I will go to war with the Sharif brothers, says Qadri

I will fight a war against the Sharifs - the present rulers will find a revolution knocking on their door," says...


RAWALPINDI/ ISLAMABAD/ LAHORE/ KARACHI: A sense of anticipation hangs over the capital as cleric-cum-political leader Tahirul Qadri lands back in Pakistan to throw up one of the bigger political challenges to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) year-old government.

As supporters of PAT chief Tahirul Qadri fervently wait for their leader to kickoff his movement against the ruling government, a sense of anxiety and uncertainty has enveloped the country.

Major roads have been blocked off and security has been tightened in Rawalpindi and Islamabad.

Earlier this week, at least ten people were killed and scores injured in Lahore when violent clashes erupted between the police and followers of Qadri – the deadliest political confrontation in Lahore since emergency rule was imposed by General Musharraf in 2007.

As Qadri plans to go head-to-head with the government for a second time, get all the updates here. All stories relating to Qadri’s rally can also be found on this trend page as well.

[Read: AFP version and Reuters version of the clashes that took place today]

A large number of passengers were stranded at the airport, suffering side effects of the clash.

The teargas used by police affected passengers who had scant access to water to wash their faces. It was especially difficult for the children to breath in the thick smog of teargas. Some even fainted.

For the detailed report on the situation that prevailed in the twin cities during the day, click here.



June 23, 9:07pm

"The government wanted to ensure the safe transfer of Dr Qadri to his home, and that was why he was advised and requested to fly via helicopter," said Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid.

Read here for the full story.

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June 23, 7:52pm

"I will fight a war with the Sharif brothers," Qadri says.

"I have come here to change the future of the country. And the follies of the prime minister and the chief minister of Punjab have made the revolution easier," a visibly agitated Qadri says.

He also said that diverting his plane was an act of terrorism.

Qadri says he will not let any corrupt leaders leave the country, according to Express News correspondent Naeem Qaiser.

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June 23, 7:43pm

Urging his supporters to have patience, he said that he will announce when the revolution will take place.

"PAT workers have laid the foundation for a revolution with their blood," he says while saluting the courage of his supporters.

"I have packed everything from Canada and moved to Pakistan. I will fight a war against the Sharifs - the present rulers will find a revolution knocking on their door soon," says Qadri.



Express News screengrab of Qadri addressing the crowd in the rain.

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June 23,  7:38pm

“I have left everything and come here for the 20 crore people of this nation,” says Qadri.

"The revolution will come," the PAT leader repeats three times while addressing the crowd at the secretariat.

“This government will be overthrown soon. Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif are the biggest terrorists, they can kill me but cannot keep me from bringing a revolution,” he added in a jab at the Sharif brothers.

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June 23, 7:36pm

The PAT leader has begun to address the crowd in the rain, according to Express News anchor Rana Mubashir.

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June 23, 7:23pm

Qadri is getting ready to address the crowd, according to Express News.

His presence causes loud cheers to erupt from the crowd of his supporters.

The PAT leader has asked for a double cabin vehicle to stand on to address the crowd.

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June 23, 6:54pm

Qadri is sitting in a bullet proof car with tinted windows. Supporters are showering his vehicle with rose petals, says Express News correspondent Nadeem Chaudhry.

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June 23, 6:45pm

The jubilant crowd warmly greets Qadri as he reaches Minhajul Quran Secretariat, Express News reports.



Express News screengrab of an aerial view of the crowd at the Minhajul Quran Secretariat.

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June 23, 6:19pm

Qadri is exiting Jinnah Hospital, waving to his supporters and flashing the victory sign, Express News reports.



Express News screengrab of Qadri flashing the victory sign while exiting Jinnah hospital. 

He is headed to the Minhajul Quran Secretariat where his supporters have made preparations for his arrival. Outside the secretariat, 'welcome' has been written with roses.

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June 23, 6:05pm

Men, women and children are waiting for Dr Qadri's arrival at the Minhajul Quran Secretariat, says Naeem Qaiser, Express News correspondent.

Police personnel are not present at the secretariat.

Additionally, thousands of women have gathered and are chanting anti-government slogans, says Express News correspondent Nadeem Chaudhry.

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June 23, 5:53pm

Qadri appeared emotional after meeting his supporters at the hospital, Express News reports.

Governor Punjab has made his exit from Jinnah hospital.

Meanwhile, large crowds have gathered outside the Minhajul Quran secretariat, anxiously waiting for their leader’s arrival.

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June 23, 5:15pm

Qadri thanked the media, Sheikh Rasheed, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Altaf Hussain and MQM and the Sunni Ittehad Council for supporting him.

He also says that he will avenge the death of his supporters and will stay in Pakistan till corruption ends, and justice is served.



"The Lahore incident is an example of state terrorism," says the PAT leader.

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June 23, 5:09pm

Qadri is now speaking to the media.

He says that such torture has never been incurred by anyone in history as Shahbaz Sharif has done to his workers.

"Rana Sanaullah, who implemented Shahbaz’s orders should have taken advice from Sarwar," the PAT leader says.

“I wanted to come to Lahore from Islamabad but the government panicked and diverted my plane.”

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June 23, 5:04pm

The PAT leader has entered Jinnah hospital, Express News reports.

This was a condition he presented to the Punjab government before heading home.

Qadri, Elahi and Sarwar have been seated in the medical superintendent’s office as the wards have been crowded by supporters.

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June 23, 4:56pm



PAT supporters gather around a TV watching updates of Dr Tahirul Qadri's arrival, PHOTO: SHAFIQ MALIK.

To view more pictures by our photographer Shafiq Malik, view the slideshow.

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June 23, 4:46pm

The interior ministry has restored cellular service at Lahore airport and surrounding areas, Express News reports.

Qadri is still in the vehicle outside the hospital, he has not yet stepped out to visit injured PAT workers.

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June 23, 4:29pm

Qadri has reached Jinnah Hospital accompanied by Elahi and Punjab governer, Express News reports.



Express News screengrab of PAT supporters and cameramen surrounding the vehicle as Tahirul Qadri arrives at Jinnah Hospital.

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June 23, 4:21pm

No security has been provided by the government outside the Minhajul Quran, says Naeem Qaisar, Express News.

It is reported that police have not been deployed there to avoid clashes similar to those that happened last Tuesday.

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June 23, 4:16pm

Express News correspondent Sajjad Shafiq Butt says that PAT workers have gathered at Jinnah Hospital and are chanting slogans.



Express News screengrab of PAT supporters outside Jinnah Hospital.

Qadri is expected to arrive soon and address the crowds before he heads home - where he will have another press conference.

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June 23, 4:09pm

While leaving the airport, Qadri told Express News that protests will continue.

Security outside Jinnah Hospital has been beefed up.

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June 23, 4:03pm

After a gruelling five and a half hours, Qadri has left the airport and is on his way to Jinnah Hospital, Express News reports.

Heavy security has been provided to the PAT leader.



Express News screengrab of security convoy.

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June 23, 3:58pm

Our correspondent Anwar Sumra has told us that Qadri, Elahi and Governor Punjab Chaudhry Sarwar will visit those injured during the clashes at Jinnah Hospital before heading to Qadri’s residence in Model town.



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June 23, 3:52pm

Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain expressed concern for Qadri, Ebad says.

The Sindh governor adds that Qadri was forced to return to Pakistan after his supporters were killed in the clashes.

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June 23, 3:47pm

“Last night we saw anxiety and bitterness, however, the government has now taken a political approach and things can be dealt with in a better way,” says Governor Sindh Dr Ishratul Ebad.

“The Emirates airline facet made me feel that this matter was being taken to an international front, which could have serious connotations on the country,” says Ebad on calling Dr Qadri to convince him to step out of the plane.

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June 23, 3:34pm

Elahi says that this is not the first time Nawaz Sharif has hijacked a plane.

He further adds that Nawaz did not learn anything from the first time and is repeating history.

"The government failed in controlling the situation and is not capable of providing security to anyone," says Elahi.

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June 23, 3:32pm

PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, while talking to Express News,  says that he has spoken to Qadri who says he will sit in Governor Punjab’s vehicle, who will accompany him home.

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June 23, 3:21pm

Our correspondent Abdul Manan reports that dozens of Qadri's supporters have gathered outside Minhajul Quran Secretariat.

Police is not present at the location but Qadri's private security is.

Qadri will hold a press conference after he arrives at his house and telecommunication service has been suspended outside his home.

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June 23, 3:17pm

Express News reports that a convoy is ready outside Hajj terminal to take Qadri to his house.

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June 23,  3:15pm

Express News correspondent Mian Aslam reports that Qadri is still inside the airport. He adds that police have beefed up security on routes from the airport to the hospital and Qadri’s house.

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June 23, 3:13pm

Speaking to Express News, Qadri says Punjab governor has assured him that the removal of the boundary wall outside his house in Model Town was only temporary.

Punjab governor Chaudhry Sarwar tells Express News that he will inform the chief minister about Qadri's demands.

"All just demands of Qadri's will be accepted," the governor says.

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June 23, 2:47pm

Express News anchorperson Imran Khan says Qadri is walking towards the lounge along with Punjab governor and his supporters.

“Punjab governor has promised to provide enough vehicles to carry all the supporters,” Khan says.

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June 23, 2:42pm

Express News now reports that Qadri has disembarked the Emirates’ aircraft.

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June 23, 2:40pm



For more striking images of the clashes outside Islamabad airport by our photographer Muhammad Javaid, view the full slideshow here.


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June 23, 2:34pm

Qadri, while speaking to Express News, says he decided to listen to Punjab governor in his personal capacity and not as a representative of Nawaz Sharif or Shahbaz Sharif.

“I will avenge the death of my supporters; I have not compromised on my earlier stance.”

“Punjab governor and I will travel together,” he says, adding that he will meet his supporters before he goes to his house.

“We will follow the immigration process and then leave with our motorcade.”

“Each and every supporter of mine will leave with me; I’m not one of those who leaves his supporters in difficult times,” Qadri says.

“My struggle for change in system will continue.”

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June 23,  2:27pm

Punjab governor says Qadri is just like my brother and respects me: “I knew if I would contact Qadri, he would listen to me.”

“We cannot reverse the past but we should learn from our mistakes.”

“This is my country as much as it is Qadri’s; we all want Pakistan to progress,” he adds.

“Shahbaz Sharif was happy when I told him Qadri has agreed to go to his Lahore residence with me,” the governor says.

Punjab governor further adds that we all should respect and accept each other’s mandate.

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June 23, 2:24pm

Thanking Qadri for meeting with him, Punjab governor says he will go with Qadri in his vehicle.

“Qadri has made a few requests related to his supporters and I have assured him that I will stay with him until we address all his concerns.”

“All of Qadri’s supporters will also leave this plane with us," Punjab governor says.



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June 23, 2:20pm

Express News anchorperson Imran Khan says that Punjab governor is in negotiation with Qadri right now.

The Punjab governor is also trying to contact IG Punjab and chief secretary.

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June 23, 2:16pm

Qadri, while speaking to Express News, says he will go in his car along with the governor.

"I fear Shahbaz Sharif’s terrorists will try to attack me and I want the governor to embrace martyrdom with me,” Qadri says.

He further says he will not leave his supporters alone and that he will meet them as soon as he leaves the plane.

Qadri also says he will take the usual route to his home.

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June 23, 2:13pm

Express News anchorperson Imran Khan says Qadri will travel to Model Town in his personal vehicle with the Punjab governor.

“Qadri says he will first go to the hospital and meet his injured supporters along with the governor and then take the governor to his house and offer him tea,” Khan says.

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June 23, 2:10pm

Express News correspondent Noman Sheikh reports that the Punjab governor will speak directly to Qadri and decide what course of action to take.

The correspondent adds that it has not been decided yet if Qadri will leave in the governor’s vehicle or in his personal vehicles that have reached the airport but are still away from the runway.

Qadri’s personal vehicles were allowed to enter the airport through the main entrance.

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June 23, 2:02pm

Express News now reports that Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi’s bullet-proof vehicle has reached the airport to take Qadri to his house, however, it has been barred from going near the Hajj terminal. The Punjab governor has also arrived at the airport.

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June 23, 2:00pm

Qadri says he will disembark the plane only if Punjab governor and media are present outside the aircraft.

Express News reports that Law Minister Rana Mashood is accompanying Punjab governor on his way to meet Qadri.

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June 23, 1:51pm

Politicians on twitter said:




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June 23, 1:49pm

Our correspondent Anwar Sumra reports Governor Punjab is on his way to Lahore airport to conduct negotiations with Qadri.

Express News anchorperson Imran Khan says Governor Punjab spoke to him over the phone and said he is on his way to the airport.

“Punjab governor says he doesn’t want the situation to turn any worse,” Khan says.

Express News also reports that PML-Q leader Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi has offered his car as well to take Qadri to his house in Lahore’s Model Town.

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June 23, 1:47pm

Radio Pakistan reports that over 70 police personnel were injured when PAT workers pelted stones at them near airport in Islamabad.

“On the orders of the interior ministry, the police showed restraint and did not use force against the protesters,” Radio Pakistan adds.


Police fire teargas during scuffle between law enforcement and PAT workers on Monday. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD JAVAID


The injured police personnel have been shifted to PIMs, Polyclinic and District Headquarters Hospital Rawalpindi.

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June 23, 1:45pm

A source told Express News anchorperson Javed Chaudhry that Qadri was contacted by an army official and asked him to be a little flexible.

Express News anchorperson Imran Khan says Qadri has not been directly contacted by any army official.

“Qadri, however, claims the army had agreed to come to escort me but the Punjab government has stopped them,” Khan says.

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June 23, 1:32pm

Express News anchorperson Imran Khan says environment inside the plane is very calm as fears of a fierce clash have subsided after Punjab governor’s offer.

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June 23, 1:30pm

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chairperson Imran Khan said on twitter:




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June 23, 1:19pm

Radio Pakistan said on twitter that the Punjab government has announced a compensation package for the policemen injured in today's clashes with PAT workers:



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June 23, 1:17pm

Express News reports that Emirates had made a request to Punjab government to evacuate the plane and let it continue with its scheduled flight plan.

The airline, in a written request, says this lock-down is affecting its performance.

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June 23, 1:06pm

Express News reports that Qadri has agreed to leave his plane and go to his residence under personal security.




Qadri, while speaking to Express News, says bullet-proof vehicles should be allowed to come to the exit of the plane.

He adds he will disembark and then immediately get inside the vehicle.

“I don’t trust the government and will only let my personal guard come close to me.”

Qadri also says media vans should also be allowed to go with him.

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June 23, 1:00pm

Jamaat-e-Islaami leader Sirajul Haq says "the world would have not ended if the plane was allowed to land in Islamabad."

“The government is making mistakes by mishandling the situation and only strengthening Qadri’s movement.”

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June 23, 12:55pm

CAA spokesperson says they want to resolve the matter as soon as possible.

“We are in talks with the government,” he says.

CAA denies that Emirates had made any request to the aviation authority.

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June 23, 12:51pm

Punjab Law Minister Rana Mashood says Qadri should act responsibly.

“PAT supporters attacking Islamabad police reflect the ideas they believe in,” adds Mashood.

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June 23, 12:49pm

Express News reports that Qadri is consulting PML-Q Punjab president Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, PML-Q chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and AML chief Sheikh Rasheed regarding the issue.

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June 23, 12:46pm

Express News reports that the government has tried to contact Qadri and offered to take him to his house.

Government has offered to provide Qadri with a helicopter and bullet-proof vehicle.

Qadri has refused all the offers made by the government.

An MQM delegation has entered the plane to meet Qadri.


Express News screengrab of Qadri’s plane.


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June 23, 12:43pm

PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, while speaking to Express News, says it is regrettable how government handled the situation.

“On top of that, the government is not even admitting its mistakes,” Kaira adds.

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June 23, 12:32pm

PML-N leader Mian Javed Latif says Qadri is bent upon creating disturbance in the country.

He questions why PAT supporters are present at the airport armed with sticks if they are peaceful.

“If Qadri talks about changing the system, why was he part of this system in 2002,” adds Latif.

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June 23, 12:24pm

According to Express News, Emirates administration wants the plane to be evacuated immediately.

The airline officials have contacted DG Civil Aviation Authority and state advisor for aviation.

https://twitter.com/AirportPakistan/status/480975530498351105

Administration of the airline says the plane has to proceed to the next destination.

Emirates says the aircraft needs to fly back to Dubai and continue with its routine flights.

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June 23, 12:23pm

Express News reports that PAT supporters are present inside Lahore airport’s passenger lounge.

Airport Security Force did not stop the supporter from entering the lounge because they were in large number.

The security around the airport has been beefed up.

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June 23, 12:12pm

PPP senior leader Aitzaz Ahsan, while speaking to Express News, says Qadri might lose support because he is inside Emirates plane and that the government has no control over the international aircraft.

Ahsan says Qadri should not be stubborn and make a compromise to resolve the deadlock.

Express News anchorperson Javed Chaudhry says Emirates has contacted the government over this issue.

The PPP leader says government has overplayed the situation and given advantage to Qadri.

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June 23, 11:56am

Express News correspondent Talib Faridi reports that Qadri has refused to listen to the government.

PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq assures Qadri that he will provide security to him and make sure he reaches his home safely.

However, Qadri refuses to accept his offer and says his plane should be taken back.

“Even if I decide to get off the plane, I will leave via the main exit and not old or Hajj terminals.”

Qadri expresses fear he will be detained as soon as he disembarks the plane.

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June 23, 11:51am

Our correspondent Akbar Bajwa reports more than 150 police officials in civvies have been deployed at the Lahore airport, a police official told The Express Tribune.

Elite police commandos are also present at the airport.

Acting CCPO Lahore Zulfiqar Hameed, along with DCO Lahore Capt (retd) Usman have arrived at the airport as well.

The acting CCPO is directly monitoring the police deployment in the airport, as well as the city.


Express News screengrab of Qadri supporters (L) and police (R) in Lahore.


Cellular services have also been suspended in several parts of the city, including the airport.

Two rescue vehicles have been placed at and kept on alert at the airport.

Dozens of PAT activists have thronged the international terminal of the Lahore airport.

SP Traffic Azhar Gujjer has also arrived at the airport, while extra traffic wardens have also been deployed.

Hundreds of policemen have been deployed near the Pakistan Awami Tehreek secretariat, where arrangements for a makeshift helipad are underway.

Reporters are not allowed to enter the airport premises while their vehicles have been forced out of the airport parking.

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June 23, 11:50am

The Lahore police had chalked out different security plans for Dr Qadri's arrival.

According to a source, if the PAT chief were to arrive in Lahore from Islamabad through the GT road, 12, 000 police personnel would have been deployed for Qadri's security all the way from Imamia colony till his residence, while 500 traffic wardens would look after the route.

However, the policemen have now been deployed along the route from the Lahore airport to the PAT secretariat in Model Town.

According to the plan, containers will be placed near the Punjab assembly, outside the CCPO office and the Governor House on Monday.

In a meeting on Sunday, IGP Mushtaq Sukhera directed senior police officials to ensure that policemen deployed at the PAT rally carry rubber bullets and not open fire under any circumstances and should wait for orders from senior officials.

An SP in the city, who attended the meeting, said that the IGP also directed policemen to maintain a distance from the rally.

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June 23, 11:47am

Express News reports a four-member government negotiation team has entered the plane to talk to Qadri.

Seven passengers have been escorted out of the plane and brought to the waiting lounge.

Express News reports that PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq fails to convince Qadri.

Qadri also refuses to hand his passport to immigration officials.

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June 23, 11:27am

Express News reports that PAT supporters have also gathered at Karachi’s Numaish Chowrangi.

This is one of the busiest thoroughfares of the city.


Express News screengrab of PAT supporters at Numaish Chowrangi in Karachi.


Men, women and children are chanting slogans against the government.

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June 23, 11:21am

Speaking to Express News, Awami Muslim League (AML) chief Sheikh Rasheed says the government is repeating its past mistake and will face consequences.

He says "Qadri’s movement has caught momentum and will only grow further."

“According to my information, government is well aware of the threats faced by Qadri but they are only creating chaos instead of handling the situation sensibly.”

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June 23, 11:18am

Express News anchor Shahzeb Khanzada said on twitter:




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June 23, 11:07am

Express News correspondent Mian Aslam reports that groups of PAT supporters have arrived at Lahore airport and are staging a sit-in at the airport’s departure area.

Carrying party flags, the supporters say they are here to welcome their leader. The supporters have not faced any resistance so far by the police.

Aslam reports that senior PAT leadership is also present with the supporters and are meeting airport officials and inquiring about the situation.

Aslam reports the number of supporters continues to increase as more and more PAT workers arrive at the airport.

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June 23, 11:06am

Radio Pakistan tweeted:




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June 23, 11:01am

Railway Minister Rafique says "the government has never stopped its opposition from protesting or staging dharnas."

However, he adds, opponents should not provoke its supporters to violence.

When asked whether the government will use force to bring Qadri out of the plane or not, Rafique says "that is what Qadri wants the government to do but it will not use force."

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June 23, 10:58am

Railway Minister Rafique says Qadri has hijacked the plane and not allowing passengers to get out.

Calling him a conspirator, Rafique says Qadri just wants to create agitation.

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June 23, 10:57am

Railway Minister Saad Rafique says the army is busy fighting a war against terrorists and Qadri is trying to divert the nation’s attention away from the operation.

“I wonder someone who has issued fatwas against terrorists is doing such a thing.”

Rafique says he was not allowed to land in Islamabad only after hundreds of his supporters, armed with sticks, gathered outside the airport.

“We feared the situation might get out of control.”

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June 23, 10:55am

Our correspondent Anwer Sumra reports that police force has been deployed at the airport and surrounding areas.

A contingent of the elite force has also been deployed on the road leading to the airport.

CCPO Lahore Zulfikar Hamid is personally supervising police force at the airport.

Special commandos have been deployed around the Emirates aircraft carrying Qadri.

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June 23, 10:52am

A spokesperson for Civil Aviation Authority tells AFP Qadri's flight has been diverted to Lahore "to ensure the safety of the passengers and aircraft".

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June 23, 10:48am

Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid (PML-Q) leader Pervaiz Elahi, while speaking to Express News, says the government is repeating the October 12, 1999 history.

“PM Nawaz is again manipulating the landing of a plane.”

PML-Q leader Elahi says army has been called to only resolve the current situation and nothing else.

He says "Qadri doesn’t trust anyone and is concerned about the safety of his supporters."

The PML-Q leader adds there is no shame in calling army for assistance.

He says the government calls Rangers when it thinks police need support and so it should request army to assist Qadri.

He adds "the movement for revolution has started and that it cannot be stopped."

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June 23, 10:44am

Punjab Law Minister Rana Mashood has said that workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek have not been arrested anywhere in Punjab, Radio Pakistan reports.

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June 23, 10:42am

Qadri accuses Sharif brothers of plotting against him.

"There are hundreds of Gullu Butts in police force and we fear them," says Qadri.

Qadri tells Express News again that he has not been contacted by anyone so far for negotiation.

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June 23, 10:40am

Benazir Bhutto International Airport is live again after temporary suspension of flight operations.

https://twitter.com/AirportPakistan/status/480946111188709376

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June 23, 10:38am

Qadri says the PML-N government has held the entire country hostage.

"I will not board any plane provided by the government, I want a helicopter provided by the army," he demands.

"I’m requesting the army and I know they are listening," he tells Express News.

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June 23, 10:36am

Qadri tells his supporters to stay where they are and remain peaceful.

“I emphasise that there should be no violence; we will fight these political terrorists with peace.”

"Nawaz has hijacked this plane and I will file a case against him and his brother Shahbaz Sharif," the PAT cheif says while speaking to Express News.



Qadri says "if corps commander comes and provides security, I won’t stay inside the plane even for a second."

Army has been called in multiple times in Karachi and Hyderabad, Qadri says.

"The armed forces have intervened many times in the past and it should come to help us," Qadri remarks.

"We are not calling the army for martial law but our security," the party chief further says.

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June 23, 10:31am

The PAT chief says, "the government has diverted so many passengers to a different city without their permission."

"Passengers who want to disembark are free to leave the plane, however, those refusing to get off are doing it according to their own will," he states.

On government’s claim that Qadri’s life is under threat in Islamabad, Qadri says his life is under a greater threat in Lahore than the federal capital.

He says "the government is acting hysterically and stopping me from landing in Islamabad because they fear me."

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June 23, 10:24am

Qadri, from his plane, says "whoever comes to meet me will first have to negotiate with me."

"The Sharif government is a murderous state. They have killed many of our supporters. We have confirmed reports they have hired terrorists to carry out attacks on their opponents."

"How can we negotiate with those who support terrorists," he adds.

"I only trust the army; their high officials should come and escort us safely to our home."

"We will sit here until or unless army officials come here and assure us of our safety," Qadri demands.

He says he has not been contacted yet by government or army officials.

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June 23, 10:16am

Our reporter Abdul Manan who is at the Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Lahore, reports that mobile jammers have been installed and there is moderate security there.

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June 23, 10:14am

Rashid says the act of PAT supporters blocking the plane exits is technically hijacking the plane.

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June 23, 10:12am

According to Express News anchorperson Imran Khan, PAT supporters are standing at the exits of the plane and are insisting they want to go to Islamabad and not Lahore.

Express News reports that 90 percent of the passengers in the plane are Qadri supporters.

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June 23, 10:10am

Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique in a text message to Express News anchorperson Javed Chaudhry says the government has not arrested Qadri and that he is free to go home.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, while speaking to Express News, says Qadri is a free man and he is free to go his home.

He, however, adds that the plane was diverted to Lahore because that is where his house and office are. He further states the plane was diverted to ensure Qadri’s safety.

“The government has never stopped any politician from their work; we have never stopped Sheikh Rasheed or Imran Khan, so why will we stop Qadri,” he says.

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June 23, 10:08am

https://twitter.com/RehamKhan1/statuses/480936308211064834
https://twitter.com/RehamKhan1/statuses/480935910247116800

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June 23, 10:06am

Qadri has refused to talk to or negotiate with any government official, adding that he will only speak to a member of the armed forces.

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June 23, 10:04am

Our correspondent Anwar Sumra, who is at the Lahore airport, is reporting that passengers on board the plane have protested against the diversion and demanded the plane be taken to Islamabad.

Qadri has asked why the armed forces are remaining silent on ‘state terrorism’ being carried out by the government.

He claimed that the government has deployed terrorists in police uniforms at the airport.

“I cannot negotiate with the government because I don’t trust them. I would like the armed forces, such as the Corps Commander to intervene to ensure my security and negotiate with me.”

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June 23, 9:48am

According to Minjahul Quran spokesperson, Qadri has refused to get off from the plane.

He wanted to come from Islamabad to Lahore peacefully, he added.

Commandos have surrounded Qadri’s plane.

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June 23, 9:36am

Qadri’s plane has landed at Lahore airport, Express News reported.

https://twitter.com/MinhajulQuran/statuses/480933957765451776

Around 150 to 200 policemen have been deployed in civilian clothes at the airport.

PAT supporters have not reached Lahore airport as of yet.

Two helipads were made on orders of the district coordination officer, one in the city’s Model Town and the other in Punjab University. A helicopter is also at the airport.

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June 23, 9:32am

https://twitter.com/ShkhRasheed/statuses/480918755313074176
https://twitter.com/arsched/statuses/480924077620604928
https://twitter.com/IftikharFirdous/statuses/480926296919138304
https://twitter.com/ChPervezElahi/statuses/480926884600217600

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June 23, 9:14am

The official airport website had said that the plane has landed in Islamabad. However, it has transpired that Qadri’s plane has been diverted to Lahore, according to Emirates website.



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June 23, 8:52am

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has categorically stated that no one will be allowed to march on Islamabad in the guise of holding demonstrations or sit-ins, Radio Pakistan reported.

In a statement issued in Islamabad, Nisar said that it is responsibility of the government to facilitate Tahirul Qadri and his companions to reach Lahore safely.

He said it is not understandable why Tahirul Qadri is landing in Islamabad when he wants to go to Lahore.

The interior minister said all the security agencies are presently focusing on the war against terrorism, and it is beyond understanding why Tahirul Qadri wants to create a hurdle in it.

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June 23, 8:44am

Qadri is expected to announce his plan of action upon his arrival.

MQM leader Haider Rizvi said on twitter that a delegation of the party has reached the airport to receive the PAT chief:

https://twitter.com/HaiderRizviMQM/status/480936082347794432

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June 23, 8:25am

Qadri’s plane has landed at Benazir International Airport, according to the official website of the airport.

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June 23, 8:06am

Chaudhry Shujaat and Kamil Ali Agha have been allowed to enter Islamabad airport’s Rawal Lounge, our correspondent Irfan Ghauri reports.

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June 23, 8:06am

Earlier, The Express Tribune reported that the government is likely to transport PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri to Lahore via a helicopter or a chartered aircraft as soon as he lands at the Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Islamabad. You can read the story here.

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June 23, 7:51am

There is big build-up at the main gate of Islamabad airport with even PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat among the crowd stuck outside, The Express Tribune correspondents Azam Khan and Fawad Ali report.

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June 23 7:15am

A helipad and two bulletproof land cruisers are reportedly on standby near the Minhajul Quran Secretariat in Lahore on orders of the District Coordination Officer, Express News reported. 

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June 23, 6:43am

PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat has reached the airport, Express News reported.

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June 23, 6:43am

PAT supporters have managed to remove barricades and containers and occupy Islamabad airport’s Gate No.1, Express News reported. 

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June 23, 6:35am

Aerial surveillance of Benazir International Airport is underway while Rangers have also been deployed at the airport. Section 144 has been imposed till tomorrow afternoon. A ban has been imposed on pillion riding and mobile services have been suspended, Express News reported.



Express News screengrab.

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June 23, 6:05am

PAT supporters have crossed barriers after violent clashes with the police and reached the airport. The army has been put on high alert.



Express News screengrab.

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June 23, 6:00am

Violent clashes have ensued since 3am in the morning in Islamabad between Qadri supporters and police, including reported incidents of tear gassing by police. Thirty policemen and 10 protesters are reportedly injured. You can read the story here.



Express News screengrab.

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Qadri took the country by storm last year after returning from Canada, where he has lived for seven years. Qadri’s appeared at the forefront of Pakistan’s political landscape with a massive rally in Lahore on Dec. 23 in which he demanded that President Asif Ali Zardari’s government resign to make way for a caretaker administration led by technocrats.


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COMMENTS (92)

Malveros | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

@Salim The Punjab Governor has given up his British Passport. Did TUQ give up his Canadian passport before announcing the revolution ?

Aschraful Makhlooq | 6 years ago | Reply | Recommend

PML-N's repeating the same committed mistake already has been committed in 1999 instead of learning the lessons from 1999's committed mistakes and Pakistan's conditions are moving towards mid-term elections and PML-N is not seeming completing its tenure like 1999 and this is all heppening just due to the simple vast majority in 2013's elections in the addiction of power.......

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