The honeymoon period of Islamist political parties in the Middle East would not last long, as some of them have already failed to deliver the social services that people were hoping for.
These views were expressed by Beaconhouse National University Professor Raza Naeem while speaking at a roundtable on Wednesday, said a press release issued by Institute of Regional Studies (IRS). The discussion that was organised by IRS was titied “The Arab Spring: Hopes, Lessons and Prospects”.
Naeem termed the Arab Spring as “a response of the power-deprived population towards autocratic, and at times tyrannical, rulers who had concentrated power and wealth in a few hands”. However, the dynamics of protests were different in each of the Arab countries, he added.
“In countries where there were uprisings, either the rulers evolved a solution without giving their power in or called for elections that resulted in the rise of Islamist parties,” said Naeem.
“The National Transitional Council, which toppled Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, is also Islamist and has already announced introducing Shariah and polygamy in the country,” he added.
Naeem attributed the rise of Islamist parties to a variety of factors, such as their grass-root networks, their social welfare contributions towards the poor, fragmentation of the secular political parties and the ostensibly secular nature of the autocracies that the uprisings aimed to topple.
Other participants included IRS President Ashraf Azim, IRS Senior Fellow Brig (retd) Bashir Ahmed, Quaid-i-Azam University Professor Lt Gen (retd) Saleem Haider, National Defence University Assistant Professor Arshi Saleem Hashmi and IRS Research Fellow Dr Shaheen Akhtar.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 21st, 2012.
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