- Avoid use of religion for political gains
So far as the numbers were concerned, the PDM’s Bahawalpur rally was impressive. The audience was motivated and responsive. The PDM succeeded in papering over the interparty and intraparty divisions over the issue of resignations by postponing the final decision. The alliance also managed to maintain the momentum created by its half a dozen rallies conducted during the first phase of its agitation. It continued the attempt to create a wedge between what it calls the “selected government” and its “selectors”. What was negative at the rally was the use of the religious card by the PDM chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman
Attempts made by the Punjab government to foil the rally through bureaucratic measures didn’t produce the desired results and the PDM managed to gather a huge crowd that responded enthusiastically whenever prompted by the Maulana or by PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz, the two star speakers. When the later asked whether the opposition should resign from the assemblies the audience responded with a thundering “yes”. Maulana Fazlur Rehman however reiterated that the alliance would keep making small adjustments to create confusion in government’s ranks.
To keep up the momentum, it was announced that the alliance would stage a sit-in outside the ECP offices in Islamabad on January 19 to put pressure on it to expeditiously decide the PTI foreign funding case while on June 21 the alliance would take out ‘Israel not acceptable’ rally in Karachi and hold rallies on Kashmir Day on Feb 5.
In their own peculiar styles both PDM chief and Ms Nawaz asked the military establishment to distance itself from the PTI government. Maulana Fazlur Rehman wanted the establishment to clarify if it backs PM Imran Khan’s government as the latter claims so that the PDM may direct its movement towards the military establishment. A more careful Ms Nawaz recounted several scandals while in every case playing upon Khan’s claim that the army supports him because it knows he is not corrupt.
It was unfortunate on the part of the PDM chief to use religious card for political gains by describing the opposition’s drive against Imran Khan’s government as ‘jihad’ and announcing that stepping back from it would be a ‘major sin’. Introducing religion into politics is a dangerous trend which should be avoided.