Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Islamabad sit-in ends after agreement with govt

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; , Add Tags  (less...) Add to My Group(s)

News 1   Interesting 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 1/18/13

Become a Fan
  (3 fans)

Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran chief Allama Tahir ul Qadri Thursday announced lifting the four-day siege of the capital, Islamabad, after he signed a four   point agreement with the government regarding his demands of revamping the electoral system and Election Commission, dissolution of parliament and appointment of an interim government .

The agreement, dubbed as Islamabad Long March Declaration, was reached after four-hour talks with a 10-member delegation representing leaders of the ruling People's Party and its allies.  After the successful negotiations between the committee formed by the government and Allama Tahirul Qadri the agreement was signed with him by all members of the negotiating team and countersigned by the Prime Minister Raja Ashraf.

Interestingly, Allama Qadri signed the agreement with the prime minister and ministers whom he had termed "ex premier and ministers" on the very first day of the sit-in on Monday.

Addressing the participants of the sit-in, following the signature of the Prime Minister on the terms of agreement, Qadri lauded the participants for their struggle. "The march that started on Sunday and continued till today had become a great model for the world to see," he added.

According to the declaration, the National Assembly shall be dissolved at any time before March 16, 2013 (due date), so that the elections may take place within 90 days. The key clause of the declaration, however, is that a period of 30 days will be provided for the scrutiny of the candidates, raising hope that some of the corrupt elements could finally be gotten rid of in the process.

Interestingly, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Khursheed Shah has said that the elections will be held in the first week of May. Talking to reporters in Islamabad on Wednesday, the federal minister maintained the polls could be held on May 4, 5 or 6. "They will not be delayed beyond May 6," he assured. Khursheed Shah, who is very close to President Zardari, was part of the negotiation team with Allama Qadri.

The declaration surprisingly gives a big say to Allama Qadri in the selection of the next caretaker prime minister.  According to the declaration, the treasury benches in complete consensus with Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT), the political wing of Allama Qadri, will propose names of two honest and impartial persons for appointment as Caretaker Prime Minister.

Electoral Reforms: It was agreed upon that the focus will be on the enforcement of electoral reforms prior to the polls on: (a) Article 62, 63 and 218 (3) of the constitution; b) Section 77 to 82 of the Representation of Peoples' Act 1976 and other relevant provisions relating to conducting free, fair, just and honest elections guarded against all corrupt practices and; (c) The Supreme Court Judgment of June 8, 2012 on constitutional petition of 2011 must be implemented in Toto and in true letter and spirit.

With the end of the long march and sit-in, all cases registered against each other shall be withdrawn immediately and there will be no acts of victimization and vendetta against either party or the participants of the march.

The declaration ended the misery of the thousands of men, women and children of the long march who had been sitting in the open sky in front of the parliament for past four days braving cold weather and heavy rain. More than 200 of them, including women and children, had been taken ill and hospitalized because of the inclement weather.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters dispersed peacefully after the declaration was read. This was the first such massive demonstration in the history of Islamabad. The most significant is the fact that Pakistan has seen a highly organized, massive and peaceful demonstration for political rights, that no party took the law into its hands, no mischief created turmoil leading to violence and the whole episode ended with a democratic agreement seen by the nation. This is perhaps the best outcome of the long march.

Long March from Lahore to Islamabad

Tens of thousands of protesters led by Allama Qadri descended on the Pakistani capital Monday in a fierce outpouring of anger and frustration with the corrupt US client government of President Zardari.

The size of Tahirul Qadri's Long March to Islamabad from Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, was far short of his predictions of more than a million people. However, the caravan of hundreds of buses, vans, motorcycles and cars jammed with demonstrators was allowed to enter the capital and hold a rally on a main thoroughfare roughly two miles from parliament.

Long, snaking cordons of freight containers and barbed wire were in place to keep demonstrators from achieving their goal of staging a sit-in in front of parliament. But after the rally, thousands of demonstrators began leaving the protest site, on Islamabad's Jinnah Avenue, and heeding Qadri's call that they march toward parliament. Later, government officials agreed to allow the sit-in to take place in a plaza about 500 yards from parliament.

Who is Allama Qadri?

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

U.S. Muslims condemn killings of American diplomats in Libya

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part One

Are we living in Orwell's 1984 Oceania surveillance state?

85 percent Muslims voted for President Obama

2001-2011: A decade of civil liberties' erosion in America -- Part Two

American Muslims ten years after 9/11

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
No comments