Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, December 15th, 2017

Political Hullabaloo in Pakistan

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Political Hullabaloo in Pakistan

After Pakistani Prime Minister and Pakistan Muslim League -Nawaz’s leader Nawaz Sharif disqualified by Supreme Court (SC), a sense of political hullabaloo emerged inside Pakistan. Some argue, however, that the circumstances of Sharif’s dismissal in this case mark a departure from the typical in Pakistan’s checkered past with democracy.
With the act of SC, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, who supported the case, welcomed the decision wholeheartedly and said it marked the start of a new era in the history of Pakistan, where justice will be held supreme. In his recent statement, Imran Khan said that Pakistan could not make any progress without eradicating corruption. Likewise, the head of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Sami (JUI-S) believed that his country had been besieged by enemies and there was a need for a united struggle to face the current situation. The two parties (PTI and JUI-S) have agreed to formulate a “joint strategy” for Pakistan next general elections.
Pakistan is embroiled not only in political rivalries but also in militancy. The issue of terrorism looms large in Pakistan as people are targeted on a large scale. The security situation was deteriorated in Pakistan as terrorist parties kill people on the grounds of their race and religion. As a result, ethnic minorities are targeted largely by terrorists. They are not able to exercise their religious rituals freely. They even fear to go shopping, since some people were killed in mall, vegetable stores, on the way to their home from bazaar, etc. Similarly, students, political activities, and journalists are killed every once in a while. It is most likely that the killers are not terrorists but their opponents and influential figures whose secrets were probably disclosed by journalists.
Militancy in Pakistan is a great challenge before the government. When citizens are not able to exercise their freedoms, the rate of public discontent will rise. Now Pakistan is supposed to provide security for its citizens through campaigning against terrorism. That is to say, although Pakistan fights terrorism, it should prove it for Pakistani citizens and provide security for all regardless of their race, color, or creed. It will, indeed, put the government under question when ethnic minorities are singled out and killed by terrorists.
Corruption in the government’s machinery and the case of Pakistani former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made people and political parties lose their trust in officials. Sharif’s case has not been finalized and he is still defending himself.
Anyhow, Maulana Sami ul Haq, who is also known as the “father of the Taliban”, is a religious scholar who ran Darul Uloom Haqqania, a Deobandi Islamic seminary, and is said to have a close tie with the Taliban. In August, Sami ul Haq said that the Pakistan Army would not take any action against the Haqqani network. Addressing a press conference at the National Press Club, where he lambasted US President Donald Trump’s remarks about Pakistan, he said that those he was affiliated with “were still fighting the Americans in Afghanistan”, according to Dawn, a Pakistani newspaper. He also blamed the government of Pakistan for pursuing a “failed foreign policy” and demanded that parliament register their protest on the matter.
On the other hand, PTI seeks to promote freedom of thought, abolition of personal income tax and dismantling religious discrimination in Pakistan. According to the 2013 election results, PTI was the third largest party in National Assembly, and emerged as the governing party of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. PTI wants to set Pakistan on a course to political stability, social harmony, and economic prosperity for all religious, ethnic and racial communities. The PTI has argued for religious tolerance and greater representation for minorities. Christians, Sikhs, and Hindus have joined the PTI. It has also spoken out for senior citizens, poor people, and women.
Considering the ideology of both political parties, one will wonder how the two parties came close together despite having contradictory views. That is to say, Sami ul Haq is a radical politician who is in pursuit of implementing a radical sharia similar to Taliban; whereas PTI’s door is open to all ethnic groups, including non-Muslims, and it supports religious tolerance.
It is believed that there are two reasons behind their agreement. First, both the parties are discontented with Pakistan’s policy. Second, the heads of both groups disfavor Pakistan’s attitude towards the US. For instance, PTI organized a protest against drone attacks in Pakistan on November 23, 2013 in Peshawar, where it called on the federal government to force an end to U.S. drone attacks and to block NATO supplies through Pakistan to Afghanistan.
So as to strengthen its foreign policy and domestic security, Pakistan needs to narrow the chance for radical figures such as Sami ul Haq to come to power. Moreover, joining a strategy with JUI-S will be Imran Khan’s political error. If he does not end joining strategy, he will find himself in trouble with Sami.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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