Pak Islamist parties manipulating public events to suit desired outcomes: WriterMarch 12th, 2011 - 2:27 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Mar 12(ANI): While the protests by religious Pakistani parties against double murder-accused US official Raymond Davis’ release have finally begun to subside, the eruption of Islamist parties back into the public life reveals much about their “tactics, goals, and how they manipulate public events to suit their desired outcomes”, author Arif Jamal has said.
Radical Islamist groups such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan led demonstrations against Davis, trying to spread hatred against America and destabilize the Pakistan People’s Party-led coalition government, which is portrayed as fighting America’s war on terror in Pakistan, he said.
“In one of these rallies, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Munawar Hassan accused Interior Minister Rehman Malik of defending American mercenaries instead of protecting his own countrymen”, Arif Jamal, the author of “Shadow War — The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir”, wrote in Foreign Policy.
“At a rally on February 5, Jamaat-ud-Dawa leader Amir Hamza asked the Punjab police to torture Raymond Davis the way the US government allegedly tortured Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, whose mysterious disappearance and subsequent conviction for wounding an American soldier in Afghanistan has made her a cause célèbre in Pakistan,” he added.
Waseem Shamshad, the brother of one of the men killed in the January 27 Lahore shootout, also admitted in an interview that their families were under significant pressure from the Islamist parties- JI, JuD, and Tehreek-e-Insaf- to not accept any offer from the Americans to settle the dispute.
Jamal said the protest campaign made it clear that the Islamist parties would not be satisfied unless Davis is hanged, if possible even without a trial.
“Rather than being a new phenomenon, however, this recent show of force from Pakistan’s hardline Islamist parties was the culmination of the parties’ increasing assertiveness since the 2008 restoration of democracy in Pakistan,” he added.
Jamal noted that in this environment, it would be very difficult for the Pakistan government to free Davis and risk public protest or even violent backlash.
As Islamists are keeping their pressure on the police and the judiciary as well, no judge would find it easy to decide this case neutrally, and the Lahore High Court has repeatedly stalled a decision on Davis’ status, he pointed out.
“The Pakistani government thus remains in a bind, one that will ultimately force them to choose between an angry United States and even angrier Pakistani Islamist groups, backed up by the country’s media,” Jamal concluded. (ANI)
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Tags: aafia siddiqui, american soldier, assertiveness, coalition government, double murder, hardline, interior minister, islamist groups, jamaat e islami, jamaat ud dawa, jud, munawar, mysterious disappearance, protest campaign, punjab police, raymond davis, rehman malik, shadow war, war on terror, writer washington