Qadri’s challenge: Is PML-N inviting the chaos?
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2018-01-11 07:49:02

Qadri’s challenge: Is PML-N inviting the chaos?


Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahir-ul-Qadri has announced a countrywide protest movement against the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N) government which will commence from January 17.


The announcement made here on Monday came as the PAT led All Parties Conference (APC) deadline seeking the resignation of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Law Minister Rana Sanaullah over the Model Town tragedy expired on January 7.


“Now we will not ask for their resignations (Shehbaz, Sanaullah), but will take them with pressure. They will have to resign. It is no longer just about resignations but the end of PML-N governments wherever they are,” Qadri said during a news conference.



Either Mr Qadri is seeking revenge against the Sharifs, a family he was once close to politically, or he is being encouraged by anti-democratic forces to try and destabilise the political landscape.


Worryingly, the road to a historic third consecutive on-time election appears to be growing more perilous in the new year.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, but certainly disappointingly, Mr Qadri appears also to have the ear of the leaderships of mainstream political parties in the country.


It is remarkable to witness Mr Qadri being courted by some of the very parties that he launched a bitter, so-called anti-corruption drive against in the last parliament.


With Nawaz Sharif seemingly unwilling to tone down his rhetoric against state institutions that he alleges conspired to oust him from the prime minister’s office, it appears that the PML-N’s political rivals are gambling that lining up against the dominant political party in Punjab could help greatly diminish its electoral prospects.


No party appears to remember the lessons of the 1990s when bitter infighting among the political class nudged the country onto the path of another disastrous spell of military rule.


For the PML-N, the challenge remains the same: steer the country towards a general election while minimising the harm to the democratic project.


The PML-N leadership has historically reacted poorly to street challenges and an authoritarian streak in the party could create a worse situation than Mr Qadri, his backers and his political allies may be able to create on their own. Calm needs to prevail in the government.


Tags:   pakistan ، PML-N ، PAT ، Tahir-ul-Qadri ،
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