LAHORE - Living up to his reputation of being the master of somersaults, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri said on Monday that he never told his followers to kill people who turn their backs on the ‘revolution’.
Giving a ridiculous explanation of his grave remarks that he made during his fiery speech to a huge gathering outside his house in Model Town, he said he had said that about himself and Imran Khan in a ‘comic way’. The firebrand cleric however said he did ask his workers to take action if anything happens to him.
Interestingly, his address on the occasion of ‘Martyrs Day’ was widely covered by the electronic and print media. His remarks wherein he clearly instigated his workers at violence and ordered them to kill those who would run away before the success of the revolution were reported by almost all the media organisations.
Qadri went on to accuse the media of portraying his statements in a negative light, while holding up copies of various national newspapers. He said the way the media has quoted him is such that he was inciting violence. The media is giving out a wrong message, but even then I will not put pressure on them, he added.
“Listen to my speech, listen to it three times if you have to, and keep in mind my body language. And if you see I am right, correct my words in the next edition of your newspaper, if you won’t, there is no pressure on you,” Qadri said while addressing the journalists.
Unfortunately, no journalist could notice that the PAT chief was ‘kidding’ about killing the deserters while he was giving full-throated instruction to his followers. No one knows how many of the workers listening to their leader in a charged atmosphere would have been able to assess that those particular remarks being uttered with an all serious face were a comedy being performed by their mentor. May be some of them could read the secret language of his body that kept resonating in rage almost all along his speech.
The PAT chief said he always preached love and peace to his workers. He said they had set an example of remaining peaceful during their last long march to Islamabad and stay in the capital city. He alleged that Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had employed ‘terrorists’ in police force who remained in plain cloth and incited violence.
Qadri said he wanted to tell Nawaz Sharif that if he (Qadri) did not have even 200 workers then why they sealed off the whole province. He said if Sharifs thought his march as ‘fasaad’ march, why did they were not taking out their workers. He said Sharifs did not have well-wishers. He claimed that PML-N MPs could not bring even 500 people on streets in their support.
The PAT chief claimed that they had decided August 14 as the date for revolution march long before, in May, and he had conveyed it to Imran Khan. He said anyone can confirm it from PTI chief. About corps commanders meeting, he said it was an internal matter of the army and he had nothing to do with it.
He said the ‘Azadi March’ and ‘Revolution March’ would not merge together but would go side by side. He said the agenda of his march was same as that of Imran Khan’s, but whereas PTI seeks only the ousting the government, they aim at changing the whole system.
Briefing about the phases of his revolution, he said first the current system would be ousted then after reforms under the new system, election would be held. About his sons, he said his two sons were far away from Lahore as per the party decision. He appealed the people, especially the residents of Model Town, to open their doors for his revolutionary workers and facilitate them.
In the area of Model Town, PAT workers could be seen everywhere. The workers including females were having sticks and wandering about around the PAT secretariat. A good number of female PAT workers are sitting outside the residence of Tahirul Qadri. MQM has set up a medical camp to provide free medicine and medical aid to the PAT workers.
Meeting of various PAT chapters remained continued on Monday to finalise the preparations for the long march. Meanwhile, qisas resolution was passed and signed by hundreds of workers of PAT.