Political Arena after Emergence of Allama Tahir ul Qadri in View of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

Leader Tehreek e Minhaj ul Quran, Allama Mohammad Qadri held an aggregation at Minar e Pakistan where according to analysts an immense crowd gathered. This arguably was show of public power. Surprisingly, an enormous amount was spent in holding the aggregation and carrying out a pre-campaign to amass public. This urged people to question the source of monetary investment. In response Allama took an oath before the procession claiming that no internal or external agency was involved in assisting him for the gathering. Previously Imran Khan had done a similar show of public power after which PTI was taken seriously. There are doubts about Maulana Qadri’s intent, people wonder if he bears something similar in mind. The timing for this event is also controversial, where he has given a deadline for 3 weeks to bring substantial changes.

Do you have any queries about the particular timing and what do you assess of this whole exercise?

It would have been preferred if he had taken this action after elections 2008. There is no doubt that our country is going through a very tough phase. Whatever the setbacks were of the government we need to appreciate that 18th, 19th and 20th amendments were good initiatives taken by them. Another favor would be if they hold free and fair elections on time. It is rather strange to suggest a caretaker government that can solve all the problems of this country by prolonging their rule.

We feel that need of today is to have fair elections that will elect a government with a mandate. The chosen government can then negotiate with opposition and important institutions of this country after which a solution can be devised.

Allama Qadri in his two-hour speech talked about giving food, shelter and clothing to the people and to provide them with justice similarly he highlighted many areas, do you see anything positive and substantial in his address when the others argue that he talks about no particular agenda?

All political parties will present their agendas. PML N has also been working on their manifesto and the committee includes many intellectual people. There is just a list of wishes that has been forwarded by Qadri sahab. I respect Allama sahab very much and I see him as an enlightened religious leader but it would be inappropriate to call him a political power. Its not clear If they intend to contest in elections or not, I believe that the demonstration was not of a political nature. I personally believe that he is a moderate religious leader and he collected a large populace and delivered a very moderately toned speech which is perhaps what our country needs now. However I believe, that only Supreme Court can validate his interpretations of the constitution.

I feel it is very important to hold elections on time so by early February caretaker government should be in place. Opposition leader had clearly declared that all parties would be consulted while selecting a caretaker government and setup. At this point in time, suggesting that a caretaker government will solve all issues of Pakistan and should take as long as it takes is not an appropriate option. Increasing the time period of caretaker setup will only increase the intensity of problems faced by Pakistan.

Do you agree with the interpretation that some politicians have given which suggests this aggregation to be a delaying tactic for elections?

I would not want to doubt Allama sahab but just a few weeks before election such an immense amount is spent on the demonstration and then a threat of a long march has also been given. Any normal person would be forced to doubt the stated intentions of Allama sahab. The political parties with vote banks are insisting on holding elections and announcing a caretaker government so that current instability can be removed. In this regard Supreme Court is also very cautious in passing their judgments. They take care not to mention anything in their comments that suggests possible delay in elections. Coming weeks will reveal the actual intentions behind such a show of public support and the billions spent.

Source:  Such Tu Ye Hai – PTV News – 24 December 2012

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