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Pakistan’s Religious Junta

rjThere is a verse in the highlander’s dialect of Pashto poetry that, “Pa makandi dy na khwashezan, Janana gaday waday ka che bol dy che na”, it implies on those people who have no input to the society but their notorious activities keep them part of the scene. Same is the case of our religious junta (masses). They have no fruitful contributions to strengthen the fracturing fabrics of our society but rather they proved as catalyst to maximize this breakage. Conversely they remained on the horizon of national politics, cashing their trump card at the expense of poor, unclothed, striving citizens of the country.

We are bearing the brunt from the left out generations of those who opposed the very creation of Pakistan and call Mr. Jinnah as kafir e Azam (great infidel). But on the contrary, after the inception of Pakistan, they started to become the sole custodians of Islam and Pakistan. No doubt we allowed them to rule our souls. Till date our religious brigade is exploiting the use of word “Islam” for their politics and they claim that this country, Pakistan was created for ‘Islam’. It happened because the state continued with the same pace exploiting the unclothed Pakistanis through the hands of religious junta.

To put on their show they exploited different situations from different angles. They exploited the Qadyanis affair but it blew back in later years. They threw the elected Prime Minister Z. A. Bhutto into the lap of martial law with the joint adventure of PNA. They remained Shah se ziyada shah k wafadar during Zia-ul-Haq regime and gave him a title of mard e momin (Man of Value) because he feed them with golden spoon. They made Musharraf a brave heart dictator who played with our constitution from time to time. It needs books to write what mullah military bartered during war on terror that was orchestrated mainly in Pashtun lands.  One of the main contenders of religious bashing is Maulana Fazal ur Rehman. He is still part of the Nawaz led government in center. They have supported this government against many political challenges e.g. Dharna. They are fighting against the case of liberal and enlighten Pakistan.

These religious juntas have initiated the slaying wave of terrorism that threw us into disparity and dark ages. Our leaders and establishment are equally responsible for all the mess in our state of affairs. They have thrown the nation before the wolves. They didn’t play their due role in navigating the nation’s ship with shrewdness during the strong waves of terrorism and intolerance. They fed our generations with so called ideas of jihad and hollow glorification instead of practical development. Still the religious pundits in symbiotic relationship with other stake holders keep afloat the idea of Ghazwa Hind when they don’t even know the meaning of this phrase.  What the religious elites are up to? To treat this question I would like to put forward few instances of my personal experience.

They, in their character, are not different in any aspect from any other politicians. They will increase their bank balance and property area after they finish their legislature tenure. I am saying it because I have experienced this. In January 2014, I accompanied one of the National Assembly members of JUI-F to meet another parliamentarian from their party. Our host member asked from the guest, have you bought any plot here in Islamabad? He replied with no. With this the host said, whoever comes here necessarily buy plots for coming days and gave few examples of their few party members. The maulana sahib I accompanied is from very well off family and he can buy anything out of his family business. He will not make money out of his current position in assembly.

Second is the large pool of religious seminaries upon which the foundations of different religious conglomerates stand. They will never compromise on this stake and will fight till the end against mainstreaming that pool. The number of madrassas in Pakistan is approximately 30,000 where free dining and lodging is provided to millions of children. The madrassas in metropolitan cities may provide good education covering both formal and informal subjects because rich junta sending their children here. Conversely, madrassa situated on the peripheries are different, their students and their teachers ask for alms and charity while visiting different mosques and homes. The students go door to door asking for bread during lunch and dinner times. What the religious junta and state in symbiotic relationship producing in their madrassas?  The same madrassas students will sit on the pulpits which controls the very spirit of our Muslim dominated society. How will they try to change the people who are donating them. How will they highlight the black business of those people who are proving considerable part of their wealth to these mullahs. What will be the benefit of this mimber o mehrab to the society.

Third, the religious junta is altering into extortionists. They compete to occupy mosques in different big cities in order to generate the revenue for their political interests. One such instance occurred in our street, in Islamabad. This particular mosque is illegally under construction on about twelve canals with millions of budgets. A political party Jamate Islami is supporting it. They fought with local committee however police started aerial firing in order to control the squabble. There are many similar examples which go unwarranted.

What role the state played to eliminate this before happening? Rather state is behaving like a step mother with everyone. State didn’t control madrassa sector and left everyone at their mercy. The state used the religious brigades during the course of our history for different internal and external interests. At many instances the state bent down before its own blue eyed babies. One of the big examples is Difa e Pakistan Council, which shows that the country and its inhabitants’ security is only possible because of many councils like that. Due to this reason they dare time and again to threat any government.

Currently the religious alliance has threatened the central government to compel the Punjab government to take back the Woman Protection Bill – 2016 otherwise they will bring the hungry and unclothed Pakistanis on the streets. This is one of the real tests of nerves for Sharifs. If government succumbs to this threat then Mian Sahib have to take back his word of liberal Pakistan, legislation for national holidays on Easter and Dewali, and many more while Sagid Khanleaving the nation at the mercy of wolves.  

Writer: Sajid Khan 

The writer hails from South Waziristan Agency. He is a research scholar at NDU, Islamabad.

He can be reached at  mahsud38@gmail.com


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