By Farman Nawaz (Unpublished article)
Last month Molana Fazal-ur-Rehman, the chief of Jamiat Ullema Islam, invited all the political parties of its previous alliance MMA (Mutahida Majlis-e-Amal). All these parties agreed to struggle against USA. In the past, with exemption of few years of Jamiat Ullema Islam in 70’s, all the political parties comprising MMA, were friends of “self-righteous” America and the “spiritual” West. While secular USSR was their common enemy.
There is a misconception in the world that Pakistani ISI has still contacts with religious extremists of Jihadi era, while American CIA has a clean slate in this regard and having no black spots at its face. The same is the case with all these religious political parties. Their leaders suppose that having a friendship with USA in past to counter USSR, was a compulsion and now they have no links with America. They think that their parties are purely anti-American and now their parties do not have any hidden pro American segments. How is this possible? They are living in the land of dreams because Anti-Americanism has some requirements that are never observed in their policies.
Today the menace of extremism is the result of their long friendship with Americans for 3 decades. Pro-Americanism is now the part of their blood. Americans have intruded in their very ranks of leadership. If these political parties really wants to struggle against American hegemony than its leadership will have to alienate pro American segments from their parties. These pro American segments are capitalistic in their nature and approach and at any time, again they will serve American interests. As a result the lower sincere segments will have to face the difficulties.
The policies of these religious parties and the solution to the problems of Pakistani nation are at opposite angles with each other. The nation wants to get rid of sectarianism while these religious parties are promoting religious sectarianism. These political parties are basically based on sectarian thinking. For example Devbandi, Barelvi, Ahl-e-Hadis, Shia and Jamat-e-Islami. First, these religious parties will have to make improvements in their own mentality. The nation is against fundamentalism while these political parties feel proud to be called as fundamentalists.
The nation is trying hard to get closer to the regional countries like India but these parties, using the name of religion, have no intensions to come closer to these countries. Even some parties have taken extreme steps to sabotage the peace process in the past.
So how these political parties will face America as they have no public support. If these parties are not interested in accepting the majority viewpoint then one must be justified to say that their real intension is not to oppose America but rather they want to provide raw material to American war on terror. Because by arousing the hatred of young men principally they are guiding them to become extremists. These extremists in next stage serve the interests of Al-Qaida and ultimately America.
If really these religious political parties want to struggle against US, then they will have to take some steps. First of all they will have to discontinue their support of capitalism. Secondly they will have to put ban on sectarian education in their religious schools. Third they will have to open their doors of parties for all segments of the society. They will have to say good bye to conservative approach and to welcome liberal ideas. Like Jamiat Ullema Hind of India, Pakistani political parties will have to come forward to declare a “Fatwa” against terrorism and suicide attacks. So that sincere religious people may not become victims of Talibanization. In this regard the role of religious parties is not positive and it encourages terrorists. Lastly the only solution to come out of American slavery is to put our eggs in the regional basket.
If religious parties of Pakistan are ready to follow these steps so the public will trust in them. Otherwise the people of Pakistan are right to guess that the real target of Pakistani religious parties is not America but rather our own institutions.