LAHORE –Federal Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that the long march of Dr Tahirul Qadri against a democratic government is uncalled for and if he has suggestions about electoral reforms, he should approach the Election Commission.

Before doing anything, Qadri must be clear whether he wants to take part in the democratic process of elections and if so, he must follow the due process instead of resorting to marches, Kaira said while talking to media people after cutting a cake on the occasion of 85th birthday of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and inaugurating FM101 at the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation office here Saturday.

To a question, the information minister said that long marches should be held against a dictatorial government; this right could not be granted to anyone against a democratic government. Answering another question, he said, if the government can talk to Taliban why not to Qadri. But in the first place, he must clear his position, he added.

He dispelled the impression that Qadri was going to make a Tehrir Square in Islamabad and said no situation for creating such a square existed in the country.

It was the PPP which made Tehrir Square four times against the military government in the past.  He hoped Qadri would listen to the media and the people’s voice before going to the long march.

To a question on the interim setup and the reported agreement between the government and the Opposition to the name of Mahmood Khan Achekzai of PKMAP as the caretaker prime minister, he said interim governments would be formed as per the constitutional requirements and with the consultation of the prime minister and the leader of the Opposition on the completion of tenure by the assemblies on March 16.

As to Achekzai, he said he was a respectable politician who always stood for democracy, but he was not desirous of becoming the interim premier. He expressed ignorance about any consensus reached on his name or a committee formed in this regard. He, however, made it clear that in the process of interim setup, the constitution would be strictly followed.

He added any person who did not believe in democratic process would not be consulted.

However, the parties outside the parliament, which were part of the democratic process, would be consulted.

To a question on PML-Q and MQM support to Qadri, he said they had made their position clear and “we have no objection to that as difference of opinion is a part of democracy. The PPP, he said, always talks of joining and not of separating. Kaira reiterated that elections would not be delayed and everything would take place according to the constitution.