Stories about Dr Tahirul Qadri

Dear Tahirul Qadri, you cannot be a leader as you are three years too late to demand justice for the Model Town brutality

In January 2013, The Express Tribune reported, “Dr Tahirul Qadri’s ‘million-man march’ began from Lahore towards its destination, Islamabad.”  For much of Pakistan, and the rest of the world, this was the first time people had heard of Tahirul Qadri. Before he rose to eminence, Qadri was best known for the altruistic and educational activities of his international religious charity, the Minhajul Quran Foundation. He also issued a 500-page long fatwa against terrorism at London’s Wembley Stadium, securing his place amongst the moderate clerics in the Islamic spectrum. In just a few weeks’ time, he became part of the defining political movement in Pakistan in 2014 – the Islamabad ...

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The Islamabad Pir-volution?

Take a country of 180 million people where nearly half of the population lives below the poverty line and a growing percentage becomes vulnerable to it every year and what do you have? An open stage for people like Dr Tahirul Qadri (TuQ) to waltz in and prey upon the psychological disadvantages that poverty invariably creates – the most outstanding ones being depression and hopelessness. In a state of utter despondency, man just wants to believe, even if it’s in empty promises and false pledges. In our society, the pirs, the self-proclaimed saints, take the cake when handing out hope to the ...

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The Islamabad embarrassment: A satirical analysis

Hi again! This is Aalia Suleman back with another special interview with the leaders of the Azad-Biwi-Tehreek (ABT) and Jalao-Tehreek (JJT). Amazingly, Mehrul Jafri (MJ) of the ABT and Afreen Khan (AK) of the JJT are still camped out in this ground in Karachi with their swarm of supporters. If these two leaders remain firm on a resignation from the In-law House, there is an equally inflexible response from the mothers and sisters-in-law who adamantly refuse to comply. This unrelenting and stubborn attitude from both sides has now also forced the Dadi Chief to intervene. Let’s see where this fiasco is leading: Aalia: First and foremost, ...

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Qadri Sahib, you cannot ‘rent’ your supporters!

Battered by the monsoon and baked by the sun, many Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) revolutionaries seem to be yearning to return home. Alas, they did not or probably could not read the fine print of the contract they signed with their political party. According to a BBC Urdu report, there is growing discontentment among a large number of protest participants who are, allegedly, not being allowed to go home. These include participants who were injured in the clashes with the police, and are ostensibly unfit to sit-in any longer. A young resident from Bahawalpur informed BBC that he’d been promised a sum of Rs6,000 to ...

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Taking a cue from Islamabad: A satire

Good morning. This is Aalia Suleman reporting from Karachi, where the two notorious marches currently in progress in Islamabad have ironically managed to spur off similar vehement sentiments in other areas of the population. It won’t be surprising if similar marches start raising heads all over the country. Currently we are interviewing the leaders of the two grand marches that are staging a sit-in at one of the largest grounds in Karachi, venue of hundreds of marriages every year. Mehrul Jafri (MJ) leads the Azad-Biwi-Tehreek (ABT) while Afreen Khan (AK) chairs the Jahez-Jalao-Tehreek (JJT). Though the mandates of both parties are pretty much ...

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A sham democracy is not democracy at all, PML-N

In light of recent events, the government has said that it has a firm resolve to ‘safeguard’ democracy at any cost. I am not entirely sure what the government thinks democracy really is. So far, whatever steps they have taken to ‘safeguard’ it, have been in direct opposition to basic human rights – the same rights that democracy is supposed to protect. I can’t help but find the government’s ‘defence strategy’ heavily laden with panic and idiocy. Their response reminds me of a story I once read in which a man was entrusted with the duty to protect food reserves for a ...

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Pakistani airports: Heading for paralysis?

A person belonging to the procurement department of a military-related setup once told me an interesting story about how the US had banned the sale of F-16 spare parts to Pakistan and had blacklisted the concerned setup. A metallic plate of some specific calibre was urgently required for the F-16s and they had run out of any other options. Out of utter necessity and desperation, one of the officers from the organisation called up a blacksmith from Gujranwala and asked him to forge the plate. The blacksmith was able to forge an exact copy of the plate and for much less money, ...

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Dr Tahirul Qadri is at it again!

Over 100,000 people poured into the twin cities to welcome the internationally acclaimed cleric and prominent political figure, Dr Tahirul Qadri. The Benazir Bhutto International airport, one of the most vulnerable airports in the country, has been on high alert for some time now, due to the fear of an insurgency attack.  Islamabad’s airport has an extremely limited amount of space to accommodate passengers; with very little parking space and hyped up security, vehicles normally have to queue up outside the airport territory and end up blocking two general lanes of the main road leading to the airport which leads to a lot of commotion. ...

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Gullu Butt: The ugly face of Pakistani politics

There came the sacred, exalted goon, smashing the cars in an invincibly high spirit. Behind him stood hundreds of baton-loaded policemen, entrusted with the protection of our life and property, silently appreciating the heroics of Gullu Butt. Somehow, those pictures of Butt and the police symbolise the ugly facet of our national politics abscessed with the misuse and abuse of power. The likes of Butt, who has been identified as a PML-N worker, represent the kind of mindset that exists throughout the ranks of conventional political parties; the mindset that considers power a tool to subvert and supersede the law; the mindset ...

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Chaos, panic, disorder and Dr Tahirul Qadri

Dr Tahirul Qadri plans to come back for his yearly visit on June 23, 2014. Now all of us are aware of the security given to our politicians – everyone is the president and treated like royalty with the area, surrounding their house, being cordoned off and protocol all around. Life as we know it, comes to a standstill for all those residing nearby. An utter nuisance. Dr Qadri’s case is no different. The only difference is – he isn’t even in the country yet. Earlier today, upon receiving multiple complaints from people residing around the Dr Qadri’s mansion about the barriers ...

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