Extremist siege: Pakistan’s self-destructive journey

Source: AT

It is very uncommon to find a country where a few hundred or even a few thousand religious extremists can besiege the capital for two days and paralyze life there. However, it is a common thing in Pakistan, at least for the extremist religious cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, who heads Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP), an Islamist political party.

Rizvi, who hails from the Barelvi sect of Islam, announced a protest against the caricatures of Prophet Muhammad that were published in France. On Sunday, his followers from across the country gathered at a well-known park called Liaquat Bagh Rawalpindi and then reached the boundary between the federal capital Islamabad and the garrison city of Rawalpindi.

For almost two days Rizvi and his followers virtually besieged the twin cities, and the closure of Internet and cellular services created a panic among the public. It was a repeat of the 2017 TLP sit-in, where Rizvi not only besieged the twin cities but politically damaged the ruling party at the time, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

The only difference was that in 2017 mainstream media and the now-ruling party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), supported the sit-in, whereas this time mainstream media almost blacked out the event and no major opposition party endorsed Rizvi’s act.

However, the question is how is it possible that Rizvi, who does not enjoy massive street power like the religious party of Fazal-ur-Rehman, always manages to reach the strategic Faizabad Interchange without difficulty.


4 replies

  1. Interference in politics by military brass started at the time of Mr Ghulam Mohammad. Since then it is present in Pakistan in one or other shape. With the passage of time, the political cell of ISI became the most effective tool to guide and shape the political system and civil elite to run the state affairs. The military interference in Pakistani politics has nothing to do with Gen Bajwa or his predecessors. It is a built in part of Pakistan politics since many decades. Grooming of Rizvi like extremists is done by the political wing of ISI. Whenever this wing needs, the software of such extremists are reversed and when need arises the same software is again put in the previous mode.Whatever effort may be done either of Nawaz, Mariam, Bilawal or any one else nothing will be achieved as all visible political elite are offspring of military brass. There is no Turkish Erdogan in Paksitani politics. Main aim of the political wing of ISI is to keep the civil political elite at its place which it is doing very successfully. Currently Rizvi is just a symbol which can be used to remind IK not to cross the red lines marked by the political wing of ISI.You pointed out very rightly the solution lies in separation of religion from state. But this does not suit the political wing of ISI and as a whole to military brass. Absence of any visionary and exemplary political leaders further empowers the effective organisational and governance system of the military.  Since no one is sincere and serious to put this country on track as such it will continue its journey on the same track. Ahmadiyya, Aghakhani, Hindu and Christians communities who are much better than mainstream already have been excluded to play any part in the betterment of society as such no hope at the end of the tunnel.

  2. Why puppet Imran Khan and other leaders of Pakistan who think they are greatest scholar of Islam are silent on atrocities on Uyghur Muslims by CCP? Uyghur Muslims cannot perform 5time Namazi, cannot go to mosque, cannot keep wall paper of Quran on phone. Mosque’s are converted into public toilets and pubs. Muslim women are rapped by PLA soldiers and no reactions on all this by so called Muslim leaders / Muslim Countries

Leave a Reply