Policy flaws: How the electoral endorsement powered a terrorist organization
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2017-11-13 16:11:44

Policy flaws: How the electoral endorsement powered a terrorist organization


Adopting an aggressive posture, the participants of the sit-in of the Tehreek Labaik Ya Rasool Allah (TLYR) have started expanding venue of the sit-in at Faizabad Interchange here, as they have returned their rented vehicles to Lahore on the fourth day of the protest, according to the sources.


The participants’ leadership has also threatened to block all airports, railway stations and major roads if law minister Zahid Hamid is not removed from his post, a demand seemingly unacceptable for the government.


 According to the government functionaries, the deadlock between the two sides continues as the government seems in no mood to show flexibility on the demand of Zahid Hamid’s resignation.


During their Friday sermon, clerics from the religious groups holding the demonstration threatened to attack the families of federal ministers if the government did not accede to their demands.




There is never a time quite like the run-up to elections for groups with political aspirations to flex their muscles, and expand their space. September’s by-election in NA-120 saw the TLY-backed candidate win enough votes to come in third place behind the PML-N and PTI.


It was an electoral endorsement that has further emboldened an organisation that derives its inspiration from the man who murdered Salmaan Taseer — it is hardly surprising that violence, whether in the name of religion or otherwise, is its stock-in-trade.


For the clerics to threaten the families of those against whom they are directing their ire is a form of blackmail that is particularly detestable and should be denounced in the strongest terms. The democratic right to protest is not a licence to engage in hate speech or incite violence.


Moreover, the protesters’ demands are such that no government could possibly acquiesce to them; their very unreasonableness shows them for what they are, a naked attempt to browbeat authorities.


Although the government has been right to show restraint thus far, there must be a more concerted and skillful effort to engage with the protesters so that the increasing tension can dissipate. Any violence will work to the advantage of the right wing, and they know it.


Those taking part in the sit-in are spoiling for a fight. The government must not give in to them.



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