Lahore: Pakistan Muslim League President Senator Ch Shujat Hussain has said that the participants of the sit-in were only at five minutes distance from the Parliament House, if Dr Tahirul Qadri had asked them to take over the Parliament then those criticizing the Islamabad Declaration today in the Parliament would not have been safe even in their own homes. Some personalities wanted failure of negotiations with Dr Tahirul Qadri for gaining political mileage but there would have been worst bloodshed in the replay of Lal Masjid operation.
Addressing a crowded press conference along with Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Advisor to the Prime Minister Muhammad Basharat Raja and Parliamentary Leader in the Punjab Assembly Ch Zaheeruddin and other leaders at his residence here today.
Ch Shujat Hussain said that in order to stop operation against the participants of the sit-in, he had even given the option for withdrawal from the government, all signatories of the Declaration are its guarantors, mechanism for its implementation mechanism will be evolved in the meeting on January 27, he had gone into the negotiations after acceptance of his three conditions, the Declaration will prove a milestone for free, fair and transparent elections in the country, election of neat and clean people and for establishing Islamic democratic system in the country in real sense, the President, the Prime Minister and Dr Tahirul Qadri deserve appreciation for saving the country from a major mishap through their understanding and wisdom.
In response to the questions from the media, Mushahid Hussain Sayed said that utmost discipline displayed during the long march and in the sit-in, such a large number of people include the elders, women and children remaining peaceful and the signing of the Declaration have not only improved image of Pakistan abroad but also added a good tradition in the political culture. He said on this occasion the Quaid-i-Azam’s saying Unity, Discipline and Faith were fully practiced and demonstrated, this is victory for democracy and political leadership of the country deserve appreciation for displaying better sense, understanding and wisdom.
Continuing Ch Shujat Hussain said that the entire nation is fully aware that different political and non-political personalities were expecting that the negotiations should not be successful and the country should be victim of chaos and they should get political mileage. He expressed gratitude to Almighty Allah that these people were disappointed and all matters were amicably resolved through sensibility and wisdom of all parties. About implementation of the Declaration, he said that this document has been signed by the Prime Minister seven Federal Ministers and leaders of the allies parties and they all are its guarantors and, Insha-Allah, they would get it implemented adding that in the meeting on January 27, all questions raised among the people will be duly considered and a mechanism evolved for its implementation. He said the entire nation pays tributes to President Asif Ali Zardari for taking personal interest and to the Prime Minister for solving the problems through better understanding and wisdom as a result of which the country was saved of a major mishap.
Giving detailed account of the happenings, Ch Shujat Hussain said that operation had started on January 15, the Interior Minister telephoned him on January 16saying that Mr. Qadri has somehow escaped and they are going to launch operation for dispersing the people and in reply he told him that if Mr. Qadri has left then there is no need for any action and the people would themselves leave. He said that he was receiving confirmed reports that preparations were underway for the operation, he talked to the Prime Minister and then to President Asif Ali Zardari in Karachi, he told the President that replay of Lal Masjid operation is going to happen on which he (the President) he immediately that there will be operation and this was released to the TV also. He said prior to this, he had told Rahman Malik that the operation would be strongly resisted and opposed, after this Rahman Malik addressing news conference at 9. 30 P. M. and said that operation can take place today or tomorrow and after the news conference was over, there were reports that young women had picked up sticks and were getting ready to counter the operation.
Ch Shujat Hussain said that around midnight he telephoned the Prime Minister and asked him to directly order the administration that there should be no operation at all irrespective of what are the circumstances. He said that on January 17 after offering Fajr prayers he prayed that the day was very important and Almighty Allah should not put us in any test and bless us to take the right decision and be successful. He said the same day, information was received about meeting of the allies parties in the Prime Minister’s House, at the start of the meeting the Prime Minister asked him to meet Mr. Qadri along with couple of persons. He said “In response to this, I said that I will not go without some conditions as I have bitter experience, such a meeting was also held by Pervez Musharraf on the occasion of Lal Masjid operation and I was sent with 10 points. After resolving these 10 points before going to the President’s House I had asked Imtiaz Ranjha to arrange food for women and children as they have not taken meals for several days. When I reached the President’s House, I was told to go back and tell Maulana Ghazi that first he should hand over himself to the law. If I go today for negotiations and on coming back same answer is given to me then with what I am left with. Lal Masjid operation was in a building but now if there is, God-forbid, bloodshed in the streets of Islamabad unheard in the history of Pakistan because here women were present with their children in cold weather and one woman was even with just three months old child”. Ch Shujat Hussain further said that on the asking of the Prime Minister I put three conditions for going to Mr. Qadri that seven senior Ministers Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Farooq H, Naek, Syed Khurshid Shah, Qamaruzzaman Kaira, Dr Farooq Sattar, Babar Ghauri, Senator Abbas Afridi from FATA and leaders of all allies parties should accompany him, power to decide the matter in one sitting should be given so that on coming back for acceptance of the demands he should not have to go the Prime Minister or the President, third condition was that you decide right now as which demand is to be accepted and which not so that we are quite clear in this regard. He said his all three conditions were accepted. Asfand Yar Wali said “Chaudhry Sahib, we will stand by you if any decision is reached here and not honoured afterwards. You should go fully empowered”. He said the Prime Minister said that 10 members committee will go under his (Ch Shujat Hussain) leadership and prayed to Almighty Allah for the success of the mission. He said that the negotiations were held in a very cordial atmosphere.
Pakistan Muslim League President Senator Ch Shujat Hussain highly praised and appreciated the discipline and spirit of the participants of Tehrik Minhajul Quran’s long march and wisdom, understanding serenity and fortitude of Dr Tahirul Qadri while addressing a press conference at his residence here today.
Ch Shujat Hussain said that uncertain and chaotic situation prevailed during the long march and sit-in adding that he personally also realized the gravity of the situation.
In reply to a question, he said that his brother Ch Wajahat Hussain along with his colleagues kept roaming around in the sit-in in disguise and reported to him that people sitting there are so much highly spirited that even if they have to be taken to Skardu, their spirit will remain the same.
Ch Shujat Hussain said that we had not seen or heard about the march by the people in lakhs, it seemed that on the way the march would end due to some riot or Dr Tahirul Qadri will be arrested but he stayed on the roads of Islamabad for four days with women and children and honoured his promise and not a single leaf had moved during the long march and sit-in.