Treason it is

  • For TLP it’s pay time
The newly formed PTI government hit a roadblock when they were faced with the TLP protests. The extremist protests wreaked havoc and created a ruckus for the entire country. Life was paralysed and children were deprived from attending schools. Hospitals couldn’t be reached by the patients. All was done in the name of religion. Yet, all the acts undertaken were far from religion.
It is widely believed that every action or an ideology has a line. A line which has to be adhered to in most circumstances. For TLP, that line was an attack on all the state institutions simultaneously. Had they only criticised the government, just like the past, then their fate would have been different than it is today. But attacking the moral aptitude of Supreme Court judges coupled with calling for their deaths was stepping the entire foot out of the line.
The PTI government at first disappointed the nation by entering into negotiations and then with the subsequent agreement. Despite calls for decisive action against the perpetrators, the government chose to put an end to the matter through dialogue. Khadim Hussain Rizvi walked away as a hero for his supporters. Feeling invincible and untouchable, Mr Rizvi considered himself safe from harm.
The country, on the other hand, breathed a sigh of relief as normalcy returned to their lives. Critics, however, lambasted the ruling party over their failure to take action against the disrupters. Imran Khan despite his tall claims in his national address was considered to be weak in the face of a storm.
Refuting all criticism and contrary to popular expectations, the PTI government arrested Khadim Hussain Rizvi along with the top leadership of TLP. Rizvi was taken into custody from his home a few days before another one of his showdowns was scheduled. Protests and retaliation was expected by the public at large, yet the same never came.
The government, effectively, neutralised the entire leadership of the TLP and cut out their capability of staging another infamous lockdown. No protests of high magnitude or any retaliatory resistance was witnessed. Massive crackdown on the leadership as well as the workers curtailed any possible resistance.
To begin with, the government announced that Rizvi and his supporters had been detained under the Maintenance of Public Order and had not been formally charged with anything. Slight disappointment further, but most people knew it was the quiet before the storm.
Refuting all criticism and contrary to popular expectations, the PTI government arrested Khadim Hussain Rizvi along with the top leadership of TLP
Rizvi had not been caged only to be allowed to walk free. This man isn’t going anywhere and the government has now made sure of that. In a surprising press conference, the federal information minister announced that Khadim Hussain Rizvi along with senior leadership of TLP had been booked on charges of sedition, treason and anti-terrorism.
High treason was the last nail in his coffin. The line that he swiftly crossed during his protests is going to cost him more than he could imagine. For TLP it’s pay time. The government couldn’t have made a cleverer move.
They stalled the prey and eventually lured it into hunting sight, without losing extra bullets. Carefully and tactfully, the TLP saga has been maneuvered and doesn’t seem to be able to block the country in the near future again.
Action against TLP was important and necessary for more than one reason. Firstly, anybody calling for the deaths of Supreme Court justices and inciting people to rise up against the military establishment cannot be allowed to walk free. An example had to be made out of them and hopefully in the coming days we will see the thought materialise. Secondly, the government appeared extremely weak in their initial days. It would have been a bad precedent for them to ignore an issue of this magnitude. Especially when they already face a strong opposition. Imran Khan seems to be fighting a war on all fronts. Safe to say he’s done his duty at this point in time.
Economic criticism aside, the general public should always commend the government’s actions which are worthy of praise. A few positive words wouldn’t harm anyone. In fact it would send out a stronger message to the enemies of peace that when it comes to the sanctity of the state, Pakistan stands united.
PML-N naturally dived forward to criticise the government rather than supporting them. They have their own reasons though. When MNS was in power, Imran Khan never praised any of his actions or decisions. Every passing day witnessed a tirade of criticism from the Bani Gala quarters. In light of his own precedent, IK will have to endure the offhand criticism.
Nevertheless, Imran Khan stands true to his words uttered during his national address. Anybody colliding with the state would be dealt with strictly. Thankfully, those who did are within the clutches of law at the moment. Rule of law seems secure for now. Such bold decisions are what characterise a government as strong. More importantly, the unity of all state institutions is of significant importance. And the TLP crackdown is an example of being on the same page. As announced, all security agencies worked in collaboration to execute the crackdown. This kind of unity is what the country needs rather than working against each other.
If Imran Khan is able to maintain a consensus within all state institutions for all other matters, Pakistan may progress. Brick by brick, the change IK promised might actually be implemented. But once good decision doesn’t mean a few bad ones would be ignored. The prime minister’s office isn’t a bed of roses. Every day brings with it a fresh challenge and IK needs to be ready to face it.
Within a few days Khadim Rizvi will be forgotten and Khan will be questioned about other pressing matters. Let’s hope that in the best interests of the country, Imran Khan and his government actually serve the general public in a manner they deserve and are able to bring about a positive change with honest intentions in their hearts.