The confrontation between the government of PakistanÂ and the renegade disowned madrassas in Islamabad appears to be nearing an end, with concessions on both sides. The government will give up public land and allow the radical madrassas to be re-built, while Jamia Hafsa will stop occupation of the library and meet other demands.
Â as detailed by Dawn;
ISLAMABAD, May 11: Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, leader of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League, feared that the deal that he had brokered with Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa administrations might fail because of delaying tactics of the Capital Development Authority.
Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa administrators were promised that seven demolished mosques would be rebuilt where they had been before.
Highlighting his success in persuading clerics, Chaudhry Shujaat told this correspondent on Friday that he had taken CDA officials into confidence over the issue but they did not appear to be sincerely pursuing the governmentâ€™s policy of resolving the issue peacefully and avoiding an operation.
He said that while allowing children to access to the library, the two clerics had agreed that they would vacate the library as soon as a woman librarian was appointed, after which no male or female student would be allowed to carry sticks.
The ulema had agreed that only genuine Madressah students would stay inside the compound, moral policing in markets would stop, all â€˜observation postsâ€™ would be removed, weapons, if there were any inside the compound, would be removed, provocative speeches would be stopped and all banners suspended around the two institutions would be removed.
While this seems to have calmed the situation, it’s temporary. The government by conceding has just purchased new demands and militancy in theÂ future. The brothers who run the madrassas seem very conflicted, and like most religious extremistsÂ they try to dictate how others live, work, play, and communicate. You can see this here, as they issue a sharia guide for Pakistan:
ISLAMABAD, May 11: The Lal Masjid administration on Friday issued preliminary â€œguidelines for enforcement of Sharia in all spheres of lifeâ€, including legislation, human rights, education, health, employment, taxation and banking.
It distributed books containing 50 â€˜guidelinesâ€™ among the people gathered in the mosque for Friday prayers. Following are some of the â€˜guidelinesâ€™:
The clerics of Lal Masjid demanded general amnesty for all exiled political leaders who, they said, were victimised politically and were forced to leave the country. â€œA code should be formulated in the light of Sharia to announce general amnesty for them,â€ the â€˜guidelineâ€™ said.
Cut in taxes: The ulema demanded reforms in the taxation system under which all â€˜unjustifiedâ€™ taxes were withdrawn.
They said enforcement of Sharia was needed to protect all women from sexual harassment and to eliminate gender discrimination.
Official language: They asked the government to declare Urdu as the countryâ€™s official language. â€œMost of the people in remote areas of the country do not understand English and they depend on others to make sense of the government documents.â€
Banking: The hard-line ulema demanded of the government to abolish interest-based banking system in the country, replacing it with an Islamic one.
It was the responsibility of the government to provide shelter to every citizen of the country, they said. Therefore plots measuring 10 marlas to 1 kanal should be provided to the poor and low-paid workers. Construction material be provided to them on subsidised rates.
It is obvious that the Madrassa has gone fully political, and they wish to dictate. They try to gain recruits and adherents by putting forth a series of populist ideas that appeal to various schisms within the body politic of Pakistan.
The question I have is who set these twoÂ up as the special messenger from G-d on how Pakistan should be run? By what right are they making these decrees? Since they have been disowned by the Madaris, that would be by no right.
Would the two crazed brothers not be better off with studying, and getting their heads, hearts, and soulsÂ straight-arrow before they attempt to tell or lead others in what to do?