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Connecting the Dots Around Qadri

Posted by yourpakistan on January 25, 2013

Tahir Ul Qadri Long March Saga

PKKH Exclusive | by Faiqa Salman

There is always a bigger picture, bigger players and bigger interests. Let’s look at our scenario in the region. The Afghan US war is the most pressing global issue in the region and Pakistan is the key player that comes after Afghanistan in bringing stability into the land. US forces will be leaving Afghanistan in 2014. NATO and US presence depends on the Pakistan’s support alone. US could leave today but it yet needs a face saving excuse to exit along with other regional interests none of which could be achieved so far and it partly blames Pakistan for it.

Elections in Pakistan are just months away. Despite all of its funding in shape of the Kerry Lugar Bill, the USAID etc. to make the Zardari Government successful, the inept corrupt government failed public support in the country and as a consequence failing the US cause. As it happens, PPP however much incapable, is the only force in Pakistan that can harbor US interests completely. Whereas smooth democratic transition in form of PTI or the coalition of PMLN with other Parties like JI is more likely to be underway, any one of which may force US troops to retreat even before 2014 or may not cooperate with the US backed Karzai regime. 

So what is the situation of Pakistan that suits US and NATO presence most.

  1. PPP being elected once again or given extension for an unlimited period of time.
  2. An Interim Government that suits its goals.
  3. Pak Army occupied internally acting as US proxy fighting its enemies in the region.
  4. A new democratic government that watches US interests after it leaves.

So where did Dr. Tahir ul Qadri fit in. Let me stray away from the topic. Putting the pieces of the puzzle together, the mystery of his showing up abruptly reveals that there is a very careful planning behind the comeback, but what is behind the planning?

As Per TuQ’s demand if assemblies were dissolved, obviously a caretaker set-up would emerge or if the PPP government stays till the end, free and fair elections would not be possible. As the PPP government is not trustworthy to all the other parties in the election process, so a neutral player would be required for the interim setup. TuQ seemed anti-government and neutral, yes, and he did get a role in the caretaker set-up, yes, but could he get any of the opposition parties behind his back declaring him as a neutral representative for the caretaker government? No; Qadri does not have that mandate. So the objectives would be just half fulfilled.

The question remains. Why Tahir ul Qadri? Who would back Dr. Qadri, if after all he does not hold the consensus of the common people of Pakistan not of all the political stakeholders? Dr Qadri, despite being a religious figure, fully endorses the western view of Jihad and Terrorism and has never criticized or demanded the pullout of US and NATO troops from the region nor seemed to have ever objected to the NATO supply routes in Pakistan. Well I am sure it is a coincidence but having a favorable voice in the making of the new government would not be so bad for friends whose interests are glued to Pakistan.

Let’s look at another aspect. For a while let’s assume that Dr. Tahir ul Qadri aimed to bring an Arab-spring like phenomenon in the country. A cleric that attracts populace with his religious oratory and doctrine! Wow, an Islamic revolution! But wait…

Observe the resistance those revolutions are facing in the Arab countries or anywhere in the globe. On the other hand this heavily funded revolutionary movement was fully facilitated by the government, by all means, and upheld with full endorsement by the mainstream media; contrary to any of the revolutions seem in the Arab spring. Whereas, Qadri himself, declared a win in a matter of three days, forced the government on its knees, without even having a drop of bloodshed. Or did he achieve anything really substantial. Obviously not!

Though the dots seem to connect, when viewed in the global scenario, and Dr. Qadri, the Quetta Massacre, Manzar Imam, the Khyber killings and the 2014 nervy pull-out date do make a picture; my real apprehension here is that the words like Revolution, Long March, Protest etc. etc. would lose their meaning, causing despair among the masses, because of such theatrics and as a consequence the endeavors of a real revolution could fade out. Moreover as the word ‘Jihad’ was maligned by organizations such as TTP, Lashkare Jhangvi and Al Qaeda, this time the term ‘Progressive Islam’ would be smeared which is a much bigger threat to the prevailing political and economic system of the world.

Faiqa Salman is an educationist and a philanthropist, she tweets as @FaiqaSalman

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