The Suicide Note
A 34 member parliamentary committee of all the political parties was constituted in July 2014 to make electoral reforms. In that, the term “solemnly swear” was replaced by “solemnly affirm.” (It is more rational and appropriate as in a declaration you affirm and do not swear.) Second, in articles 7B and 7C, wherein an objection could be raised if an Ahmadi had registered himself as a Muslim (these were applicable in 2002 for a period of 10 days only) an objection was raised that these have been omitted. The fact of the matter was that these articles were no more valid after their expiry. When objections were raised against the aforementioned omissions and commissions, the government immediately took remedial measures and restored all the previous provisions with the approval of the parliament.
The matter should have ended there! But due to some mysterious reasons, first Chairman Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah Dr Ashraf Asif Jalali came with his supporters to Islamabad and staged a dharna at Jinnah Avenue for 9 days after which he disbanded it with the statement that the government had accepted all their demands including ascertaining the persons who made changes in the “Finality of Prophet hood declaration” in election forms in the Parliament within 20 days.
However, as the dharna of Dr. Ashraf Jalali concluded, another leader of his party namely Khadim Hussain Rizvi came to Islamabad with around 1500 of his supporters and occupied Faizabad interchange which is the main artery connecting Islamabad with Rawalpindi and Lahore. His initial demand was the resignation of law minister. The 22-day dharna paralyzed life in Islamabad. Children could not go to schools, patients being taken to hospitals died in their vehicles and entire traffic in Islamabad remained chocked for 22 days.
Finally, the government initiated an operation to disperse the crowd which failed and army’s assistance was sought. However, the army refused stating multiple reasons.In the end, an agreement was negotiated between the government and Khadim Hussain Rizvi which was mediated by a serving general of the ISI and the dharna ended.
Now here are some valid questions. Why Khadim Hussain Rizvi staged a dharna when a deal was already struck with Dr. Ashraf Jalali, the chairman of his party?
Who supplied food and other essential items to around 1500-2000 protesters? When the police action was nearing success, how come 800-900 trained and fully equipped protesters appeared and overturned the whole situation? Why did the army refuse to obey the orders of the civilian establishment? How come a serving general negotiate a deal? Finally, when the dharna was over, how come a serving general would distribute money among the protesters? Let us forget about all these questions and focus on the deal struck between the mullahs and the federal government.
This deal is nothing less than a suicide note not only for this government but for the state itself.
A large number of police and frontier constabulary troops have been severely injured during the operation but there is no mention of them in the deal rather proceedings have been recommended against the police officers who planned the operation (under court orders.) The Labbaik party workers kept attacking ministers and their residences, they burnt vehicles both private and public, people died due to blockades while they kept the twin cities paralyzed for 22 days, yet no responsibility has been fixed on the Labbaik party workers. On the other hand, they have been completely exonerated in the agreement. Khadim Hussin Rizvi has been openly making hate speeches in clear violation of the National Action Plan yet no action is recommended against him.
The whole responsibility for everything has been fixed upon the government and not the rioters but the government will compensate for damages caused to property both private and public. The law minister will resign and in return no “fatwa” will be issued against him. (However, there is no guarantee that it will not be issued.)
Not only that, additional demands of the mullahs have been accepted like now they can use 4 loudspeakers in mosques in place of one. Two members of Labbaik party would be included in the committee which prepares curriculum for school children, cases where someone has insulted religion or that of blasphemy would be registered forthwith without any hunch and no concession would be granted to those who commit such “crimes.”
The future scenario:
After the total capitulation of the state, the mullah will call the shots and any Mullah who can assemble 1000 to 1500 people and stage a dharna on a critical point would make laws for 21 crore people. Second, public liberties would be severely compromised and any person can be accused of insulting religion or blasphemy. Third, Mullahs of rival factions would be encouraged to come forward with their own demands and inter-faith conflict would greatly intensify.
Four, political vacuum would be created after the fall of the ruling political elite and will be filled by sectarian outfits.
Five, the society will fragment and polarization would spread to state institutions. Six, the sate would lose its writ and sectarian outfits would fill the vacuum. Seven, chances of a civil war would increase manifold and national integrity would weaken to a critical level.
Perhaps the state may not survive in its present form in view of the aforementioned! But the state was an active party in the execution of the deal!
Perhaps the suicide note is complete!