End of inquilab?

Published: October 22, 2014
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After 67 days, making this the longest such protest ever, Dr Tahirul Qadri called off the sit-in at D-chowk in Islamabad, allowing thousands of his supporters to return home. PHOTO: AFP

After 67 days, making this the longest such protest ever, Dr Tahirul Qadri called off the sit-in at D-chowk in Islamabad, allowing thousands of his supporters to return home. PHOTO: AFP

After 67 days, making this the longest such protest ever, Dr Tahirul Qadri called off the sit-in at D-chowk in Islamabad, allowing thousands of his supporters to return home. He has said that sit-ins of two-day durations would continue in major cities. The Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) has also just completed a series of rallies in major cities. Some would say that all this has led nowhere; that nothing solid has been achieved, no change has come. To some degree, of course, this is true. The revolution spoken of never came. While Imran Khan and the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf are so far continuing their protest, one cannot be certain regarding the duration of that sit-in either.

As the supporters of Dr Qadri, who had gathered behind him, make their way away from Islamabad, it would be wrong to say that they have not left a definite mark on the political landscape. Their determined action and Dr Qadri’s fiery speeches have touched hearts and moved people. The call for a more equitable social order, within which the poor receive greater protection, is one that has appealed to many in the country. It has given people a sense of what is possible, and also persuaded them that the rulers we have at present are perhaps, not too willing to usher in the change, which is so badly required within a deeply divided society.

At the same time, the protests have also raised the profile of Dr Qadri, to a point where he now says he and the PAT will take part in the next general elections, whether or not electoral reforms are held. The new symbol appearing on the ballot sheet could prove significant. The PAT has participated in mainstream politics before, notably in the 2002 polls when Dr Qadri was able to win a place in the National Assembly. However, its ability to draw in votes was then limited, and it quickly quit parliament as differences developed with General (retd) Pervez Musharraf. But the efforts of the PAT over the last two months seem to have bred the idea of change and this may have a visible impact when the time comes to cast votes.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2014.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • Leela4fun
    Oct 23, 2014 - 4:04AM

    So much for conviction of purpose! The fire and brimstone of Inquilab fizzled out to a whimper and TuQ has done a downhill ski. All the bravado that he displayed and rolling deadlines was just bluster. He should quietly pack his bags and relocated back to Canada.

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  • Muneer
    Oct 23, 2014 - 11:33AM

    Hats off to the participants of PAT dharna.A very well organised, enlightened, dedicated and determined very ordinary people of Pakistan has amazed me.I never thought that such disciplined and articulate fellow ordinary Pakistanis both women and men are there in the country.They have made me proud. They really meant every word of Inquilab and stayed there in extreme conditions for the Rights and welfare of me,the people and their own.Whether,their Chief meant it or not OR has the Leadership qualities to lead them in very adverse circumstances to success is another thing.But I am sure someone from amongst them will.

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  • Ali Akbar Shah
    Oct 23, 2014 - 1:19PM

    Abandoning sit-in by PAT has roused many question: What have we got out of this whole tiring voyage? What is coming next? What about the earlier made convictions? How is this going to impact Qadri Sahb’s political standing? Where does Qadri Sahb’s credibility stand now? I fear most of answers are going to discommode many PAT fans.

    Still I do also think, this whole story has sunny side as well; like:
    a. It has instigated many dormant people to become politically active b.It has made the government be on its toes c. PAT is now a well recognized party. There can be many others as well.
    Surely time will settle many queries so lets wait and watch as to know what is coming next.

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  • Zanib Shakeel
    Oct 28, 2014 - 6:36PM

    Indeed one cannot say that Dr Qadri and his followers, supporters and the masses with him left Islamabad without achieving everything. He has achieved more than he planned and desired. he has revolutionized the minds of the poor, the illiterate and those who didn’t ever think of raising their voices against jageerdaars , and vaderaas.

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  • Almas
    Nov 2, 2014 - 5:04AM

    no doubt Dr Tahir ul Qadri is real leader.. there is not conflict in his personality regarding his values as he is SUNNI and BAIT with QADRI Silsila but there all muslim sect people here and also seen christian peoples with their leader J.Salik, where as HIndus and Sikhs Sardaars also participating there… so no doubt DrQadri have best qualities of leadership…i salute to all common people who raise their voices against these corrupt parliament mafia..Thanks to DrQadri to awaking nation…

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