Let’s summarize: Pakistan lost to street abuse on Monday. An abusive person using the name of religion forced an elected government to bend its knees to his demands – no one could even ask him for an apology over his abusive remarks to government and judiciary.The person who brought just around 1,000 to 1,500 people to the capital of the country, and jammed it for over three weeks, despite all claims by ruling party and other institutions, got all of what he wanted – and this is just the start. The other party in Lahore is still there, as they have their own demands and the leader of that sit-in has announced that they will stay there until their demands are met.
So, whose mistake is all this? It is our collective blunder –it’s as simple as that. Be it people of Pakistan, the ruling party, or our military leadership, every one caved into the wishes and demands of a little known person who doesn’t even have political representation in the Parliament. Both civil-military leadership signed a document with that person whose workers blocked two cities, attacked properties of citizens, burnt down houses and vehicles – again, of common people – and then just let them go.
Either our leadership does not know how grave a mistake they have committed or it doesn’t matter to them at all. Apparently, they all just want their government, offices and seats safe as on the same day both the Prime Minister and Army Chief went to Riyadh despite this internal crisis.
The signed agreement looks as if the government-military thanked that person for choking the cities, damaging properties and even gave him a safe passage.
Once again, the politicians did what they have been doing best: showed their incompetence.And military did what it has been doing: telling politicians how to do politics. This is the irony, and will remain so, as with this issue the state has set aprecedent that if you use religion as cover for demands, everything will be accepted and forgiven at the end of the day.
First of all, it was the ruling party that gave a chance to religious entities to raise the issue of finality of prophethood, despite knowing its sensitivity and how the clerics brigade abuse it for both personal and, as per ISI, political reasons. Then for unknown reasons, the protesters were given complete time and space to disrupt masses and the state, followed by a botched operation which is another failure as police could not disperse a few hundred people from the capital, and just as before (read every time)the civil government had to call paramilitary forces.
Despite differences of ideology with Islamabad High Court judge, Justice Shaukat Ali, he raised accurate and valid point: what was Army doing in the negotiation process as it is not its place to be. The judge lashed out at Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal – who by the way had no knowledge about the operation – for ‘seeking guidance’ from military leadership and in place of civilian government, the credit was given to Army Chief without mentioning any political or civil authorities including IG and Commissioner of Islamabad in it.
Justice Shaukat rightly summarized the whole situation while addressing the interior minister stating, “Iqbal sahib, you have embarrassed the police and administration.”