D. I. Khan
Beating the Wall
Maulana Fazul Rehman has been dreaming of holding an All Parties
Conference (APC) to oust Imran Khan’s government. If he is so fed
up with the present set-up, he should offer a solid and workable
plan to the people that could solve the country’s many ills.
The second of July, 1977 is indeed a memorable day in the history of democracy in Pakistan, when a charismatic leader like Z.A. Bhutto had to succumb to the pressure of the Pakistan National Alliance (PNA) movement against his alleged electoral rigging and agreed to hold fresh general elections in the country. Though initially Bhutto tried to crush the PNA movement with the help of his agencies such as the Federal Security Force (FSF) and Rangers, he failed miserably. It was indeed a mixture of religious fervour with politics which proved decisive for him, compelling him to concede and accept the demands of the opposition parties. The agreement was to be signed on the following day by Bhutto and PNA leader Mufti Mahmood. The main PNA leaders were Maulana Fazlur Rehman's father, Mufti Mehmood, Maulana Maududi, Shah Ahmed Noorani, Shujaat Hussain's father Zahoor Ellahi, Khan Abdul Wali Khan and Air Marshal (retd) Asghar Khan, etc. Unfortunately the Movement ended when on the pretext of the deteriorating law and order situation, General Zia-ul-Haq imposed martial law in the country on July 5, 1977 and deliberately derailed the process of democracy without rhyme or reason.
Cut to the present. Maulana Fazlur Rahman, son of Mufti Mehmood has launched a campaign to compel Imran Khan to sign a similar agreement with him on behalf of the All Parties Conference (APC). Supported by the Pakistan Muslim League (N), the Pakistan People’s Party, Jamat-i-iIslami, Awami National Party and various opposition parties, the 66-year old Maulana, is quite optimistic about the success of his campaign. He is sure that with the help and full support of young (and effeminate) Bilawal Zardari Bhutto, veteran (though defeated) Mian Shahbaz Sharif, supposedly firebrand Asfandyar Wali and orthodox Sirajul Haq, he will be able to remove Imran Khan and compel him to agree on mid-term elections in the country. He has also been able to successfully mix religious fervour and politics, very much like the PNA. His much publicized Azaadi March was also started with the same big bang as the PNA’s power-packed rally.
Despite the similarities, will he be able to sell the mixture of religious fervour and politics to the general public, delivering a fatal blow to the captain? Certainly not.