Two days ago Pakistan witnessed a revolution at least supporters of allama Tahir ul qadri would like to think so. This whole episode had been a fiasco and no one has been able to understand what really happens including me! Allama is not unknown in Pakistani politics he once was elected to national assembly during Gen Musharraf’s reign but he later resigned and left Pakistan for Canada citing research work. Six years later he returned to Pakistan in December 2012 with Canadian nationality in hand, he held a huge rally at Lahore minar-e-Pakistan and announced his long March. No one took him seriously at first few of the politicians endorsed him, including MQM but later withdrew their support supposedly because of quetta bombing and increased threat of terrorism, as if threat didn’t exist before. MQM’s decision didn’t matter to qadri and he continued with his plans and on 13th they departed for islamabad. Now people have been arguing how many people were there. Supporters of Qadri say that millions were present, which I think is a huge exaggeration. I personally visited Blue area on second day of the sit
-in & I can say that there were no more than 70, 000 people including women and children. People who were there were ordinary people, not everyone was from his universities as some claim. People showed up because they really want change there is no doubt about that but what Tahir ul Qadri did was that he used these people for his own political gains. He promised a new Pakistan and was determined that they will get rid of the corrupt political elite and that they will never leave without achieving their goals. His agenda was: President should resign immediately. Prime minister should resign and dissolve elected assemblies immediately. Election commission of Pakistan should be dissolved immediately New elections should be called immediately. Anyone with some knowhow of Pakistani politics knows that this is not possible. By this time rumours were that military establishment was behind Tahir ul Qadri or that some foreign element namely the Americans were behind him. Americans were quick to distance themselves from this long march and so was the military. Tahir ul Qadri spent millions of dollars on ad campaign. It indeed is a mystery because in the end he negotiated with the same people who he was against and was campaigning against. Something which was different in this March was the Armored container from which allama would address his supporters. While people outside were freezing allama could be seen sweating and once during his speech he asked his aid to takes his coast off as it was too hot and people sitting at home watching the whole fiasco on tv heard his comments. While the ordinary people outside stood the risk of slaughter by a suicide bomb Tahir ul qadri was comfortable in his bomb proof container. Even I would have went if he would have slept outside with the people. He at that time was the epitome of hypocrisy. He tried to flare religious sentiments by referring to Karbala calling his March “hussaini mission” and after every speech he would ask his supporters to swear by Quran that they will not leave him until their demands were meet. He resembles and behaves like a cult leader and I am sure he is.
He also broke his oath which he took when he applied for asylum in Canada. He had claimed that his life was in danger in Pakistan because he belonged to the minority Brailwi sect and that he had met the cartoonist who drew Prophet Muhammad’s cartons. He was granted asylum and once he was granted asylum that meant that he couldn’t go to Pakistan ever again. Now he has been called in for questing by the Royal Canadian police on 7th February. He might never have given up his Canadian nationality but I think now he has no options because under the agreement his nationality now stand null & void. One might ask what was in it for him? I think he in his twisted mind must have thought that he could pull off replica Arab spring in Pakistan and was convinced that if he could get enough people in blue area than the army would step in or somehow he would be able to overthrow the government and could become caretaker prime minister. He failed miserably in achieving the goals he set for himself. To save face in the end when it was raining and temperature started dipping and people’s moral was at all time low he opted for dialog with the same government he had been calling corrupt. He came out and proclaimed victory and his naive supporters started celebrating. I wonder if they ever thought what did they achieve? If not then than probably one day they will and once they did they will realize how they were used. Elections are the only way forward for Pakistan and if people only use their votes wisely change is possible. Otherwise we will end up in the same mess we are in all over again. I felt bad for the people who had participated in the 6 day long protest. In the end they went back home worst than when they came. Some devoted followers of Tahir ul qadri even sold their belongings such as gold or silver to take part in what they thought was a historic movement and would change their life forever. My heart goes out to those women who took part with their infant children in the bitter cold day and night they endured saying they are here for their future. In the end a psychopath played with naive people’s emotions for his own political gains and left them fending for themselves in the end. Its hard for people like Imran Khan who are genuine and want change to start a similar movement. Which can only be described as a disaster.