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Long March Protesters arriving D-Chowk Islamabad

Long March 01

Islamabad, Pakistan:  Long March Protesters reached D-Chowk Islamabad, Chief of Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran Dr. Tahir Qadri has given ultimatum to the government till 11 am Tuesday to dissolve the Parliament and all four provincial assemblies for a caretaker setup, E Pakistan News reported.

“The President of Pakistan and Prime Minister have now become former. They have lost the fake mandate … I give time to the government till Tuesday morning to dissolve parliament and provincial assemblies,” Qadri said while addressing thousands of his supporters who were bearing chill in Islamabad’s 7 degree C night at Jinnah Avenue.

Qadri spoke to the crowd from behind a transparent bullet-proof box erected around a podium, around a kilometre from parliament. He wanted to hold the rally outside the National Assembly building but it was barricaded behind shipping containers.

He claimed that more than four million people have gathered in Islamabad and one million more would join us by Tuesday morning.

“Dissolve the assemblies otherwise the people will take the decision themselves. The march has ended in Islamabad today and we will now stage people’s assembly tomorrow morning outside the parliament house. I will deliver my inaugural speech of the democratic revolution on Tuesday morning and the dawn will herald the rule of law for you,” Qadri said.

He gave five minutes to the administration to shift the rally stage outside the Parliament House, and swore in the party workers that they would not leave him unless the demands are meet.

Tens of thousands of protesters demanding sweeping reforms poured into Islamabad late Monday.

Tahirul Qadri, the Pakistani-Canadian cleric who returned home last month after years in Toronto, calls for an interim government to root out corrupt.

“This is biggest march in the history of the word. I congratulate all of you for joining this historic march,” Qadri said as the long march administration held negotiations with the authorities to shift the stage outside the Parliament.

Over 2000 policemen came into action to stop the marchers from moving forward to the high sensitive area, including the diplomatic enclave.

Qadri invited President Asif Zardari, PM Raja Pervez Ashraf, Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif, Asfandyar Wali, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and other political leaders to join him on Tuesday.

“None can go to home now, I order you to be policemen yourselves, take the charge of providing security to this march, protect your brothers and sisters here, but be careful, not even a single glass or a leaf should be damaged. None can enter the diplomatic area, we must be peaceful,” Qadri directed his workers who were waving flags and chanting slogans.

“Rigging and corruption will end tomorrow, the reign of looters and plunderers will end and the rule of law will be our fate,” Qadri claimed, warning the rulers and signaling that he can go to any extend to press the government for his demands.

Qadri wants an independent caretaker government to be set up in consultation with the military and judiciary when parliament disbands in mid-March, and is calling for reform so that “honest people” can be elected at polls due by mid-May.

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