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    Posted June 24, 2014 by
    SaeedMirza
    Location
    Lahore, Pakistan

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    Give your story a titlePML-N claims fear of violence led to diversion

     
    ISLAMABAD: Since Sunday night, analysts and opposition parties are castigating the government for its ‘over-reaction’ to Dr Tahirul Qadri’s plans to land in Rawalpindi and then drive down to Lahore.

    They find it inexplicable that the government was not willing to allow Qadri land in the garrison city but was ready to let him arrive in Lahore.

    However, those inside the PML-N claim that the decision to not let Dr Qadri land in Rawalpindi was based on the leadership’s fears that there may be a repetition of the violence in Lahore en route to the capital of Punjab.

    In depth: Qadri threatens to topple govt, vows to lead 'revolution'

    Beset by fear and paranoia, the leadership was convinced that the Chaudhrys of Gujrat might have put up an aggressive show to welcome Dr Qadri’s rally in their home district, which could have led to another violent confrontation between the protesters and the law enforcement personnel.

    They feared that a rally from Islamabad to Lahore would provide the detractors of the government with the chances to create another security situation, embarrassing the Sharifs, particularly in Gujrat.

    “It would be difficult to be prepared for Gujrat as the Punjab government had deployed most of its police force and Rangers in Rawalpindi-Islamabad and Lahore,” added the PML-N source.

    Party insiders claim that the leadership is shaken by the Lahore incident in which followers of Qadri were killed.

    This is what led the party to decide that the Pakistan Awami Tehreek leader would not be allowed to lead a rally to Lahore on G.T. Road.

    This is why a government official told Dawn that the prime minister and his men were focused on preventing Qadri's arrival in Rawalpindi and not in Lahore.

    “After the nine deaths in Lahore, the government cannot afford to have even a single casuality, the prime minister said," according to the official.

    He said the prime minister made this remark during a meeting in Lahore over the weekend.

    Later, it was decided to restrict Dr Qadri’s movement as much as possible.

    That the government was nervous because of possible violence was also visible in the fact that the policemen deployed in Pindi were not allowed to carry weapons and were not allowed to retaliate in the face of violence from the protesters.

    Published in Dawn, June 24th , 2014

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