LONDON/ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Awami Tehreek chief Dr Tahirul Qadri on Sunday threatened to march on to the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad if his supporters were harmed upon his arrival at Rawalpindi airport on Monday (today) morning.
Addressing the media from the passenger seat of an SUV outside the Heathrow Airport in London where a large number of PAT supporters including women had gathered to bid farewell to their chief, Qadri claimed that PAT workers and activists were being arrested and tortured. “I want to land in Pakistan and proceed to Lahore in a peaceful manner. Government is digging its own grave by harassing my workers,” he said, and added that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will be responsible if any harm occurs to his supporters.
“People carrying loudspeakers were arrested, Is it what you call politics and democracy? Take me instead of my workers,” he said, and added, “I have even witnessed the Bhutto era but have never seen such oppression by a civilian government.”
Qadri said such tactics of the government cannot stop PAT from following its mission to bring change in the country through revolution.
He instructed his party workers to remain calm and not to cause any damage to government properties in case he is killed. He also reiterated his support to the Pakistan Army, while expressing solidarity with the armed forces.
In a Twitter post issued on the eve of his comeback, Qadri said, “I am coming to support our Pak(istani) army in their fight against militants.”
Using the hashtag #RiseUpWithDrQadri, another post said: “Now it’s the duty of the poor people of Pakistan to come out and bring a revolution.”
Earlier, the Pakistan Awami Tehreek said in a statement Qadri’s flight might be diverted to Lahore or Sialkot from Islamabad. “I am coming to Pakistan to eliminate terrorism, bring peace, true democracy and social economic justice to the poor,” Qadri said before boarding his flight in London.
Around 500 supporters, from Canada and England, are joining Dr Qadri on his return to Pakistan. Two flights have already departed for Pakistan whereas the PAT chief is on board the third flight, an Emirate aircraft, which was to land in Dubai late on Sunday from where Dr Qadri would leave for Pakistan after an overnight stay.
Upon his arrival early on Monday, Dr Qadri is scheduled to meet with the media at the airport’s Rawal Lounge from where he is set to lead a convoy of his workers to Lahore.
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