Islamabad: The Faizabad sit-in has proved that Pakistan’s national and foreign policy is now without a coherent governmental base, with religious extremism rampant in Pakistan, according to an article in The Dawn.
Speculations are doing the rounds that either it was a fabricated attack by the ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to target the Chief of Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa or vice versa, writes Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, the former ambassador to the US, India and China and head of UN missions in Iraq and Sudan.
Qazi writes, to simmer down the burning Faizabad sit-in, federal government on November 27 signed an agreement with the Tehreek-e-Labaik Yah Rasool Allah Pakistan (TLYRAP), laying down, apart from the suspension of Law Minister Zahid Hamid, a number of agreed demands. TLYRAP is an Islamist political party.
The Islamabad High Court had criticised both the government and the army for reportedly mediating and striking a deal with hardline religious groups to end their prolonged sit-in in Islamabad and several other cities.
Hamid had announced to step down voluntarily from the public office in the greater interest of maintaining peace and law and order situation in the country.
Citing Pakistan’s internal issues like, ‘ousted prime minister’; ‘the ‘irrelevant’ current prime minister, the military and its intelligence establishment who wield unauthorised political power; the ‘discredited police’, Qazi further writes that Pakistan’s own leaders were destroying the country.
“Pakistan” is a poor country with horrible inequality and social indices. Yet there are no significant pro-poor or progressive parties. There are only religious, nationalist and populist leaders who are all right-wing, conservative and pro-establishment,” opines the former diplomat.
Meanwhile, Islamabad’s global image is reportedly tarnished as well. The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, referred to Pakistan as ‘a slave country’ last year.
China,Pakistan’s close ally, has temporarily stopped the funding of few projects particularly those related to the road network under the China Pakistan Economic Corridoe (CPEC) till further decision regarding ‘new guidelines’ to be issued from Beijing.
The CPEC is intended to rapidly modernise Pakistan’s infrastructure and strengthen its economy by the construction of modern transportation networks, numerous energy projects, and special economic zones.