The Islamabad Lockdown

It’s a bad move, no matter how you look at it

 

“Where is the gate of Islamabad” asked nursery school children of their teacher, “and how could a city be locked down?”. It was difficult for the teacher to answer children’s question. Only politicians know how to lockdown and shutdown Islamabad and move backward until their objectives were achieved. They do not worry about these children’s or the losses incurred by the closure of the city.

As the Federal Capital, Islamabad has witnessed a number of protests since the 1980s. The Jammat-e-Islami championed the cause of sit-in rallies in the 1990s. Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf organised PML-Q rallies against his political opponents in collaboration with the MQM in the capital. In the past three years, Islamabad has been host to the anti-PML (N) rallies launched by the PTI, PAT, PPP and MQM etc. And now once again, on November 2, PTI intends to organise a powerful rally to lay siege to the seat of the Federal Government until its rule is completely shut down as well.

Militants have been reorganised by the PTI, PAT, and AML in the name of 2 November lockdown of Islamabad. This is a very unfortunate development as terrorist elements and their sympathizers should be on the run and defeated. The PAT was abstaining from joining this lockdown but at the last moment it joined hands with the PTI after AML Chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed mediated between Tahir ul Qadari and Imran Khan in order to bring more protestors.

The reports of the Lal Masjid joining the fray are quite alarming and disturbing. Its Khateeb, Abdul Aziz, has once again raised his voice against the government, saying that “the government has crossed its limits in its enmity with Islam and the country”. The 2007 Lal Masjid events set a black mark on the Islamabad administration and the political elite, sending shocking images abroad. The issue remained as one of the most controversial in the history of Islamabad and still unsettled. Hence, these reports of the Lal Masjid joining Imran Khan also send a negative image of the PTI and PAT abroad. Imran Khan’s family resides in London, while Qadri lives in Canada. They might have developed some logic to convince the Western audience and their style of democracy with help of militants.

The event is also disturbing for the army which has been successfully accomplishing the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. The 2 November event would not present moral support to army’s anti-terrorism efforts. Rather, it would be a setback to the army’s efforts, engineered by some opposition parties that are perpetually trying to oust an elected government in the past three years through pressure and other undemocratic tactics.

The lockdown would also be a setback to government policies on vital issues of development and peace such as CPEC and the Zarb e Azb Operation, and defeated militant elements and their political associates might regain momentum to disrupt peace and development process.

The PTI and PAT say that corruption and the Model Town incident are their agenda. Then why are militants joined them? Lal Masjid leaders think that the Government is involved in gross human rights violations against religious organizations and crackdown against Madaris to appease outsiders.

A new element has been introduced in the on-going politics. Now the agenda of the PTI, PAT, AML, Lal Masjid, and some like-minded parties such as Difa-e-Pakistan Council, Jamaatud Dawa, and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat has been coincided. They want to make a “Different Pakistan” after their failure of making a ”New Pakistan” in 2014. Religious parties demand Sharia (Islamic code). For IK, the support from strong religious parties have become a san qua non for the implementation of his anti-PML-N agenda.

After all, Imran Khan has declared that until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns, siege of Islamabad would continue. May be this is Imran Khan’s last resort and gamble after the failure of objectives in 2014 (August-December) sit-in in Islamabad and September rally in 30 September Raiwind. He may bank more on this third option no matter how bitter the lockdown could be.

In the name of this agenda, they would disrupt peace and development efforts. Their allegations have been given more materials to the Modi Sarkar and outside centrifugal forces working against the interests of Pakistan. However, it’s still not clear which third force is behind all this new drama. No clues are found. If the facts are revealed, a better conclusion could be drawn to know the real objectives of the lockdown.

It’s a bad move, no matter how you look at it

Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik

 

“Where is the gate of Islamabad” asked nursery school children of their teacher, “and how could a city be locked down?”. It was difficult for the teacher to answer children’s question. Only politicians know how to lockdown and shutdown Islamabad and move backward until their objectives were achieved. They do not worry about these children’s or the losses incurred by the closure of the city.

As the Federal Capital, Islamabad has witnessed a number of protests since the 1980s. The Jammat-e-Islami championed the cause of sit-in rallies in the 1990s. Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf organised PML-Q rallies against his political opponents in collaboration with the MQM in the capital. In the past three years, Islamabad has been host to the anti-PML (N) rallies launched by the PTI, PAT, PPP and MQM etc. And now once again, on November 2, PTI intends to organise a powerful rally to lay siege to the seat of the Federal Government until its rule is completely shut down as well.

Militants have been reorganised by the PTI, PAT, and AML in the name of 2 November lockdown of Islamabad. This is a very unfortunate development as terrorist elements and their sympathizers should be on the run and defeated. The PAT was abstaining from joining this lockdown but at the last moment it joined hands with the PTI after AML Chief Sheikh Rashid Ahmed mediated between Tahir ul Qadari and Imran Khan in order to bring more protestors.

The reports of the Lal Masjid joining the fray are quite alarming and disturbing. Its Khateeb, Abdul Aziz, has once again raised his voice against the government, saying that “the government has crossed its limits in its enmity with Islam and the country”. The 2007 Lal Masjid events set a black mark on the Islamabad administration and the political elite, sending shocking images abroad. The issue remained as one of the most controversial in the history of Islamabad and still unsettled. Hence, these reports of the Lal Masjid joining Imran Khan also send a negative image of the PTI and PAT abroad. Imran Khan’s family resides in London, while Qadri lives in Canada. They might have developed some logic to convince the Western audience and their style of democracy with help of militants.

The event is also disturbing for the army which has been successfully accomplishing the Operation Zarb-e-Azb. The 2 November event would not present moral support to army’s anti-terrorism efforts. Rather, it would be a setback to the army’s efforts, engineered by some opposition parties that are perpetually trying to oust an elected government in the past three years through pressure and other undemocratic tactics.

The lockdown would also be a setback to government policies on vital issues of development and peace such as CPEC and the Zarb e Azb Operation, and defeated militant elements and their political associates might regain momentum to disrupt peace and development process.

The PTI and PAT say that corruption and the Model Town incident are their agenda. Then why are militants joined them? Lal Masjid leaders think that the Government is involved in gross human rights violations against religious organizations and crackdown against Madaris to appease outsiders.

A new element has been introduced in the on-going politics. Now the agenda of the PTI, PAT, AML, Lal Masjid, and some like-minded parties such as Difa-e-Pakistan Council, Jamaatud Dawa, and Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat has been coincided. They want to make a “Different Pakistan” after their failure of making a ”New Pakistan” in 2014. Religious parties demand Sharia (Islamic code). For IK, the support from strong religious parties have become a san qua non for the implementation of his anti-PML-N agenda.

After all, Imran Khan has declared that until Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns, siege of Islamabad would continue. May be this is Imran Khan’s last resort and gamble after the failure of objectives in 2014 (August-December) sit-in in Islamabad and September rally in 30 September Raiwind. He may bank more on this third option no matter how bitter the lockdown could be.

In the name of this agenda, they would disrupt peace and development efforts. Their allegations have been given more materials to the Modi Sarkar and outside centrifugal forces working against the interests of Pakistan. However, it’s still not clear which third force is behind all this new drama. No clues are found. If the facts are revealed, a better conclusion could be drawn to know the real objectives of the lockdown.

Dr Ahmad Rashid Malik

The writer is Director of the China-Pakistan Study Centre (CPSC) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He writes on East Asian affairs.



4 Comments

  1. Faisal said:

    what a biased article without any background to the situation.

  2. Mushtaq Ahmad said:

    Under the present circumstances there is no other alternative but to resort to such extreme action so as to press NS to submit resignation. The Government is not coming to terms to get Panama leaks investigated through judicial commission because Nawaz Sharif is guilty conscious.
    Hence the article is not appreciated. It is rubbish.

  3. Umair Ahmed said:

    Obviously a paid article. I am against the Dharna in particular as that makes many organizations run away from the capital. Still I will never word or even imagine wording it like this sold out author did. Its like writing a political fantasy novel…

  4. Pingback: Moonis Elahi Says Lives Lost in Quetta Attack Will Not Go in Vain – Political Stage PK

Comments are closed.

Top