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“Who deployed the Qadri brigade?”

January 19, 2013

-Photo by Jameel Ahmed for
-Photo by Jameel Ahmed for

The all party dismissal of Allama Qadri’s march, the consensus on constitutional democracy and the government’s assurance on an election date brought a win-win end to the drama in the capital. However, to my understanding, the situation on the line of control had already indicated the direction things may take. Allama Qadri’s new swing to the “democracy must continue” indicated that the shadows behind the stage had withdrawn. He hurriedly signed an agreement with those he had dismissed only a day ago as forces of Yazeediat.

One by one, the moves on the board have become clearer, making sense of earlier moves.  Years of disorder with suicide blasts and explosions, continual media campaigns rubbishing politicians as the only source of national suffering, clash of state institutions followed by what can be called manufactured paranoia, unending rumours of the ruling regime’s downfall and a number of actions and events in order to discredit the government, the ever expanding carnage of minorities, shifting blame on Baloch nationalists and civil governments to create chaos and prove incompetence of a democratic setup … can now be explained as part of the one great script.

While many of our generals had a reputation of “friendship” with the US since Ayub Khan’s time, General Musharraf’s ouster can be taken as a turning point. The Zia generation had risen to the highest positions in Services while its dominance in all other fields was already a fact of life. Now, we had Islam to show to the world as a system of our own. Democracy, therefore, at the expense of nation’s real defenders was not only an aberration but a threat to the Islamic Republic. All forces that matter, including the media, have always admired our warriors. It is in our blood to admire armed men. Great Iqbal and many like him deepened our age-old admiration for them. Ambition to replace all systems with Islam never leaves us. “The educated” and well-to-do Muslims insist that no new systems are needed. So it was exasperating when even killing BB failed to deter the supporters of democracy.

Therefore, the element that has risen to challenge the writ of the state is the dominant but so-called Face of Islam. But interpretation of the doctrine divides it into two identities: the one that stands for the imposition of Shariah by force and the other that advocates it through ‘da’wa’. Americans started wooing the softer side to dismiss the other. It was, therefore, a timely action by our side to employ a less known Qadri, to shoot a governor. That showed the Americans the truth of our softer face, because threats of disastrous agitation were made visible to demonstrate our collective commitment and to keep the timid regime from acting according to law. Many years ago, foreign rulers hanged Ilm Din, a far more heroic defender of our Holy Prophet’s honor; nothing happened because generals obeyed them. Our elected rulers obviously could not implement the law. That laid bare their irrelevance as rulers. This present Qadri came to show the world that the soft face of Islam is equally contemptuous of democracy.

Imran Khan turned out to be the only figure who has accepted the Qadri “agenda” as his own. Interestingly, the Khan has also been suspected as the Army’s horse. The question, who deployed the Qadri brigade, cannot be answered with a conspiracy theory, because to propound a conspiracy theory is the sole prerogative of those who do not see any conspiracy in this drama. It is clear, therefore, that he came on his own “for the love of his people”. The nation received him so kindly because it remembers with gratitude his services for Islam and Shariah laws under Zia ul Haq.

We are a people with no concrete reason for hopes. Some say the nation was wrongly conceived. Others believe the crushing burden of a security state has gradually sapped all the resources needed for our people. But our generals and their admirers contend that politicians are the architects of everything bad from corruption to poverty and chaos. That may be true in the sense that they are selfish and vision less. But these “virtues” are not limited to politicians; success in every field of Pakistan is determined by exactly these. Politicians are responsible for our suffering, perhaps, because they do not let the generals rule this country with perfect peace of mind; they keep clamoring for democracy and constitution and they seek help from international forces who twist our arm every now and then. Our generals as guardians of our faith and national honor have promoted strong religious forces to combat heretical foreign concepts like democracy. Our people with their deep admiration for Muslim warriors have no serious objection to their rule. But our eternal enemy on the East, now colluding with our eternal enemies in the West (enemies, enemies everywhere!) grudge our military might and our Islam.


The author is a renowned Pakistani intellectual. His urdu books Tehzeebi Nargisyat and Mubaalghe, Mughaalte are widely regarded as the revival of critical thinking and free inquiry in Urdu non-fiction.


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.