The Wrongdoers Must Meet Their Fate
On October 31, 2018, violent protests and demonstrations led by the religious party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) broke out across the country in connection with the judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) about the Asia Bibi blasphemy case.
In its verdict the Supreme Court of Pakistan had also said: “No one could be allowed to defy the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and be left unpunished, but there is another aspect of the matter; sometimes, to fulfill nefarious designs the law is misused by individuals leveling false allegations of blasphemy.”
It is notable that the constitution of Pakistan is Islamic and SCP verdict in the Asia Bibi case is in accordance with the constitution and has legal reasons for the decision. The reaction to the SCP decision by a small segment of the society is not the opinion of the nation as a whole.
But, during the violent protests, the language used by the leaders of TLP, especially its head Maulana Khadim Rizvi against SC judges, the army chief and others were excruciating was not the character of a true Muslim society. By inciting the people against judges; army and state institutions, TLP leaders were doing a disservice to the country.
It is mentionable that Pakistan has vociferously raised the issue of blasphemous caricatures in Netherland and truly became one of the reasons to halt the contest.
Pakistan is endeavoring to get onto the route to prosperity and any protest in the country will cause damage to the fragile national economy.
In this regard, in his address to the nation Prime Minister Imran Khan said on October 31, 2018, that he had been compelled to communicate with the nation due to the reaction given and language used by a small segment in response to the SC verdict. Pakistan was founded in the name of Islam and the verdict given by the SC is in accordance with the Constitution, which is in line with the teachings of the Holy Quran and sunnah. He sharply criticised the protests which broke out and continued for three consecutive days, saying people’s livelihood was being harmed through the roadblocks and demonstrations.
The premier added, “Which government can function when people say that kill the judges, rebel against the army chief?…We are already facing such tough economic hurdles…we are struggling continuously to uplift the people [and] to improve the conditions of the underprivileged.”
In this respect, Director General (DG) of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor on Novmber 2, 2018 distanced the army from the controversy surrounding Asia Bibi’s acquittal, saying that the decision had been taken by the courts and the army had nothing to do with it.
He stated, “Unfortunately, the army is dragged into every matter…This is a legal matter and it is sad that negative statements are being issued against the army.”
However, despite the fact that the government or the army had no linkage with the Supreme Court decision in relation to the Asia Bibi case, but, TLP actions were found to be well orchestrated as if their strings were being pulled from somewhere else. The narrative of TLP this time precisely matched with the well-known narrative of PML (N) that is to malign army, censure judiciary and target the current government. Hence, it is not far from possible that the cleric had fallen prey to the dirty politics of the corrupt-convicted political leadership of the country, in addition to his own destructive philosophy. What else an individual like Khadim Rizvi deserves, if he openly starts to incite hatred among the general public against the state, the government and its institutions and most seriously, provoking mutiny amongst the armed forces against its leadership?
Therefore, the apprehension of TLP leadership was taken very positively by the people from all walks of life, as they understand that Maulana Rizvi was not only troubling the common citizens through his call for agitation, but was also challenging the writ of the state which was not tolerable.
Sedition and treason imprint created by him by passing provocative remarks against the government and the state institutions indicate that he is also a victim of an outside influence in addition to his own activities. This portrays him as becoming tool in the hands of anti-Pakistan forces which is even more horrifying. These forces could be both local and global which can use segment at the time and place of their choosing in future.
While, the authority of the state is prime and no individual or organization can be permitted to create disorder as was done by Rizvi and his associates. His apprehension along with his accomplish is a step in the right direction strictly according to the constitution of this country.
Perpetrators must be awarded exemplary retributions through a legal course of action so that such incidents are not repeated in future by this group or any other such outfit in the country.
Besides, TLP must be banned as a political party and its bank accounts and properties should be seized. CNIC (National Identity Card) and passport of its leaders should also be cancelled. The election commission may review its policy on allowing such parties to contest election. Moreover, scrutiny of source of funding of both TLP and Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP) must be carried out and actions should be taken to stop illegal /anti-state funding.
A crack down should also be executed by the government to seize and punish those who incite hatred, sedition and mutiny on the social media. In this connection, all the twitter and other social media accounts and websites which are involved in such activities should be blocked instantly through Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). A policy paper may also be finalized after necessary legislation by the parliament to cease such negative endeavors by individuals and groups and be implemented through PTA and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA”.
Furthermore, all the Madrassas operated by the TLP must be shut down and their students must be absorbed in regular schools.
Though, everyone has the right of freedom of speech but no one has the authority to spread abhorrence and intolerance. More so, challenging the writ of the state by organizing sit-ins and causing damage to life and property of general public is totally unacceptable and unpardonable. The fate of such scamps should be nothing, but total disbandment and retributions for their deeds.