Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has announced a day of mourning on Tuesday after a party worker was killed when unidentified assailants opened fire on their rally near in Faisalabad on Monday afternoon.
All district headquarters of PTI staged funeral prayers for the slain PTI worker Haq Nawaz and the infamous incident prompted protests in various cities of Pakistan including Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and Karachi. PTI chief Imran Khan said that they are ready to counter the oppressive rule of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. An FIR has also been lodged against Minister of State for Water and Power Abid Sher Ali and former Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah among 300 people. PML-N leaders have denied that the assailant was affiliated with their party. It is a tragic incident and media telecasted the live pictures of the people holding guns and firing but not a single arrest yet. It is very crucial time in the politics of the country and incumbent government and protesting parties must realise that country is heading towards chaos. The PML-N had been threatening the PTI, claiming that no one would be allowed to shut down any city. Rana Sanaullah and Abid Sher Ali, who lead the party in Faisalabad, had issued statements challenging the PTI to exercise its strength. The party unleashed its workers to clash with the PTI’s, and rest we all watched live. PML N as usual, they enjoyed complete immunity from the police as they took to the streets with sticks and stones of their own to deliver the promised challenge. This incident has sparked a new wave of agitation that spread across the country. The police cordoned off Rana Sanaullah house when the PTI workers started moving towards his home to stage a protest.
Imran Khan during his November 30 rally in Islamabad had laid out his Plan C according to which he had announced to shut down three important cities of Pakistan: Karachi, Lahore and Faisalabad, and eventually the entire country on December 18 if his long standing demand of carrying out an independent audit of the 2013 general elections was not accepted. Now his next destination is Lahore which would be followed by Karachi. However, the killing of the PTI’s worker has provided the party an early opportunity to kick off agitation in different cities.
Most of the leaders from small constituencies were hurriedly sent home from Faisalabad by the party leadership to begin protests in their cities. It is no surprise that the agitation and protest the PTI staged in Faisalabad ended in a clash with the PML-N. Leaders of the both the clashing parties must realise that they are also equally blamed for the clash of the workers as they have been involved in the fiery speeches against each others. They gave the hint to the workers that it is some sort of war against the people of another country who are trying to invade, such careless behaviour can easy prompt the incident what we have seen in Faisalabad. The war of words both the parties had been involved in for the last few weeks has turned the situation sour enough to conflate it into a full-fledged conflict.
Incumbent government must realize that using force to deal with a rising force is not a good idea and there is a plan ‘D’ in the waiting as well, which will be revealed on December 18 by Imran Khan. And, since the situation is ripe to pile more pressure on the government, Imran will certainly use every bit of it to reinforce his alleged victimhood at the hands of the system that he wants to fold up and send packing. At such a tense point one should not be surprised if the Plan D comes out to be more sinister than Plan C.
Imran Khan has threatened the government of dire consequences if his workers are roughed up in Lahore on December 15. The government in the meantime has decided to open the closed channels of talks with the PTI, ignoring the fact that Imran Khan had attached the formation of a judicial commission as a prerequisite to begin the process of dialogue. Also, PTI’s leaders have announced suspending any prospect of talks with the government in the aftermath of the Faisalabad incident.
It seems that at this point both the parties have forgotten that this country has rendered very precious sacrifices to achieve democracy, flaws in democracy is another issue. It is unfortunate that our leaders are still inept at finding the solution to a political crisis through a political process. One hopes the government and the PTI show restraint and try salvaging the situation through dialogue and by allowing each other the space to make mutually acceptable decisions. It is a sad state of affairs, as the PML-N and the PTI continue to blame each and dialogue between the two appears unlikely after recent events.