Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Arselifter cleric brings pislamabad to standstill

The emergence of Tahir-ul-Kadri – who lived quietly in Canada until a month ago - has electrified the country's political scene, sparking frantic manoeuvring by a government fearful his demands could delay elections due in the spring
He left the eastern city of LaWhore on Sunday afternoon with about 10,000 supporters and is scheduled to address a growing crowd in pislamabad on Monday night. Supporters gathered all day in the city centre, carrying blankets and food, and promising not to leave until their demands were met


Khalid Kureshi, who had travelled about 50 miles to attend the rally, said he was prepared to stay for weeks if not months. "We want democracy," he said. "The system is corrupt and only lets rich people have power"
Kadri claims to be able to mobilise two million people but the significance of the rally will hinge on turnout, whether there is any violence and to what extent the protesters are able to penetrate pislamabad, where shipping containers have been used to seal off the main approaches
Thousands of security personnel have deployed in pislamabad with paramilitary soldiers, police and private guards searching all individuals before letting them cross scanner gates into the stage area. Mobile phone networks were shut down to stop militants from detonating bombs

Kadri supporters in pislamabad
News reports here and here.