The PML-N decided to appease the preachers of hate by making Zahid Hamid a fall guy. As if this was not enough Captain (r) Safdar launched a virulent tirade against the already persecuted Ahmadi community in the National Assembly. Party leaders vied with one another in declaring Ahmadis non-Muslim. The PML-N government in Punjab and at the center allowed the Tehik-e-Labbaik (TLYR) speakers at Faizabad sit-in to continue their vitriolic harangues against the community day after day.
The PTI has also decided to make use of religion to advance its politics. The result is that as we approach the elections, the two parties have introduced a non-issue into the political discourse. Instead of seeking votes on the basis of their social and economic programme and performance, each one is trying to underline its religious credentials.
Recounting PTIs services at the Difa-i-Pakistan rally in Peshawar on Sunday, KP CM Pervez Khattak said he had made a chapter relating to the finality of prophethood compulsory in text books. Also recitation and translation of the Holy Quran till grade 12. Both measures he said were aimed at producing good Muslims. What is more his government had provided solar system to mosques and fixed honorarium for prominent prayer leaders. He criticised liberal forces for interfering in religious matters. PTI’s ally Samiul Haq maintained that Jihad was compulsory for every Muslim in the prevailing situation, adding that the DPC was formed to counter Christian and Jewish lobbies.
The PML-N and PTI candidates fighting for a Chakwal provincial seat PP-20 have reduced the campaign to who is more opposed to the Ahmadis. The highest bidder so far is PML-N’s candidate who called for expelling the Ahmadis from Pakistan. The PTI candidate on the other hand asked the voters to decide whether they stand with those who changed the Khatm-i-Nabuwat law or with the lovers of the Prophet (PBUH).
The Punjab government meanwhile convened a gathering of spiritual leaders where both Shahbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah reiterated their belief in the finality of prophethood. And still we wonder why the US has placed Pakistan on watch list for violations of religious freedom.