Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that Tahirul Qadri has been allowed to set up stage at Express Chowk near D-Chowk in Islamabad.
He‚ however‚ said no one will be allowed to enter the Red Zone where diplomatic community is housed and Parliament House and Supreme Court are situated. The Minister said participants of the Long March are welcome to stage a sit-in but they must remain peaceful.
He said we have no problem if they stay for two days or ten days. He said we would remain peaceful as long as participants remain peaceful. Interior Minister Rehman Malik also directed to provide full security to Tahirul Qadri.
The minister also took notice of the incident of aerial firing near D-8 chowk and Kulsoom Plaza‚ seeking report from Chief Commissioner Islamabad. He said that Tahirul Qadri was a guest and that the TMQ chief had committed to remain non-violent.
He said that the participants could stay in Islamabad as long as they wish but they would not be allowed to cross the Red Zone.
The interior minister further said that the government is avoiding any violent incident and would not interfere with the long march as long as the participants remained peaceful.
He noted, “He has brought along with him a large number of women and children, which was not part of the terms we agreed upon keeping in view the security threats.” He said he regretted to see so many women and children of all ages lying under the sky fighting cold as they deserved to stay warm at home.
“They should not have been here in the first place. It’s not a place for them. Qadri did not keep his word. Their presence (women/children) in the rally will put us in a tight position if it comes to resorting to the use of force in case” said he.
He added that President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf would consider the demands made by the TMQ chief.