A lesson from Alyani’s fall and TLP’s protests

Put an end to political engineering

The house of cards built in Balochistan has collapsed. Despite attempts by several federal emissaries and others, the Chief Minister has fallen without completing his tenure. Jam Kamal Alyani of the Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) resigned from the office of CM in the wake of a no-confidence motion tabled against him by some disgruntled members of his own party last week. Overconfident of the political backing of his powerful supporters, Mr Alyani initially boasted that he enjoyed the majority’s support. The formation of the BAP was the thin end of the wedge, an act of political engineering aimed at overthrowing the PML(N) government in the province and weakening it at the centre. The way a number of PML(N) and PML(Q) lawmakers in Balochistan were made to change loyalties is a sad commentary on the country’s political culture. It is ironic that those who brought Mr Alyani to power failed to keep him in office.

Tehrik-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) was originally used to hit the PML(N) where it hurt the most, by questioning the religious credentials of the party. The TLP was allowed to put the capital under siege and hold hostage the residents of the twin cities by its Faizabad dharna. While the clerics blasted the civil and military leadership with their highly inflammable harangues, inciting their supporters to violence, there was no sign of the government moving against them. After the fall of the PML(N), the TLP was mainstreamed. It won three seats in the Sindh Assembly which boosted its morale. It rejected the Supreme Court ruling in Aasia Bibi’s case and demanded that she may not be sent abroad. When the demand was rejected by the PTI government, the party initiated violent protests destroying public and private property. The latest protest started when the government did not expel the French ambassador.

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Those who used the TLP to further their agenda despite knowing what harm the extremist thinking could inflict on Pakistani society and Pakistan’s relations with other countries did disservice to the country. The sooner political engineering is brought to an end, the better for Pakistan.

The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].

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