New Age Islam
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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 11 May 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan’s Growing Strife and its Religious Organisations


By Mujahid Hussain, New Age Islam

(Translated from Urdu by Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam)

May 11, 2012

Difae-e-Pakistan Council will not be permitted to hold meetings and congregations in big towns and cities, as it is creating upheavals in Pakistan’s external relations, the most recent news suggest.

Sharp rhetoric and militant views of Hafiz Saeed regarding the international fraternity have left Pakistan red faced on the external front. Saeed is not only the Chief of Jamat-ud-Dawa but also responsible for all the organisational matters of Difa-e-Pakistan Council.

There is a section of people who thinks Pakistan government is using Difa-e-Pakistan (Defence of Pakistan) Council for achieving political mileage on internal and external fronts. It was being used to deliver tough messages to political foes at home as well as to India, America and Europe. Hence, some powerful institutions of Pakistan government do not want Difa-e-Pakistan Council to become ineffective. But, Pakistan’s external affairs ministry has warned that if the said organisation is not brought under control, Pakistan will not only lose its credibility on international front but will have to face tough economic hardships in near future.

In such a situation, it is but obvious that Pakistan government will once again look to GHQ for assistance and the Army will be requested with folded hands to guide as to how patronage to such political and religious parties can be minimised? In reply, it will be told that Difa-e-Pakistan Council’s voice is the voice of the nation. Pious expressions like, ‘country’s safety’ and ‘defence of borders’ will be used in this context, although everybody knows that PPP, Muslim League (N), Muslim League (Q), MQM and ANP are the real voice of the nation. Hamid Gul, Hafiz Saeed, Munawwar Hasan, Sami-ul-Haque, Shaikh Rashid, S M Zafar and Ejazu-ul-Haque can in no way claim to be the ‘voice of the nation’ because most of them have faced shameful defeats in many previous elections. This group also comprises those who raised a voice of revolution in Pakistan and formed their own political parties but these remained one-man shows despite their best efforts.

Such confused and defeated parties have no agenda other than bringing the nation on the brink of collapse to check-mate the present government and win the coming elections. The tragedy is that these organisations are being helped by some state institutions. These institutions are not aware of the dangers ahead, for the country if such militant and sectarian organisations are provided opportunities to prosper. They do not know on what kind of international fronts the country will have to resist?

Difa-e-Pakistan Council very well knows that it has no place in national electoral politics and that it cannot get to power easily even with the help of its armed and trained suicide bombers and Jihadis. It also knows that Pakistan army does not like militancy inspired religious revolution. There are very few people in Pakistan army who think and try to act on it, as Brigadier Ali Khan, connected to Hizb-ut-Tahreer, does. This is why we often see articles in rightist militant magazines and newspapers expressing concern on the lack of people like Mohammad bin Quasim in Pakistan army. They ponder as to why is Pakistan army secular in its overall approach and why it is not able to lead the army of the world of Islam?

Now dangerous books have also started getting published by an institution called ‘Brass Tacks’, insisting that if Pakistan army attacks India with its nuclear warheads and aligns with Iran to attack Israel, the land of devils, there will be peace all around the world. It says after this Pakistan will be ‘an apple of all Muslim countries’ eyes’ and the non-believers will have to accept defeat.

As Pakistan government is failing to meet the demands and expectations of its people, their anxiety is taking the exact form which Pakistan’s religious and sectarian militant groups wish it to.

Short of promising to implement Sharia law, well-educated and westernised Imran Khan, is willing to do everything which sectarian and militant groups dream of. It is not unimaginable that confused and worried Imran Khan takes a U-turn and in his quest for power changes his PTI into a religious outfit. Till date, Imran Khan’s political party is said to be guided by Pakistan’s secret agencies.

Maulana Fazal-ur-Rahman seems to be emerging as the only ray of hope.  He has been a part of the government on the basis of his influence on Pakistan’s madrasas and sectarian groups.  He is well aware that democratic governments are beneficial for him. He has been successful in keeping himself away from Difa-e-Pakistan Council and other such militant and religious groups so far. But it is difficult to say how long he will be able to keep himself ‘aloof’ because as the time of American army’s proposed withdrawal from Afghanistan is coming closer, symptoms of severe cramps are showing up in powerful institutions and religious groups of Pakistan.

Author’s introduction

The author of nine books including the recent "Punjabi Taliban", Brussels-based Pakistani investigative journalist, Mujahid Hussain writes a regular column for New Age Islam. He has been contributing to leading papers as an investigative journalist for about two decades. Follower of an independent, non-partisan, and objective way of thinking, the author offers honest analysis of the challenges threatening communities, nations, and humanity at large.