The government is feeling the blowback for its earlier capitulation to the religious right-wing agenda. And the man at the centre of the row is still calling the shots.
For Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Hussain Rizvi has spent the best part of this week directing his followers or ‘activists’ to protest in Lahore; threatening countrywide sit-ins if the Centre does not honour the army-backed agreement concluded at the end of last year. That Rizvi manages to do all this even though the courts have proclaimed him a declared absconder raises grave concerns over the Punjab police’s ability to arrest high-profile figures.
Yet the point is that the civil-military leadership must have realised they were playing with fire when agreeing to all TLP demands.