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1 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM

Motives of the Islamabad sit-in

Munir Ahmed
Motives of the Islamabad sit-in

Everyone in the strategic arena knows that the religiously blind-folded passion can do any ‘miracle of misery’. Common people don’t have the access to the right information at first of all, and then have no capacity to use their own piece of mind to analyse and understand the political factors running behind the religiously motivated political moves. The chaos turns intense many folds when they believe in each word uttered by their religious leaders. They even chant Islamic slogans while using abusive language. This is vividly evident in the case of the ‘religious leaders’ behind the Faizabad sit-in.

Many videos of the dharna leadership have become viral on the social media that reflect foully language, create and increase hatred by exploiting religious passion. All is done and being done, apparently, for the ‘love’ of the last Prophet Muhammad Muhammad (PBUH) who was merciful to all without any discrimination of religion and region, ethnicity, caste and creed. What could be worse than spreading hatred by exploiting the sentiments of the common people for the last prophet (PBUH) to achieve political objectives?

Many political analysts believe that the Faizabad dharna had other hidden political motives. Such a protest was unneeded when the change of merely a word, that does not even change the essence of the meaning, was reverted. To keep the record straight, the electoral reforms bill was scrutinised, approved and endorsed by the two parliamentary committees comprising 34 parliamentarians from different political and religious parties. It was then passed by both lower and upper houses of the parliament.

Therefore, it was unfortunate that the protesting parties singled one or two persons out of the entire parliamentary process, and it led to undesired chaos, attacks on the residences of federal and provincial parliamentarians. It shows the mala fide intentions and political objectives of the dharna leaders. Mistakes are done and if rectified and apologised for, even the Almighty forgives for good reasons. The last prophet (PBUH) set a great tradition of forgiving his worst enemies. He sacrificed all his life to ease the life of common people while the Faizabad dharna had made the life miserable for millions. This clearly violates the teachings of the Prophet (PBUH).

A handful of extremists cannot win by vote but may create chaos and anarchic situation through violence. And, that was done quite successfully in a bid to secure some vested interests. Many journalists talked to the common protesters at the Faizabad Interchange and they reported that the protesters are convinced that they are there for the love of the Prophet (PBUH) and to protect his honour and the finality of the Prophethood. They believe that there is no political agenda of their leadership, and it is purely a ‘religious cause’ for which they can sacrifice their lives. It seems to be an amazing conviction of the followers, no doubt, and with an idealistic innocence. Harsh reality is that the innocence and ignorance of the common people are exploited by the thin elements for their vested interest in religiously camouflaged strategies.

The common people need to realise that how and why they are fooled and used by different political and religious factions, and how their innocent engagement serves to the ulterior objectives and vested interests of the thin voices that ultimately become stronger because of the ‘sacrifices’ of the common people. On the orders of the honourable courts, the Islamabad district management tried to disperse the crowd that led to an extreme reaction not only at the Faizabad Interchange but at many places in the country. The houses and properties of the ruling part parliamentarians were attacked, vehicles and properties of the civilians and the forces were burnt. Every common citizen is a loser while every political and religious party is vigorously doing political scoring that is against the common interest of masses, state institutions, faith-based ideologies, and most importantly the episode served to cause irreparable loss to democratic values, legacy, tradition, and legitimate power of vote. It is also likely to promote and mainstream the faith-based violence for political and strategic interests as was done in 1950s and 1970s.

The writer is a Pakistan-based policy advocacy, strategic communicationand outreach expert


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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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