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Besieging of Pakistan by 'C' company
Pakistan is passing through a political turmoil, courtesy a cricketer turned politician Imran Khan Niazi, Chief of Pakistn Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Party and a cleric turned politician Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Chief of Pakistan Awami Tehreek Party(PAT) who jointly alleged that since general elections held in Pakistan in May 2013 were rigged in favour of Pakistan Muslim League-N, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should resign.

In support of their demand, both Imran Khan and Dr. Qadri, along with their thousands of party workers and supporters virtually besieged country's capital Islamabad as a part of their 'Azadi-Inqilab March'. The 'Azadi-InqilabMarch' begun from Lahore on August 14, 2014, that was also Pakistan's Independence Day, and culminated in Islamabad on August 16,after covering more than 300 kms in over 35 hours.

While Imran Khan is internationally renewed known cricketer, who plunged into Pakistan's national politics and formed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party(TIP) on April25,1996 with the aim of establishing the Pakistan as an Islamic democratic welfare state, Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, is a renowned Islamic scholar and founder of an Islamic NGO viz: Minhaj-ul-Qur'an in 1981 and a political Party viz: Pakistan Awami Tehreek Pary(PAT) in 1989. The PAT believes in ideology of moderate Islamism, Islamic democracy and Islamic socialism.

Imran Khan was born on November 25,1952 in Lahore. His father was from Pushtun ethnicity and belonged to Niazi tribe. He is the only son of his parents with four sisters. Imran's father was an engineer and belonged to an affluent family in Lahore. Studied in Lahore and England, Imran Khan's successful first class cricket career begun in l970.

He played his last cricket match(ODI) against England at Melbourne on 25th March 1992. at the age of 39. Imran also remained involved in welfare activates and in 1991 established Pakistan's first and only cancer hospital in Lahore in memory of her mother by raising funds amounting to over US$ 25 million.

In 1996 Imran Khan plunged into the national politics and formed Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party(TIP). It was alleged that Pakistan Army's Inter Service Intelligences (ISI) had extended its tactical support overtly to Imran Khan in forming TIP to counter popular political parties of Pakistan viz Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz. Incidentally.

In 1999, Imran Khan and his party TIP, supported military coup, staged by General Parvez Musharraf against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Imran Khan also claimed that in 2002 he was offered Prime Ministership by General Parez Musharraf, which he had refused.

TIP claims to be the largest non-family political party of the Pakistan with over 10 million members. Since its inception in 1996 TIP had contested all provincial and general elections in Pakistan. While in 1997's general elections Imran Khan unsuccessfully contested from seven seats and his party did not get a single seat in the National Assembly.

In 2002's general elections, the party could win only one seat, that too contested by Imran Khan. However, in May,2013 general elections, TIP performed well and won 28 out of 272 general seats of the National Assembly and secured third place after Pakistan Muslim League(N) with 136 seats and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) with 33 seats.

Results of the general elections of 2013 proved to a great setback to Imran Khan and his party TIP as before the elections were, he was riding high on popularity chart amongst all national political leaders. In January 2013 in an online public poll it was predicted that Imran Khan's TIP was expected to win with outright majority of 225 seats,whereas the resulted showed dismal performance of his party.

During the elections, cases of large scale of rigging, incompetency of the Pakistan Election Commission to hold free and fair elections specially in Punjab and Sind and partisan attitude towards Nawaz Sharif PML-N shown by the interim Chief Minister of Punjab, Najam Sethi were main reasons of political parities discontentment against Nawaz Sharif led PML-N winning highest seats.

As regards Dr. Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, Chief of Islamic NGO viz: Minhaj-ul-Qur'an and a political Party viz: Pakistan Awami Tehreek Pary(PAT),he was born on Feburary 19, 1951 in Jhang in Punjab (Pakistan). His father was a great great spiritualist and intellectual of his time. He received his early Islamic education at Madina.

In 1970 he did Honours in Islamic studies then MA in Islamic studies from Punjab University(Pakistan). Dr Qadari also studied Law and in 1978 did PhD in Islamic studies. He also held several government positions as well as in Pakistani judiciary relating to Islamic laws.

In October 1980, Dr. Qadri, founded an Islamic NGO viz; Minahj-ul-Quran (The Path of Holy Quran)with the aim of promoting religious moderation, interfaith dialogue and harmony and moderate Islamic interpretations of Islamic sciences. Its Headquarters is located at Lahore and in less than 30 years, it has expanded to over 90 countries.

Dr Qadari also founded Minhaj University at Lahore , Minhaj Educational Society with 570 schools and colleges in Pakistan and different forums, including Muslim Christian Dialogue Forum. Dr Qadari has also authored 400 books and delivered over 5000 lectures.

In May 1989, Dr. Qadri joined the national politics and formed a political party viz;Pakistan Awami Tehreek(PAT) to promote social and religious harmony in the country. The Party wants to establish a moderate Islamic democratic and social government in the country. In 2002 general elections Dr. Qadri won party's only seat in the National Assembly.

However, in 2004 he resigned from the National Assembly in protest against governments in national and  external policies. PAT boycotted the general elections in 2008 demanding resignation of General Parvez Musharraf. In December 2012, Qadir returned to Pakistan after living in Canada for seven years. During 2013 general elections the party performed miserably, which further fuelled anti government feelings in party workers against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's alleged rigging the general elections in 2013.

Dr. Qadri who is also holding Canadian nationality is has sizeable following in Lahore. On June 17,2014, ten of his supports, including two women were killed and over hundred  injured in armed clashes with the local police over issue of some encroachments, including illegal placing of barriers near Headquarters of PAT and Dr. Qadri's house in Model Town area of Lahore. Police had also arrested fifty-five supporters of Dr. Qadir.

Dr. Qadir described the incident as a "state terrorism" and vowed to avenge death of his supporters. He also called upon his supporters and people to join a revolution to end the regime of Nawaz Sharif and his brother Shahbaz Sharif, the Chief Minister of Punjab. Dr.Qadir also refused to accept formation of a judicial commission to probe the incident and called upon people to join him in his long march Islamabad to topple Nawaz Sharif's alleged illegal governments.

Dr. Qadri's call for a long march against the government on August 14,2014 was not a new political gimmick. Earlier on January 14,2013 also he led a similar long march against corruption in the then government, which had fizzled out after four days protest in Islamabad.

Dr. Qadri is known to be close to the Pakistan army and is often accused of being Pakistan Army political ploy Some political analysts consider him as a  political nuisance who lacks clout. But he has ability to exploit and gather support from Madrassas and rumoured to have close ties with ISI, which goes in favour to enjoy support from radicals.

Incidentally, in February 2012, Dr. Qadri had visited India on a month long tour. In addition to Delhi and Ajmer, he had also visited Karjan, in Vadodara,Gujarat to lay the  foundation of India's headquarters of Minhaj-ul-Quran International (MQI). During the visit, Dr. Qadri had refused to comment on issue of communal riots in Gujarat and also thanked Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister for providing him Z plus security cover.

Despite the fact the  civilian government of Nawaz Sharif has handed over security of Islamabad to the Pakistan Army and Imran Khan and Dr. Qadri are accused of having links with ISI, so far the Pakistan Army has not shown any inclination to take advantage of volatile political situation in the country and advised all the parties concerned to defuse the situation though dialogue.

However, Pakistan army is reportedly not happy with Nawaz government for treatment being meted out to former President General Parvez Musharraf who is virtually placed under house arrest and facing some serious charges, including killing of Benazir Bhutto, in Pakistani courts.

Thus there is a possibility that Pakistan army may bargain with Nawaz Sharif government to bring normalcy and allowing Nawaz Sharif to remain in power if General Musharraf is allowed to leave the county to avoid any serious punishment to him.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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