Tahir-ul-Qadri leads huge demonstration in Pakistan third day in row, issues midnight deadline to govt


Another PPP leader from central Punjab said "some friends" of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif in the security establishment had "misled" him by suggesting that the Punjab government should not stop Qadri's "long march" as the Punjab government would be blamed for any clash between the cleric's supporters and police.

"That was the reason why the Punjab government facilitated the protestors to ensure that they quickly left the province's limits," he said.

On the other hand, PML-N leaders questioned the Interior Minister Rehman Malik's role in dealing with Qadri' s protest.

"Whether Malik was making efforts to contain the long march or facilitating it - there is a big question mark over his role," a PML-N parliamentarian said.

"Malik was making tall claims that Qadri would not be allowed to enter Islamabad and hold a demonstration near parliament. We believe that he is not sincere with the PPP government and may be helping execute someone else's agenda," he alleged.

The PPP government meekly surrendered to the designs of the establishment, the PML-N leader said.

"The PPP's policy of reconciliation did not seem to work in this case as it should have nipped the problem in the bud.

Now it should only blame itself for providing an open field to Qadri to dictate terms," he said.

Will hold polls by May 15: Pakistan government

Amidst protests by cleric Tahir-ul- Qadri for the dissolution of Parliament, the Pakistan government today said it is determined to complete its five-year term and to hold the polls by May 15.

"There are few days left for the completion of the term (of the government). All the parties and real stakeholders have agreed that (the national and provincial) assemblies will complete their term on March 16," Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said.

"On that day, the assemblies will be dissolved automatically. We have given in writing in the Supreme Court yesterday that, according to the Constitution, the election will be held in time (within two months)," he told a news conference outside the Parliament.

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