Battle for Faizabad | Pakistan Today

Battle for Faizabad

  • Operation was doomed to fail

The federal government finally launched the much awaited operation against the Faizabad protestors on Saturday. At last in adherence to Islamabad High Court’s orders, the government managed to build up the courage and move in against the emotionally charged activists. The protestors had choked the twin cities completely for the past almost three weeks and refused to budge. Following immense pressure the government finally showed nerve and dropped the curtain.

Unfortunately, the operation was doomed to fail before it even began. This was due to a number of reasons. Firstly, over the last few days the protestors had been given much hype and importance. Their nuisance value witnessed a sharp increase, especially, after the superior judiciary took cognizance of the matter. Secondly, the media outcry as the operation began was enough to feather the religious sentiments of the likeminded class present all over the country. Footages of teargas fuming and stones pelting in the air created an aura of something dreadful taking place. In a matter of seconds the sympathy turned towards the bearded men.

The government on the other hand made another unprecedented move by taking all private news channels off air. This was followed by blocking social media networks falling short of suspending mobile phone service, though that would have been the next move. Rather than helping in their ultimate goal, this move further spoiled the plot for the government. Ordinary citizens of the country were subjected to a fear of the unknown. Even those having no nexus with the TLY people turned against the government for keeping them in the dark.

To be fair, the idea of off airing private news channels does appeal to a just mind. The government in all probability wanted to curb the backlash it was facing, nationally, in the wake of the operation. By keeping the nation in the dark, it supposedly was easier for them to not let sentiments of other people get charged. In this regard a glimpse of the life during nineties was also seen. Only Pakistan television giving its 9pm bulletin very briefly stating what happened during the day. It was almost hilarious to see PTV showing a bear sliding down the Deosai plains and successfully pretending as though it was another ordinary day. Moreover this strategy could have been effective if the channels were taken off air before the commencement of the operation.

The damage had already been done. Religion had already taken over the country. Spreading like wildfire, this protest of merely 2,000 people in Faizabad turned out to be a national sit-in. A rather violent one.

Ordinary citizens of the country were subjected to a fear of the unknown. Even those having no nexus with the TLY people turned against the government for keeping them in the dark

A PML-N MNA from Sheikhupura, Javed Latif, might have a lot to say about the level of violence tipping on Saturday. Amidst the chaotic events of the day, the foremost questions which pop in my mind being a citizen and a voter of the country are as follows:

Why on earth was it more important for the prime minister to be present at Jati Umra? Why did he feel the need to seek blessings of a disqualified and disgraced leader at this particular moment? Why was investigating who deserted the lions during voting on the Election Amendment Bill more prodigious as compared to the events unfolding throughout the nation? Who is to blame for the operation being a blatant failure?

As it transpires, the ousted leader had called a meeting to strategise on how to counter the imminent dissent within the party. Obviously it was predominant for the prime minister to adhere to his master’s wishes. How could he focus on Pakistan for a day when alternatively his master sought his presence?

Undoubtedly, the on-going riots throughout the country were trivial for the prime minister. Protestors and their reasons for the protest aside, who will answer pertaining to the failure in evicting them? The writ and might of the state, if challenged, needs to be established at all costs. Yet we have a scenario which most unfortunately witnessed the loss of life on both sides reportedly however still was unable to provide the desired results.

The writ of the state, as of now, remains within the clutches of the bearded men. The very state which boasts about competing with rival nations yet unable to counter a handful of protestors. It would be hysterical to even imagine any resignations being tendered in the wake of this breakdown. By resignation I do not mean the law minister, as demanded by the TLY activists, but solely intend to point out the administration which displayed its impotence on Saturday.

An ineffective, worthless and weak leadership such as the incumbent is reason enough for world powers to move in against the country on the diplomatic front.

It seems that the upcoming week will be a difficult one. Caught in the middle of system failure, the rulers will once again face the wrath of the Hon’ble Lordships as well. How disgraceful that even administrative decisions were made in light of the court’s orders.

Naturally, the administration had to turn towards the khaki lads in aid of civil power. Bring in the pindi boys to do the dirty work as they themselves have laid down their arms. Let me remind you this is the very state which is in a constant war against terror.

Unofficial reports coming in suggest that the civil-military leadership have decided not to use force against the protestors. Nothing could be more laughable than backing off at this stage. Once in, should have remained full in without bowing down. The suspension of the operation is unwise as it gives the protestors a window to re-group and reassert their demands rather forcefully.

In the meanwhile, it appears that Day-1 of the battle for Faizabad has been won by the holy men. The same holy men who have disrupted the lives of thousands of innocent people and continue to do so. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on us and this nation.