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January 11, 2013

Long march: army ‘won’t intervene’

Peshawar

January 11, 2013

ISLAMABAD: While everyone is speculating about the possible role of Pakistan Army during Dr Tahirul Qadri’ January 14 long march, informed military circles say that the army would not intervene in any chaotic situation due to violence or chaos by the marchers or even any terrorist attack, which would have to be tackled by the civil law enforcement agencies only.
“In case of threat to the government structure in the Capital, the army, if requested under law, will only protect some of the important buildings, and will never come on streets to control mobs or any other emergency situation,” influential and informed defence analysts say. “It is completely out of the question that in any situation, whatsoever, the army can even think of taking over power as speculated by some.”
A retired senior army official, however, said ‘he believes’ the army may make only a soft intervention at some point to ‘convince’ the civil rulers in Islamabad to somehow settle the issues peacefully or accept reasonable demands of the marchers.
The ISPR couldn’t be approached on Thursday but when specific questions were asked on Monday, it had replied a request from Dr Qadri regarding security of the long march was turned down with the advice to contact the relevant government ministry for the same.
On the other hand, Dr Tahirul Qadri is adamant that he would lead a long march and, according to a former senior military official, who met Dr Qadri on Tuesday with a delegation of Council of National Affairs, Minhajul Quran chief has one-point agenda; fulfilment of his demands regarding electoral reforms or martyrdom. He told The News: “Dr Qadri summarised his agenda/strategy in the following four words; 1) Revolution 2) Do or Die 3) Tehreer Square 4) Shahadat (Martyrdom).”