Daily Times of India-Pakistan: Pakistan cleric leads thousands in anti-corruption march
By Omer Farooq Khan, TNN | Jan 14, 2013, 05.52 AM IST
ISLAMABAD: Accompanied by thousands of supporters, Pakistani-Canadian scholar Tahir-ul-Qadri kicked off his "million-man long march" against corruption from Lahore to Islamabad on Sunday.
"It is a march for democracy, against looters and plunderers ruling from Islamabad and Lahore. It is a march against the evil forces, against those exploiting poor people, oppressors and the corrupt," Qadri said before departing from Lahore.
He asked the federal government to dismiss the Balochistan government for failing to protect people. Around 124 people, 92 of them Shias, were killed in blasts in Quetta city, capital of Balochistan province, on Thursday.
To block the march due to reach Islamabad on Monday, the government sealed Islamabad's red zone by placing containers on all roads leading to important buildings.
Interior minister Rehman Malik warned of serious security threat to Qadri and his followers. "If any untoward incident, including an act of terrorism occurred, during his long march, the responsibility would rest with Qadri," Malik said. He said that evidence could be produced at any forum, including the supreme court, which would prove that Qadri has brought heavy funding for this anti-democratic attack.
Qadri, a dual national of Canada and Pakistan, had founded Minhaj-ul-Quran, an educational and charity network working in 90 countries around the globe in 1981.
He recently returned to Pakistan with a revolutionary plan of "changing the fate'' of the country after staying in Canada for almost seven years.
14 soldiers killed in a roadside blast
At least 14 Pakistani soldiers were killed and 25 injured when a roadside bomb went off in the country's northwestern tribal region on Sunday, officials said. The bomb went off when a military convoy was passing near Dosali village on Miramshah-Razmak road in North Waziristan. " The bomb was detonated by a remote control device when a military convoy was passing through the area," an intelligence official said. The incident came a day after Pakistan Taliban circulated leaflets in Waziristan calling for attacks on the military to cease.