COMPLAINT regarding “Preacher Challenges Pakistani Leaders”

Dear Editor of New York Times,

I would like to express my concerns about false reporting on Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri’s return to Pakistan and reaction of the government.

I am referring to the piece published under the title “Preacher Challenges Pakistani Leaders” on 23 June reported by Salman Maqsood.

1) ” … political dramatist Muhammad Tahir-ulQadri”

  • This is a deliberate accusation I would like to request you to withdraw this accusation. He is a sincere and sensible prominent popular Pakistan politician with power to influence masses.

2) “…leaving at least eight people dead, including one police officer, and hundreds injured.”

  • This is false reporting. There were NO deaths on the Police side. Until now 15 PAT workers died as a result of Police aggression termed as ‘state terrorism’.

3) “…Mr. Qadri made his formal debut as a street politician early last year.”

  • This is again false. He has been a politician since he founded his political party on 25 May 1989. He was Pakistan’s National Assembly between 2002-2004.

4) “But the demonstrations fizzled when he agreed to talks with government negotiators.”

  • This is again wrong. The demonstrations would have continued however Dr Qadri wanted a peaceful solution and made a Declaration with the PPP Government in order to implement the reforms. The PPP backed off and never implemented them. Therefore our struggle for reforms continues. He warned and foretold the nation that if the Electoral Reforms which he demanded in Islamabad sit-in are not implemented then 2013 elections will be the worst flawed and rigged in the history. And his words came true; today PTI and all other parties are accusing the Gov/PMLN of having heavily rigged the elections. Hence PTI is protesting.

5) “…on Monday to lead a protest march from Islamabad to Lahore.”

  • This is wrong. He never announced any protest march from Islamabad to Lahore. He intended to return to Islamabad due to its international importance and PAT workers decided to welcome him in Islamabad. On 23 June more than 100,000 people came on streets to receive him in Islamabad hence due to the threat by the power people who support Dr Qadri, the government decided to divert his plane to Lahore. This is why the government blocked all highways leading to Islamabad and to the Airport in order to stop PAT workers.

6) “…supporters of Mr. Qadri wielded batons against police officers while trying to reach the airport to welcome their leader.”

  • This is again completely false. Dr Qadri showed photos of various Police vans transporting violent terrorist-type people in civilian clothes. They were involved in fighting the Police so that it can be blamed on PAT and Dr Qadri. This was a campaign by the Government to defame Dr Qadri and PAT and to blame them to be violent.

7) “But his demands for military intervention went unanswered, and Mr. Qadri finally agreed to leave the aircraft.”

  • This is evidence that the military/Army is not backing Dr Qadri.
  • Dr Qadri has been always calling for a revolution as a solution NOT rigged elections as he wants to change the whole political and electoral system through a revolution. A system which is based on injustice, rigging, bribes, political violence, controlling police, judges and other institutions for political gains etc. This system has to end. For more about Dr Qadri’s political philosophy please or to find out more.

I would like to urge you to get the basic facts corrected and write an article on facts. As a reputable international newspaper we never thought it would publish news/article without facts and based on false analysis/ disinformation.

I look forward hearing from you soon.

Warm regards,

Shahid Mursaleen
Spokesman to Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri
Twitter: @shahidmursaleen