Claims half job done, half to be done today ,Thousands join sit-in
Staff ReporterWednesday, January 16, 2013 - Islamabad—Declaring that the present democracy is for one percent of political elites, Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran chief Dr Tahirul Qadri said that seventy percent members of the parliament are tax evaders and democracy does not allow such persons to become members of the Parliament.
Addressing the charged crowd in front of “D Chowk”, Dr Qadri declared his speech as Islamabad Declaration and said that he wants democracy in line with the constitution of Pakistan. “The parliament is no more democratic, every political party is in power and they are sharing the corruption equally. He said those who appointed people like Tauqir Sadiq, former chairman Ogra who looted Rs84 billion and ran away have no right to be in parliament. He said electoral laws were never implemented as the Election Commission was not really empowered to enforce them.
He said the elections are being contested on the basis of three-Ms, namely money, mind and manipulation. He wanted that there should be no representation without taxation.”
Dr Qadri had special words of praise for the Judiciary and the Armed forces, which he said are functioning and performing their duties.
The TMQ chief said the incapable government and the parliament have been unable to make a national law against terrorism though they have been sitting in power and parliament without military intervention for the last five years. “Because of their incapability, we lost thousands of lives including those of military men who had been fighting sincerely for the last ten years.” He said the armed forces are not here to formulate the policies because it has to be formulated by the parliament and armed forces are there to implement it. “We have become threat to our own security and this is a complete failure of the political government and it has brought a bad name to the armed forces who are highly sincere, professional and committed to save the ideology, geographical frontiers, independence and solidarity of Pakistan.”
Dr Qadri said through electoral reforms, they need to create an atmosphere for safety and security of people, restructure electoral and political system for the sake of true and real democracy in the political, social and economic spheres so that democracy may become the right of every citizen of Pakistan. He said millions of our people are subject to chain of poverty, they have no access to water and food for their children, no jobs and business and no social income support. He said they have only one right and that is to commit suicide as they are living a life of desperation.
He said the assets of political leaders have increased 1000 times in the past 25 years while the country went down by 35%. He said the million march will not go back without getting answer to this question.
Dr Qadri declared his march as totally constitutional, lawful and democratic, saying they are here in front of parliament to save the country from corruption. He made it clear that they do not want to derail democracy, constitution, law of the land but want change through green, peaceful and constitutional revolution. He said they want to create an atmosphere critical for electoral and social atmosphere, conducive to sustainable economic growth ensuring social development of our country. He said they need to remove the opportunities for corruption to occur in the political and electoral system, empower the people so that they may become true democratic citizens as of all democratic countries of the world. He said through these reforms they want real fight against extremism and terrorism to bring peace and security.
The TMQ chief said the goal of the participants was to eliminate anarchy and unrest and not spread it. Qadri stated he did not want any unlawful and unconstitutional measures, adding that he did not intend to take over the President House and the Prime Minister’s residence. He said they wanted the rulers to be made accountable before the laws of the country.
The TMQ chief said they had gathered with his supporters in front of the parliament to save the country from dismemberment.
While Dr Qadri’s address was in progress, he was told that the Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf in the Rental Power Case.
On hearing this Dr Qadri raised the slogan of Supreme Curt Zindabad and asked the nation to celebrate the victory. He said after half of his address, half the work has been done and promised to make the remaining half address on Wednesday (today).
Emotional leader congratulated the whole nation over Supreme Court decision and asked the gathering to bow before the God and celebrate. Qadri also raised his voice in support of minister ties
He demanded the protesters to carry on their protest for a second day, after the government ignored his ultimatum to dissolve parliament immediately.
Qadri also raised his voice in support of minorities
“The members of the minorities are the equal citizens of Pakistan in accordance with the principles set by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah,” he said.
He lashed out at the maladministration by the incumbent government narrating the bloodshed in Quetta and the subsequent inaction by the government. He also cited the ever-deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi as bad governance of the present rulers.
Dr Tahirul Qadri, said the nation had gathered in Islamabad to demand its rights. He said we have staged a sit-in and we wont leave without getting a response.
At one point, security forces fired in the air and used tear gas to try and control the crowd.
Pakistan’s established political parties fear the military is backing Qadri’s movement in the hope it will trigger a crisis that will provide a new opportunity for the army to meddle in politics.
One senior military officer, who said he was speaking in a purely personal capacity, said there was no appetite in the military to repeat the coups seen in Pakistan’s past, but added the stand-off could be resolved if the army played a role as a “moderator”. Chief Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran demanded of the FIA to put the name of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on ECL.
After hearing the news of the arrest of the PM, Qadri said that no criminal including Raja Pervez Ashraf should be allowed to run away.
Thousands of anti-government protesters heeding the call of a firebrand cleric rallied in the streets of the Pakistani capital Tuesday for a second day despite early morning clashes with police.
“This system has rotted. It has to change,” said 29-year-old Iftikhar Ahmad, who travelled to Islamabad from Sargodha. “I am going to stay here ... even if I die.”
Many protesters like Saqib Sultan, from Lahore, brought their families and slept on the road.
“My wife is here with me, my children are here, and I am here,” he said. Like many others, he vowed to stay until their demands are met and called this “the last chance to save Pakistan.”
The determination of marchers and organizers has put them into confrontation with the government, which has strongly opposed the rally.
The protest has been largely peaceful ever since demonstrators set off from Lahore Sunday, but the underlying tension was evident Tuesday morning when police and protesters clashed hours after Qadri’s speech ended. Each side blamed the other.
Television footage showed police shooting into the air to push back protesters and a man on the ground being thrashed by people who appeared to be protesters. Demonstrators threw rocks at a vehicle.