Junaid Ali Malik
It has been more than three weeks that the sit-in of Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) is going on. The police took the action after a long time, and unfortunately a policeman has lost his life. According to some hospital sources, five people have been killed. The protesters are still there – more charged and pepped up. They are even ready to fight for a longer period of time. Protesters from other parts of the country are also on roads. The situation is getting worse day by day. The stalemate is continued. In fact, the leadership of TLP is now demanding the resignation of the entire cabinet.
The government claimed that it has already settled the matter by not making any alteration into the vital clause part of the oath-taking form. Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq accepted that there was some wordings issue with the clause, and he declared it a ‘clerical error’. The protesters, keeping in view this error, marched from Lahore to Islamabad and jammed Faizabad Interchange. Indeed, the government has failed to clarify its position with regard to this error. It is mixing things and unable to define its actual objective behind it. What was the reason for even committing the error when the government knew that this might spark a huge controversy and chaos in the country?
The government does not seem to be in a mode of overtly confronting with the demonstrators as it knows it will further intensify the matter. Though the crackdown against them has been taken but still it is avoiding using the same force that it used in Model Town, Lahore against the supporters of Tahir ul Qadri.
The Interior Minister rightly said that elections were ahead and that issue might cause damage to the party’s reputation. On the other side, it cannot wait for a long time now as apex court has stressed the government to clear the roads. Recent action against them just charged the protesters and was conducted amid high pressure from court. Army has been called under article 245 of the constitution; things are not moving at the right direction. The protesters are demonstrating all around the country.
The situation is quite grave and whatever the authorities want to do, they should do it at the earliest as the Eid Milad-un-Nabi (SAW) is ahead. More and more people can join the protesters. The crowd will be more charged.
There are clear chances of intensification of the matter if it is not solved within one or two days with proper dialogue and taking into account the win-win situation. In fact, the situation demands political solution.
*The writer is a political commentator and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.