTI’s Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood said. PTI for the time-being will also put all its aggressive plans (protests) on hold to support the struggle for free and fair elections, Mehmood claimed.

He also reiterated that “come what may, we will participate in the next elections.” PTI believes in free and fair elections which could not be held under President Asif Ali Zardari, he said, adding that his party will chalk out a strategy on how to oust the president.

Party leaders were non-committal on PTI’s next strategy, but said they had adopted a “wait-and-watch policy” in the aftermath of rising political uncertainty.

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

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Reader Comments (37)

  • Iram
    Jan 17, 2013 - 9:48AM

    Step forward we are with you.

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  • Ali Ash
    Jan 17, 2013 - 9:50AM

    A coward and a sell out to private jets and fan fare. A disappointment and loser for not even reading comments of hundreds and thousands on PTI’s facebook page and listening to those who have joined him not for any principles but for selfish motives. There is no tsunami now and there won’t be any in the future and no democratic right to protest will ever happen as a few who have sacrificed a lot have infact exposed this nation of criminals, elitists and plain losers. Hero say zero!

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  • Hassaan
    Jan 17, 2013 - 9:51AM

    Didn’t join Qadri. Excellent decision. IK is absolutely perspicacity personified. PTI fans believe me, he may not look dominating right now, but once the caretaker setup comes, IK will be ALL over the place. Imran for PM.

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  • Mozart
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:12AM

    Good decision by PTI.

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  • Imran
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:12AM

    does he have any agenda beside keeping himself in the news?
    a complete im-mature person.Recommend

  • Aysha
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:30AM

    Why is PTI afraid of the people’s response, may it be by-elections or joining in the long march. Very disappointing decision, everyone was hoping to have PTI on board and increase pressure on the government

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  • xyz
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:30AM

    all these seven points are constitutional and PTI should struggle for implementation.

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  • Muhammad Asad
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:37AM

    @Imran khan: Its now or never, what are you waiting for ? Go and joins hands with Qadri, and thake the glory.. Are you still hoping for Free & Fair elections under the current system, no its not possible despite the fact that you have gained popularity among the people, you can never be successful in winning 10% of the seats.. as, winning seats does not depend on the one`s fame here in pakistan. it depends on how much sardar/wadairas/shah jee/peers/extortionist/extremist you have in your party. Its the last chance for you. you are expecting something which is impossibe. “Sunami long marach” will have no effect after losing the elections.. as you will be called a traitor after that, and it will also push us towards the creation of another bangladesh. hope you remember the elections before 1971.

    Qadri have provided you the wonderful chance to wipe out the defective system. Act like a a leader, not only depends on what the “Big fishes” in your party are saying as they only wants their seats back, you must have a broader agenda.

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  • Waseem
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:39AM

    @Iram:
    by we means you? right? speak for yourself. we are with PML(N).Recommend

  • Salman
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:42AM

    Imran for PM inshaAllah

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  • AHSAN
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:45AM

    Only PTI

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  • Ahmed Zawar
    Jan 17, 2013 - 10:47AM

    So you quote an ‘anonymous’ PTI leader saying ‘we should have played with the public sentiments before Qadri sahab’ and we should believe it? Wikileaks? ET pls

    @Ali Ash

    If you’re really talking about facebook and twitter response then sorry to inform you that on twitter #NoPTITUQ trended way more than #YesPTITUQ. The former was even in the top trends worldwide

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  • Trax
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:08AM

    @Hassaan Once the caretaker setup comes in….and then once the election is almost near…and once the election day comes….and once the votes are being counted….and once the results are being announced….and once the same set of people who have perfected the machinery for getting votes comes to power….and once they run the govt the same way for the next five year!!!! My dear friend….there is a man sitting with his followers in Islamabad for the last few days who has come out for what he believes….he is out there and he is calling everyone who is against the current system of electing the same crooks! Keep waiting and see how the times will pass you by and your march will never come!

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  • Nomi
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:16AM

    Imran Khan should have joined the sit-in to topple the corrupt elite. At least, some one has stood up against the rotten system.

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  • Zeeshan
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:18AM

    “The move comes following the party think-tank’s recommendations, which advised Khan that by staging a dharna outside the Parliament House in Islamabad, MQI has won over the hearts of the oppressed people.” PTI think-tank’s worried for his party popularity not for the Cause.

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  • Jan 17, 2013 - 11:25AM

    This was the only chance for IK to prove that he is different from other politicians but he failed…feel very sorry for him.

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  • Asif Nawaz
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:26AM

    My vote is still for PTI….

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  • Mohib
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:33AM

    Hassan: I would second what all you’ve said. At the same time we also need to look that most of the PTI fans are youngster who just to run over these corrupt people sitting in the assemblies.

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  • Umar
    Jan 17, 2013 - 11:39AM

    If u meet imran khan please convey my message that he has missed a great chance to make history
    Goodby PTI

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  • watchtower
    Jan 17, 2013 - 12:04PM

    IK proved that he is not for change and is a hostage to the old corrupts who have joined him of late. IK history tells us that leaders, at times take, bold decisions feeling the pulse of the masses. you lack that quality and you will suffer for it. there is a difference between leaders and followers. THE LEADER IS SITTING AT ” D CHOWK” WATCH HIM ON TV.

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  • Adeeb Farooq
    Jan 17, 2013 - 12:26PM

    This is not the time of long marches. Please go into elections peacefully and let the public decide its representatives.

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  • Jan 17, 2013 - 12:34PM

    Decision made easy…………All corrupts are now at one side & Qadri at another. Join any one decision is yours……..

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  • ZAK
    Jan 17, 2013 - 12:39PM

    Mr. Imran Khan can you not see how NAB is protecting this corrupt government? You said that you will protect SC so it is the time now for you to act. Forget elections, as you will not get more than 30 NA seats in Pakistan. This election commission has failed to stop poll rigging. There is no army supervising voters verification. Zardari is doing politics as president. All the political parties are now united to protect the corruption and this system which only promote corruption and protect corrupt. People supported you because you appeared to be different than other conventional politicians. You are supposed to live up to the expectations of your supporters. If you march to persuade government to implement SC order and zardari to resign than its all constitutional. What are you afraid of?

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  • FP
    Jan 17, 2013 - 12:41PM

    @Waseem:
    Be we means other than few like u… bcz majority are with Imran Khan

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  • ZAK
    Jan 17, 2013 - 12:55PM

    Imran Sahab you are losing the faith of young generation by stepping back from your stance. This is the time when the public sentimentment and support will incline to that person who can do something different and unconventional. TUQ could not bring more than 100K people on streets but you can bring 10 times more than that easily. I tell you establishment will not intervene in this whole situation. You have done enough of politics in press conferences NOW is the time for street politics.The whole young generation is behind you. You need to be proactive not reactive i.e. if you show reaction after ‘muk muka’ caretaker set up then you will be late for any reforms. You have enough of reasons for going to streets which are as follows:
    1 – SC orders not being implemented
    2 – NAB is protecting the corrupt
    3 – Zardari is doing politics as president
    4 – Balochistan government has failed
    5 – Election commission is not capable to stop poll rigging and voter buying
    6 – PPP has failed and causing the people to believe that democracy has failed
    7 – Go with the flow man…this is the time…this is not qadri’s march this is your march who is being led by TUQ…if you join TUQ will be overshadowed…

    What are you thinking? The old politicians in your party are old and not bold and beautiful at all. You are always perceived as bold and beautiful. This is your chance to secure the future of Pakistan and protect PTI political future.

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  • Zulfiqar
    Jan 17, 2013 - 1:42PM

    Excellent Decision, the 16 years of political struggle cannot be put on stake for mere 3 weeks of political drama.
    The name of Tahir ul Qadri will be nowhere in a month’s time. We need to make sensible decisions and PTI just did that. PTI is the only hope !!

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  • Saad Iqbal
    Jan 17, 2013 - 1:42PM

    just to remind you. Jinnah also refused to join the Khilafat Movement, by the Muslims to pressurize the British rulers. He was also pressurised by the Muslim leaders to participate and stand by the movement. Jinnah refrained. Only time proved him right.

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  • Aysha
    Jan 17, 2013 - 1:52PM

    @Salman:
    Haider Abbas Rizvi for PM InshaAllah

    Recommend

  • Watan dost
    Jan 17, 2013 - 4:52PM

    Eventhough I am a PMLN supporter and have no liking for Qadri whatsoever, but have to acknowledge that Qadri stood by his words. I was thinking that he was just bluffing and would not do the long march but he stood by his words, unexpectedly he did it and that too on just two weeks ultimatum. Today Imran khan looks to me like a dummy in front of Qadri. Recall that imran khan has been talking about tsunami march for more than one year I believe but has not been able to make it a reality. I think imran khan is just not in the league of what people call leaders.

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  • ss
    Jan 17, 2013 - 5:53PM

    Excellent decision, we agree with the demands of TuQ but we don’t agree with his unconstitutional way.

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  • Dr.A. K.Tewari
    Jan 17, 2013 - 7:02PM

    Qadry has elivated the political standing of an allience of various small political parties in Pakistan . Now this fourth political force will play an important role in the formation of new govt. aftet the election .

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  • Hassaan
    Jan 17, 2013 - 7:57PM

    @Trax: Yes, that superman has come out after 5 years. Where was he before? What a JOKE.

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  • liked that
    Jan 17, 2013 - 8:16PM

    you have missed the train pti and this is the last nail in ur coffin..

    qadri’s long march was the last chance to bring about any electoral reforms which cud hv given u any chance in the next election..

    BUT

    :”SAANU KI”

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 17, 2013 - 9:31PM

    If he had announced to join Qadri, thousands of people had gone to his house for shelter and filled his property with filth and garbage. He wants revolution but do not close to his home.

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  • Usman
    Jan 18, 2013 - 4:50AM

    My dear Friends,

    Now, you all have come to know that why that decision was taken by Imran and co.
    We have seen some “great” political and electoral reforms last night which, i think, enough for all to open our eyes. I am really feel pity for those who spent their last four nights, without roof, in such chill conditions of Islamabad.

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  • janan
    Jan 19, 2013 - 1:21PM

    Now the only good thing is for IK to boycott the elections:)

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  • Nafisa mumtaz ali
    Feb 17, 2013 - 10:16PM

    Go forward Imran Khan we r with u
    we hope the next priminister of Pakistan will be Imran Khanhi

    Recommend

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