Qadri is dangerous for freedom of expression
ISLAMABAD: If not stopped or checked both politically and administratively, Pakistan’s democracy is heading towards a bloody end sooner than later.
The kind of dangerous statement made by Dr Tahirul Qadri is unheard of in any democracy in the world. His speech was full of incitement and hatred and sought a pledge from his workers not to let anyone return without toppling the government and if anyone does so should be killed.
He went to the extent of saying that if he is “martyred” his workers and followers should kill the male members of the Sharif family and the key ministers of the N-government. He said he doesn’t expect justice from institutions.
Freedom of speech and right to political activity here see no bounds and limits. Like Qadri you are free here to order killings even in your public speeches. Still our democracy gives you the right to speech and the right to hold and lead public rallies.
Adding insult to the injury, all TV channels are there to air live coverage of incitement and hatred. There is no editorial control, no censor to what could take others lives while Pemra as usual remains in deep slumber.
Qadri’s fiery speeches and the recent violent behavior of his followers, who are alleged to have even killed a few policemen besides injuring dozens, made the PAT a fit case to be proscribed. But here even the proscribed organisations and their leaders have the freedom to make public speeches, give television interviews and even hold rallies and lead demonstrations.
Dr Qadri has said his ‘revolution march’ would begin on August 14 and would go along with PTI’s Azadi March. He told his workers to avenge the martyrdom of their colleagues by killing those who they believe were responsible. Qadri showed no faith in the country’s institutions. When he was saying all this and was taking the pledge from his followers to kill even those who would retreat, the PTI’s opposition leader in the Punjab assembly Mehmoodur Rashid was also present there.
However, now it is for Imran Khan to decide if he would like to have any link with PAT’s revolution or would want to keep PTI’s Azadi March separate. Some believe that the PAT’s “ammo” would add value to the march and objectives of PTI. But politically it would damage Imran Khan, who has assured that his party’s march would not only be peaceful but would also be within the limits of law and Constitution.
Qadri, who is encircled by the likes of Chaudhrys of Gujrat and Shaikh Rashid, clearly wants more blood in the streets of Pakistan. Imran and his party have no such past. They believe in peaceful and democratic struggle. Therefore, the government should treat them differently. Qadri has proved that he deserves to be contained by the government. Otherwise, there would be more killings, anarchy and chaos.