Long March culmination: Pakistanis prove unity to safeguard democracy: Rehman Malik

ISLAMABAD, Jan 18: Minister for Interior, Rehman Malik on Friday said the peaceful and democratic culmination of Long March in Federal Capital proved that Pakistanis are united to safeguard democracy in the country.

“Pakistanis have showed that how democratically and politically matured they are, by giving a clear message to the world that no one can harm democracy in the country,” he said.

Talking to media here after holding a meeting with Deputy Speaker, Faisal Karim Kundi, he said the long march has also
conveyed a message that the country would move forward on road to progress and prosperity. Rehman Malik said the PPP leadership and coalition partners demonstrated remarkable patience and tolerance in the face of provocations and warnings and in this regard, he lauded, wisdom and reconciliatory approach of President, Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf and leaders of other political parties due to which dialogues between the government and Chief of Tehrik-e- Minhajul Quran (TMQ), Dr Tahir ul Qadri became successful.

He said leadership of PPP, particularly the President and Prime Minister provided him guidance to appropriately handle
the situation and added despite threats of terrorism, the government decided not to restrict movement of the protestors and this helped eased the situation, however, as an administrator and Minister for Interior he adopted measures to ensure security for the marchers.

“I had made a promise with citizens of Islamabad for security of long march and I am thankful to Allah Almighty that the protest culminated without any untoward incident,” he said. He said district administration of Islamabad and law-enforcing agencies including police and rangers played their part well in ensuring maintenance of peace and added the provinces and the armed forces also provided necessary support to deal with the situation in a satisfactory manner.
Rehman Malik thanked the participants of the March for remaining peaceful and appreciated the opposition parties for
strongly opposing any move that could harm democracy. He expressed his regrets if he has passed any harsh remarks
during the long march. Replying to a question, the Minister acknowledged role of MQM and also its sacrifices as it is the party which has lost its Member of Provincial Assembly on the day when the long march was culminated. He expressed grief and sorrow with MQM Chief Altaf Hussain and the family of the deceased. He said it was a hard day but thanks to Altaf Bhai who asked MQM workers to remain peaceful.

Answering another question, Rehman Malik said he has ordered a magisterial inquiry in to the death of officer of National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He said police investigation is also underway to determine whether the NAB investigation officer committed suicide or he was murdered. Deputy Commissioner, Rehman Malik said would present him a report within next few days. He said he has thanked all Chief Ministers particularly the Chief Minister of the Punjab for their consistent logistic support to provide security to students of Minhaj-ul-Quran and other participants.

The Minister appreciated the professional and dedication shown by the Inspector General of Police, Bin Yamin, SSP (Operations) and officers and men of ICT police who performed their duties day and night to ensure security during long march. Rehman Malik lauded Islamabad Administration led by Chief Commissioner, particularly the Deputy Commissioner of ICT, who acted very maturely and carried out the instructions in full letter and spirit in coordinating and directing to keep the crowd fully secured. He also spoke high about DG, Rangers of Punjab for providing logistic support in terms of deployment of officers and men of the force to assist ICT Police in maintaining peace and security to the life and property of the residents of Islamabad as well as the participants.

The Minister commended officers and men of Frontier Constabulary and its Commandant and Deputy Commandant for providing assistance to the ICT police and Islamabad Administration. Inspectors General of Police of Punjab and Azad Jammu & Kashmir were also appreciated while Rehman Malik thanked the Chairman of CDA for providing all necessary assistance. On the occasion, Faisal Karim Kundi thanked the Minister for handling the long march in an efficient manner and protecting the Red Zone, particularly the Parliament House.