Whither Difa-e-Pakistan Council

Published: July 7, 2012
The writer hosts a show called “Capital Circuit” for News One

The writer hosts a show called “Capital Circuit” for News One

“They had behind them, to my mind, the terrific suggestiveness of words heard in dreams, of phrases spoken in nightmares.” — Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness.

It is not a mean feat to host and run a talk show on the issue of the Ground Lines of Communication (GLOC) without letting the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) members anywhere near your set. But from the day the GLOC was locked — to borrow a phrase from Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar’s diction — and we were invited to listen to the director general military operations’ attributable presentation, I have done my best to block them from appearing on my show. As the ranks of the DPC swelled, this stand attained the nature of self-excoriating churlishness when some friends from the marketing department repeatedly suggested that they be brought to the show as their presence would ensure high ratings. Perseverance, however, has its rewards.

Even though today the damaged goods — huddled together in the DPC by some unsung Plato — are planning to march on Islamabad, they look like a tool that has outlived its utility. If sanity prevails, their rhetoric will eventually pare down and the party will be put to an early end. On the off chance that someone decides to see some merit in its existence, let us argue for one more time that such dark jokes should now be eschewed.

It is widely believed that the DPC was brought into existence by the country’s deep state to seek support for the Nato supply routes blockade or the GLOC. But this might not be true. There is hardly any love lost between the banned outfits that constitute a pivotal component of the DPC and the country’s General Headquarters at this stage. The stories of their deep mutual liking sound like water under the bridge, as most of such banned outfits have become terrible liabilities. And barring a few mid-ranking officers, no one can be so stupid to do something that ends up implicating the country’s army in such an act.

But if our army is not responsible for the creation of this group then who is? Of course, not the federal or provincial governments either. To understand what is going on look closely. There are men like Maulana Fazlur Rehman Khalil in the council who are known for their close relations with Ayman al-Zawahiri. We also know that in the last two decades, al Qaeda and its sister organisations have repeatedly invested money in Pakistani politics to bring down unfriendly governments. Why wouldn’t they invest their resources in exploiting an environment of distrust between Pakistan and the US? Since such groups were close to General Ziaul Haq’s regime, all crony politicians of that time have fallen in line. Hence, in the last seven months, the said group has not only tried to build pressure on the government and the army against the resumption of the GLOC but the gentleman mentioned above has gone to the extent of appearing on television and warning, albeit implicitly, that such a decision could attract more suicide attacks.

A group has the audacity of calling itself the Difa-e-Pakistan Council and then simultaneously threatens to kill its people. The question that arises then is why has the country’s establishment tolerated this ragtag army of thugs thus far? Somehow, everybody forgets that the transformation that it was asked to bring after 9/11 was so onerous that it might not have brought the dissent under full control and hence, the calculated and cautious approach. The fact is that we have witnessed some uncharacteristically huge mishaps in recent years and yet, if this scribe is asked to put his life in the hands of our government and the army, he will willingly do so. But tolerance of such terrible outfits is nothing short of criminal neglect. Perhaps, the DPC long march schedule from July 8, will give us definitive proof of whether the country’s deep state is involved in its genesis or not.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • faraz
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:47AM

    DPC represents the jihadi enterprise that is not entirely under army’s control. Army lives on defence budget and it’s a legitimate institution; but these groups have to create some reason for existence. It’s naïve to believe that after 3 decades, on mere signaling from the army, they would simply dismantle themselves. I think DPC will protest against NATO supply line independent of what GHQ says. I have heard that bank accounts of these groups get seized when they disobey orders. But I am sure they have many other sources of money


  • Wtf
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:55AM

    Do you actually think that PTI will permit supplies? That is a ridiculous hope


  • Wtf
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:57AM

    Let’s see how ET handles itself in an Imran led government .Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jul 7, 2012 - 12:58AM

    A balanced and prgmatic Op Ed. Let us hope and pray that the author is right!


  • Ninja
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:09AM

    joke article…but anyways why don’t you enlightened intellectuals hold a rally against the evil DPC and in support of beacon of humanity that is the US of America? let’s see how many people you attract….my guess is no more then 100 people lol.


  • faraz
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:49AM


    But US created DPC; remember the 80s. Now DPC are afraid of losing their jobs.


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:16AM

    people will attended DPC for sawaab but will not do the sin of voting for them


  • saleem
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:33AM

    i have always called this DFC as Dafan council.


  • Hunter punter
    Jul 7, 2012 - 11:22AM

    DPC is like the last throw of dice by the gambler( in this case the rogue elements of the deep state). Somehow pakistanis dont understand the enormity of their isolation in the commity of nations. becasuse of openly using and acknowledging the use of non state actors/terrorists/jihadis, as part of state policy and as “strrategic assets”, pakistan is completlely distrusted, even by Arab and other muslim states.
    Building trust takes decades, losing it takes only a few rougue events( mumbai being one).
    Till DPC and the likes of Hafeez saeed are not dealth with and punished, pakistan will remain in the doghouse. What that does to its ecnomy is anyones guess. Cdertainly the poor will face the brunt of international wrath and distrust. DPC is thus the true enemy of its teeming poor millions.


  • Zulfiqar Haider
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:20PM

    Non state actors, terrorists, jihadies etc have brought us to this state of being called a rougue state. The doors of education and technology are about to shut on us. Our deep state has got this gene out of the bottle but has no clue how to put it back.


  • Imran
    Jul 7, 2012 - 1:51PM

    American Afghan mission will end in couple of years. And remember Pakistan will pay the price for plying double game and using these group as foreign policy tool. If Pakistan want to save herself from civil war, leader of this country must eradicate these groups from land.


  • Zeta
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:02PM

    I really hope Imran khan bans ET


  • Aryabhat
    Jul 7, 2012 - 2:17PM

    DPC to deep state is what Jammat was to Mr Jinnah!

    Mr Jinnah thought he could use a bit of violence by Jammat as a bargaining chip with Brits and Congress! History tells us now how much underestimated was Jammat! Today Mr Jinnah would get killed in his Pakistan for being a Shia in most parts of Pakistan and Jamaat philosophy has taken over the state and society.

    So please please do not under estimate DPC – or rather philosophy benind it!


  • blaizebob
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:16PM

    @Hunter punter:

    “” pakistan is completlely distrusted, even by Arab and other muslim states.””

    Is that why they’re pumping money into hardline madrasas in Southern Punjab?


  • Logic Europe
    Jul 7, 2012 - 3:44PM

    Arab states don’t want Pakistan to become strong modern and prosperous.They don’t want to see Pakistan in the role of Muslim world leader ,they also want cheap labour from Pakistan so these mullas ,all of whomever are obese.continue destabilise Pakistan ,GET RID OF MULLAS AND PAKISTAN WILL BE THE STRONGEST MUSLIM STATE


  • Arsal
    Jul 7, 2012 - 4:26PM

    What a Joke !!!! Who said that DPC threats to kill pakistani people ??? Isn’t it idiotic to claim that . Its simple !! they just warned that when you will LEGALIZE and POLITICIZE both the NATO supply and the DRONE Attacks you will simply give Afghans and Kabailis a reason to ATTACK us


  • Mahmood Saeed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 6:33PM

    These guys know nothing except to ascribe all ills to the unbeknown and undefined ‘deep state’. Have the courage and morality to name names! That would be investigative journalism and service to the country. Innuendos sound good but they remain hollow!Recommend

  • Imran Con
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:10PM

    DPC itself. Try not to be deaf the next time they threaten war-like action against Pakistan for not doing what they want.


  • Uza Syed
    Jul 7, 2012 - 7:20PM

    Well pointed out Mr. Farrukh Khan Pitafi, “A group has the audacity of calling itself the Difa-e-Pakistan Council and then simultaneously threatens to kill its people.” What an irony these shameless and most abhorable people are free to threaten and at times even kill ordinary Pakistanis with impunity and fools and cowards like Imran Khan support and show solidarity with such demons, the enemies of peace and peacefl Pakistanis. We also must join our hands and ensure that such gangs do not dare hurt any of us no matter whose support they have. This our country and we would decide how we wish to live our lives here, no dictations rom Talibans or their likes including the Taliban Imran Khan.


  • Jul 7, 2012 - 9:18PM

    Why not a single rally against the Philosophy of DPC ? Lack of initiative/leadership, lack of organisation skill or pure lethargy on the the part of so called intellect Elite and or middle class including thinkers/ analyst. If it is not held then Pakistan deserves to have DPC.Tolerance is good but it is necessary to oppose strongly wherever it is must.


  • Hunter punter
    Jul 9, 2012 - 9:17AM

    Probably The arabs are pumping in money into hardline madrassas to make sure that jihadis and terrorists confine themselves to pakistan, rather than create troubles in Arab countries.


  • elementary
    Jul 9, 2012 - 4:55PM

    @Uza Syed:
    who do you suggest we join hands with then?


  • Muhammad Azeem
    Jul 10, 2012 - 4:30AM

    Most dangerous times ahead.DFC may look like and announce its position as a peaceful group but in fact they are not.Their history proves it.In fact they are part of an international movement for creation of a Wahabi Caliphate first in the Middle East,Pakistan and Afghanistan and later on central Asia and the then Europe and the world.The conquering of India also part of their agenda as you can understand from the parties and leaders who are their companions.They plan to bring a Egypt style Islamic revolution by overthrowing present system.So remain vigilant,this country of Pakistan was not created by Mullahs.It was created by Qaued whom these mullahs called kafir.Every Pakistan has a duty to fight to save this Pakistan.


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