The newly-formed Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) comprising mainly banned militant outfits and certain religious groups has been holding rallies in many major Pakistani cities. It has a ten-point agenda that it has publicised at its public meeting. It has been warning liberals and even the media, saying that if need be, force will be used to spread its Islamic ideology in the country.
It is interesting to note that women, who make up half the country’s population, are completely missing from these rallies. And the reason for that is that those who are part of the DPC would not consider women as equal members of society. Quite clearly, the views of those who make up the DPC are similar to those of the Taliban. The Pakistan envisioned by its founder the Quaid-i-Azam is certainly not what the DPC described at a rally recently held in Karachi, right across from the Quaid’s mausoleum. The irony is that Bangladesh, which used to be part of Pakistan till it seceded, is a secular republic while Pakistan is still suffering from extremism and militancy.
Who has entrusted the DPC with the responsibility of defending the country, when we already have one of the world’s largest standing armies? We have already paid a very heavy price till now for being considered by much of the world as a country that provides safe havens to terrorists and which patronises non-state actors in committing acts of terrorism.
The DPC has threatened that it will not allow parliament to give India the status of Most-Favoured-Nation? But who has given the Council this mandate, especially given the fact that parliament collectively represents the will of the people?
The DPC has also asked its followers to “break the legs of any whore” who goes to India and sings or acts in films. It is clear from the Council’s agenda that it will want to enforce its perception of Islamic ideology in Pakistan through the use of force. It is time that the government and the other state institution took notice of the DPC’s activities.
S T Hussain
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2012.