Before the Partition, students all over Indiawould get
together to spoil a religious party’s anti-Pakistan rallies,gleefully chanting
the slogan, “Birla kithailihayehaye”, ‘Down with Birla’s money bag’. They
thought it was Birla’s money behindtherallies.
The Barelvi scholars supported Jinnah. The Deobandis, tooth and nail, opposed
him.Maulana Shabbir Ahmed Usmani was an honorable exception on Jinnah’s side.
History bears a witness that Muslim religious scholars, schools of thought
notwithstanding, have more often than notsuccumbed to the greed for money. Our
leader of assault on Islamabad is himself a glaring example of this
They called the Quaid-i-Azam as ‘Kafir-e-Azam’, the great nonbeliever. When
Pakistan became a reality, the same religious leaders claimed its sole
proprietorshipclamouring for a theocratic Pakistan, far from Jinnah’s dream of a
state formed as envisaged by the Prophet (PBUH).
The mainstay of our religious parties has been their street power. Undeterred by
their abject failures in elections they thrive on their nuisance value to
pressurize every government. The extreme governmental reaction came as a martial
law in 1953 followed by a death sentence for Maulana Maududithat was never
carried out. On moral plain, by comparison, our clergy has been more fallible
than the Christian Church or Hindu Brahmins.And when the religious bigwigs say
that they had laid innumerable sacrifices for the creation of Pakistan, it
sounds like a big joke. But they set the rules and want to play the game on
their own terms.
FazlurRehmanspeaks from a self-assumed high moral ground. His confidence is
growing with the support of partieswith regional loyalties and aspirations with
little clout at national level. MLN and PPPcunningly wait on the fence ready to
jump on the band wagon if and when the going got good, hoping Maulana’s solo
flight will turn into another PNA type movement of 1977. That is closing eyes to
the ground realities.
The differences between the two campaigns are enormous and varied. Zulfikar Ali
Bhutto despite his democratic showings was a typical feudal lord. He was a great
man. His mistakes were also as huge. He had become power drunk and arrogant. He
stopped seeing the obvious. He had been cruel and unscrupulous in dealing with
his political opponents, friends and foes alike. Except for his demagoguery he
had become a complete failure. He had ruined a fast-growingempire built by Ayub
Khan and had brought it to naught. He was hanged for a sin that he had not
committed but for all those sins which, had gone unreported. The destiny had
uncannily led him to his end.
Jinnah was an example of a modern Muslim. He was truthful, honest to the hilt,
trustworthy, straightforward, sincere and a true lover of the holy Prophet
(PBUH). The ritualistic obligations remained a matter between him and his Maker.
On the human grounds he was a perfect follower of the Prophet (PBUH).
IK is an honest and sincere man. He loves the Prophet (PBUH). He wants to turn
Pakistan into a state like Madina. Governance is more a matter of attitude than
aptitude. Good intentions, honesty and sincerity lead the way to good
governance, that will eventually come and come big. Ayub Khan’s Pakistan was an
enviable developing country. His progress could not stand the storm of Bhutto’s
malice because it was not backed by institutions. Imran Khan is an ardent
believer of strong institutions. Today’s Pakistan with an honest and God-fearing
leadership has the potential to grow much higher and mightier than the Pakistan
of Ayub Khan.
In the face of Maulana’s revolt, IK’s first step meets all the human and
democratic norms. He wants to talk the Maulana out of his uncompromising stance.
BB had allegedly bought the Maulana’s silence by a few million dollars and an
imposing new Mercedes Benz. Pervez Musharraf cum the astute Chaudhry brothers
were able to win Maulana’s loyalties. The price of the deal is not known, except
that it could not have taken place without plenty of dough. IK cannot do that.
He has to pick up the gauntlet and fight purely with democratic and legal
The Maulana must be allowed to come to Islamabad, stage a protest or a sit-in as
it suits him. How long he can sustain his protest, no one can tell. If India
were backing him, it is a rich country. It can afford any price. Yet a peaceful
protest cannot end Maulana’spredicament.All his efforts and bragging will fizzle
out ringing the death bell for his political career and dreams of his supporters
sitting on the boundary unless he makes an out-of-the-box move.
The government should not be in any doubt. It has to be firm,not reckless and
arrogant like the duo of Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah in the Model Town
tragedy.The Maulana, like many of his ilk, has no sense of proportion. He can at
any time go berserk. Show of decency and restrain can encourage him to become
practically as belligerent as he sounds. For him it is a last-ditch battle. Now
or never. So, it is for his beleaguered supporters, Bilawal and Maryam Nawaz.
They all want to break the shackles and gain some political space that continues
The government can show its intentions by strict security measures and if
situation demanded call even the defence forces in aid of civil power. Martial
law, or even curfew are not any worthwhile options. If talks fail to knock sense
into stubborn heads, then let it come to pass. For the last seventy years the
Mullah power has kept every ruler on the tenterhooks. It’s time to face the
menace squarely. The ugly retrogressive forces must give way to making Pakistan
a truly progressive and enlightened country. Call it the State of Madina.