Malik tells Qadri to vacate D-Chowk, protesters are at risk


ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rehman Malik late on Wednesday warned Tehrik-i-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri, backed by thousands of protesters camped out in the heart of the capital near parliament, to disperse, saying they were at risk of attack from militants.

Speaking to media representatives, he said authorities had learned that militants might be planning to target the crowd, and that Tahirul Qadri would be held responsible for any such attack.

Malik also warned Dr Tahirul Qadri of a targeted operation if the long march is not called off by Thursday.

The minister, however, made it clear that no “Lal Masjid” like operation would be carried out against the protesters, adding that no harm would be inflicted to children and women of the march.

He said that the security forces have many ways to tackle the situation. “The best commandos are with me today,” Malik told reporters, saying security forces could take action against Qadri within the next two days to prevent “expected terrorism”.

“I hope that he listens to me.”

Qadri, who backed a military coup in 1999, is calling for the immediate resignation of the government and the installation of a caretaker administration to oversee electoral reforms–

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usman hashmi

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