The coronation of guilt


Matter of grave importance



The by-elections in the constituency NA 120 concluded resulting in the win of Begum Kulsum Nawaz and leaving many questions behind for the party heads and especially for the people of Pakistan. The party heads have to light the burden of worries about the shifting and tilting vote banks and trends primarily, who bagged more votes who didn’t, why the turnout was average even after spending a fortune on this election, etc, but the people must worry now for something bigger and which lately has entertained itself as a bleak reality, which can’t be overlooked. The participation of hardliners right-wing parties and then garnering votes which overlapped their own expectations is worrisome.

The votes bagged by the hardliners can be seen in two aspects, ignore them by thinking that it was just another by election or looking into the matter pragmatically.

Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan, a coalition party which was at number three with the total of 7,130 votes in these by-elections, was founded by Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi on 29 February 2016, the day Mumtaz Qadri, the security guard who murdered Punjab governor Salmaan Taseer, was hanged. Then, the Mili Muslim League, the party which is linked to Hafiz Saeed, stood fourth by bagging 5,822 votes. The total turnout of voters which was unsatisfactory marked itself at 39.42 percent, out of which 11 percent voted for the above-mentioned religious parties. Except for the elections of 2002 which were under Musharraf, religious parties have never seen much success in elections that’s why these results have worried many and have raised some stark questions of concern.

First of all, amidst the stern allegations raised by the United States of America about Pakistan’s favourable attitude towards extremists, this by-election and letting hardliners contest it proved US’s point. They hinted at something, later we cogently negated that something and then that something winked at us both. Everyone knows that Yaqoob Sheikh, who apparently contested the elections as an independent candidate, was backed by MML and was provided all the support, another fact about him which some people might have missed is that he designated a terrorist by the United States in 2012. He bagged five percent of total votes cast. MML is a version of JUD, more like a sobriquet, both are the same things.

Secondly, Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi-led LYR which was on number three is definitely more dangerous a threat to the peace of our society than the MML. His remarks against the minorities and stern approach to everything make him more of a man who should not be allowed to use any smaller or bigger social platforms to convey his disturbing ideas. Indeed he is disturbed and is in need of counselling. He, during the campaign, took full advantage of hundred plus mosques situated in the area. While peeking into the factor which paved way for the formation of this party under the aegis of Khadim Hussain, the truth is that it propelled solely on the event of the hanging of Mumtaz Qadri. The target of this man is basically the uneducated people, the ones who are easy to brainwash and their thinking patterns can be manipulated conveniently.

Now the truth, which stares us all and compels us to think as critically of these new developments as possible. No doubt the results have given a new hope to the religious parties and now their confidence to go in general elections of 2018 has increased manifold. The more they’ll fool around the more they’ll corrupt the uneducated. International media has already given full coverage to this election and how the religious parties were allowed to participate openly.

We are already at the worst of terms with our neighbours and the United States; we are playing with words and twisting facts to our own advantage. Religious parties have realised one thing and that is to target a specific crowd, the crowd which is anti-progress.

The rise we have seen in NA 120 in the vote bank of religious parties, God forbid, can result in something which we can’t even imagine; it is up to the people now, the concerned denizen of this country to look into the matter and anticipate its gravity.