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Faizabad Dharna: A view of both sides

Faizabad
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News Analysis |

Several strong supporters of the newly launched religiopolitical party Tehreek-e-Labbaik-Ya-Rasulallah (TLYR), many armed with sticks and iron rods, have blocked the main entrance to Islamabad since last week, demanding the resignation of the country’s law minister and a strict adherence to blasphemy laws.

Led by Khadim Hussain Rizvi of, at least 3,000 protesters were staging a sit-in on one of the main highways leading to the capital. The TYLR sit-in called the “Tajdar-e-Khatam-e-Nubawat Dharna” started as a rally in Lahore, which made its way to the Faizabad Interchange, the main junction between Islamabad and Rawalpindi last week.

The Senior security officer of Survey of Pakistan has demanded of the government to take measures to protect offices of Survey of Pakistan, which is located near Faizabad, due to the sit-in that has disturbed the routine life.

The organizers insist that their goal is not political but religious. Therefore the sit-in is being carried out by the TLYR and not the Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan party (which is the political wing of the TLYR). They have presented a list of twelve demands of which some of the most major are:

  • The reversal of the changes in the clause revolving around the finality of Prophethood that was enacted by the Parliament
  • Punishment of all those involved in the change including the Law Minister Zaid Hamid
  • The “anti-Islamic” and “anti-Pakistan” acts of the Ahmadis and their various sects be curtailed and perpetrators be given prescribed punishments
  • Ministers who are “Ahmedi sympathizers” like Rana Sanaullah should be dismissed
  • The removal of the prohibition on loudspeakers inside mosques in Pakistan

Read more: Rawalpindi-Islamabad residents helpless as police fail to dislodge protesters from Faizabad…

Hundreds of TLYR supporters have occupied the interchange, practically disconnecting the twin cities. The police, on one hand, have cordoned roads off by placing containers while on the other hand protestors have blocked the Islamabad Highway using passenger buses. Consequently, all major roads in Islamabad, including 7th Avenue at Kashmir Highway, Islamabad Expressway, Murree Road and IJP Principal Road, are completely closed for traffic.

In the case of Zaid Hamid, they say that they have been lenient as they have given him the option of resigning from the post until an inquiry is completed. Once the inquiry finds him not guilty, he can return to his post as Law Minister.

As a result, the people are miserable due to the protest. Critics assert that the government is showing its utter disregard for miseries of commuters and motorists and the activists of TLYR have taken the law into their own hands. There are reports of different pickets have been set up around the venue, which are being manned by the protesters to search and guide the in-comers. Others fear the escalation of the situation which can turn into a bloodbath like the Red Mosque siege.

Sources within the Administration, however, assert that the situation is not that worrisome. They say that eleven out of the twelve demands given by the protesters had been met by the provincial government by the time the rally reached Rawalpindi. The last demand has become a sticking point as that revolves around the removal of the Federal Law Minister Zaid Hamid.

However, the local administration is confident that a breakthrough will be achieved soon. They state that they are in continuous contact with the protestors and so far things have progressed smoothly. They see no reason for any trouble in the future. Nevertheless, the administration has stressed that they are ready for all eventualities.

Read more: Islamabad under siege as Khatam-e-Nubuwat protest continue

The TLYR does not seem so upbeat. High ranking sources within the TLYR have complained that they only have received promises for all their demands and nothing substantial. They assert that this is a matter of faith and not of politics so there can be no compromise. The TLYR is united under the leadership of Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi and the guardianship of Pir Afzal Qadri.

Critics assert that the government is showing its utter disregard for miseries of commuters and motorists and the activists of TLYR have taken the law into their own hands.

In the case of Zaid Hamid, they say that they have been lenient as they have given him the option of resigning from the post until an inquiry is completed. Once the inquiry finds him not guilty, he can return to his post as Law Minister. They maintain that this is a religious obligation and no give and take scenario can take place, there will either be a fulfillment of the demands or not.

They have denied that they carried firearms and ammunition if they did any untoward incident would have happened by now. The peacefulness of their protest is proof of their benign intentions. They denied that they had been approached by a third party for resolution of the issue. The also urged the media to highlight their cause as it would lead to a fast resolution. They lambasted the media blackout of their protest.

They see no reason for any trouble in the future. Nevertheless, the administration has stressed that they are ready for all eventualities.

Recently, the Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal broke his silence on the Faizabad sit-in stating “Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TYLR) and their leaders are constitutionally allowed to register a peaceful protest but they should refrain from taking the law into their hands. No Muslim will or can make compromises over Khatm-e-Nabuwat (finality of Prophethood) and the entire nation loves the Prophet (PBUH)”

Read more: Islamabad draws red lines: No political role for India in Afghanistan!

The Senior security officer of Survey of Pakistan has demanded of the government to take measures to protect offices of Survey of Pakistan, which is located near Faizabad, due to the sit-in that has disturbed the routine life.

The more the sit-in continues the more hardships are bound to increase for the government, the protestors, and the local people.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Diye sab gull ho gaye rah takte takte
    Udas sham na dali jaam peetay peetay
    Manzil ka nishan jab dhoondtay dhoondtay
    Paon ki sujan kay sath chaltay chaltay

  2. this goverment are just by name goverment can do nothing because they fair from the externel power and therfore they cant obey their demands and the majaroties of our politicions are not know about their religion .shame on all those…

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