- As questionable as its sit-in
After 13 days of its sit-in in Islamabad, the JUI-F has concluded that it is not possible for a political party to overthrow a sitting government through mob action. The two week long sit-in having failed to produce the results expected by the JUI-F chief, he is left with no option other than to call it off. He cannot however abruptly tell the crowds he has brought to Islamabad to end the march without providing them a better alternative. Plan B is thus a ploy to wean away the marchers from Islamabad by diverting their energies to a supposedly more efficient way of getting rid of the PTI administration.
The Plan B is aimed at blocking the main roads in Islamabad and major cities of all the four provinces. Once the plan becomes operative those at the Islamabad sit-in can be asked to move gradually to other towns to help their party men blocking the roads. Maulana Fazlur Rehman has advised his supporters not to take the law into their hands. But this amounts to directing a person to jump into the swimming pool without getting himself wet. A crowd cannot block a highway without causing traffic jams and forcing the police to take recourse to the use of force to open the road. Even under Mahatma Gandhi, the past master of the art of non-violence, the Chauri Chaura incident led to killings and wrecked the non-cooperation movement.
The PPP and PML-N, who support Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s objective but are unwilling to join the sit-in, could have prevailed on him to desist from the move had the PTI not pushed them to the wall. It is now for the government to engage the JUI-F leadership to stop them from spreading the sit-ins all over the country. The JUI-F has every right to launch a protest but it must not indulge in dharnas or blocking of the highways which amounts to removing a sitting government by recourse to force. The Constitution allows the change of a government only in two way, either through an in-house change or through fresh elections. It is time the JUI-F and the rest of the opposition try to make a better use of Parliament.