From Model Town to Gujranwala to Jehlum to Multan, PMLN has cleverly relied upon tactical violence to brow beat its opponents; so far it has worked for them because they end up frightening the general public thus reducing the sizes of rallies and marches; it was fear of violence by govt that reduced the sizes of rallies in Islamabad since common people and families which are against the PMLN govt still try to stay away from zones of violence. This pattern seems to be repeated again in Faislabad today and needs to be understood.
Violence is being repeatedly used as a tool to terrorize the public which otherwise will turn out in very large numbers to protest and score its point. Govt is afraid of the TV cameras & helicams capturing large crowds so cleverly uses tactical violence. (Remember beatings of media, ban on helicams, huge advertisements as sweetners etc)Use of privateers becoming important because Punjab Police is increasingly less willing to do violence for govt.
Read more: Dummies Guide to Pakistani Politics..
Now you will see the spin from govt spokespersons to shift the blame for violence on PTI. Goal is to frighten the opposition and to create a legitimate excuse for broad police action to clear the streets. This strategy needs to be understood.
Moeed Pirzada is prominent TV Anchor & commentator; he studied international relations at Columbia Univ, New York and law at London School of Economics. Twitter: MoeedNj. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy. This piece was first published in Moeed Pirzada’s official page. It has been reproduced with permission.