LAHORE - The parties in the ruling coalition have different points of view on handling the proposed long march by Tehreek Minhaj Quran (TMQ) and the PML-Q has suggested the government to hold talks with Dr Tahirul Qadri to persuade him to review his plan.

Sources told this correspondent on Sunday that PML-Q – the second largest component of the ruling coalition – has advised its partners against confrontation with Dr Qadri ahead of the elections and immediately designate a team for holding talks with the TMQ leader to persuade him to abort his long march to Islamabad on January 14.

They said it was highly likely that the PML-Q leadership would be the choice of the PPP for holding dialogue with the TMQ leadership.

Also, the PPP was planning to dissuade the MQM from siding with the TMQ by offering it all it wants, the sources added.

This coalition partner, having strong base in urban Sindh, has announced support for Dr Qadri. It not only sent a high-level delegation to participate in TMQ show on December 23 but also held a meeting with TMQ chairman three days back for closer future cooperation.

Another coalition partner of the PPP, the ANP is of the view that the ruling alliance should not succumb to the pressure tactics and let the TMQ march to Islamabad so their ‘bubble is diffused’, the sources said.

As a matter of their public policy, the PPP Central Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo had also said that they would welcome Dr Qadri and his supporters in federal capital.

When contacted, PML-Q central spokesman Senator Kamil Ali Agha said, “Both the government and the opposition should hold parleys with Dr Tahirul Qadri before the end of his deadline for persuading him to review his plan.”

He said that they should convince Dr Qadri that both the sides of the political divide had made a procedure for the formation of the caretaker setup and assure him that the forces outside the parliament would also be taken into confidence. Terming the TMQ chairman as a ‘wise and intelligent’ man, Agha hoped that he could be persuaded through dialogue to abandon his long march plan.

ANP central spokesman Zahid Khan told this scribe, “Dr Qadri’s long march threat to a elected government is not an appropriate idea and he should take part in elections if he wants to press the government for his demands”.

He said, “Nobody can press a popularly elected government on gunpoint for the demands one deems fit.” However, he conceded that holding public meetings and carrying out marches was a right of all political groups.

He said that long march of Dr Qadri should be welcomed but only if he is leading a political party.