The government has decided not to allow Dr Tahirul Qadri’s rally to enter the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) without permission from the city administration, citing security concerns.

 

Interior Minister Rehman Malik, following a high-level meeting at the Ministry of Interior on Thursday, announced that the government could not allow Dr Qadri’s march in Islamabad because he had not applied for a No Objection Certificate (NOC).

 

“I will not allow Dr Qadri or anybody else to hold a rally in Islamabad’s Blue Area,” the minister said.Malik said it was his prime responsibility to keep peace and provide security to the people. He said there were serious threats of terrorism during the long march.

 

The minister said if a request was received, permission might be granted for such a gathering at a safe place where there would be no disturbance to the people of Islamabad.

 

He took a U-turn on the issue of long march even though he had promised to facilitate the TMQ during his meeting with Dr Qadri in Lahore on Monday.

 

He had said on that occasion: “I’m here to facilitate him; we are not going to resist the march and we will work out the security issues. We all want an evil-free Pakistan and the points raised by Qadri are all valid.”

 

He said the Punjab government had received an intelligence tip that a militant group, Ghazi Force, had plans to launch a suicide attack on the long march. The Punjab government, he said, had also informed that senior officials were sent to apprise Dr Qadri of the situation, but he declined to meet them.

 

Malik said the group has assigned three persons, Yar Bakht, Ahmad and Naeem, aged 18 to 19, for the suicide attack.

 

The minister said the Crime Investigation Department Karachi had also arrested five people involved in the attack on the rally of Dr Qadri and MQM in Karachi. They had planned to blast the motorcycle close to Dr Qadri, but failed due to strict security arrangements.

 

He said if a request was received then permission might be granted for such a gathering at a safer place and where there was no disturbance to the people of Islamabad.

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