The rationale for the dharna (sit-in) of Maulana Fazlur Rahman is that many people were left in utter trouble. Maulana’s ideological positions and the person against whom he campaigned (Imran Khan) were not significantly different.
With his rhetoric of establishing a state on the Riasat I principles, Khan probably represents a threat to religious and political groups. The religious right may feel its (political) slogan is appropriate. The acrimony was therefore probably brought about by the rest of the opposition parties, not because the ideological positions varied, but rather because of the rivalry of the philosophies, which could have generated a misfortune among the PTI and the Jamiat-i-Ulema-i-Islam.
The right-wing parties have had a back seat in Pakistan since the left-liberal policies found it difficult to stand out from the rest because they all seem to embrace the same ideological norms. They attempt to stand out by stressing their social agenda, in particular by drafting their policies to alleviate the problem of the poor and launch mega-projects. In this context, the gap between politics and society is very high.
We were strongly conservative in their political ideology. The liberal-left agenda is politically being confronted by these parties. Both the PTI and the Muslim League (Nawaz) aim to improve the condition of the deprived and the deposed. It’s more than done, however. It is the same political language and monotony of political action that has become a permanent characteristic of Pakistan’s politics. Both groups also are filled with Conservatives who have little interest in establishing their policies and objectives.
In addition to the charismatic personality, the personal (material) gain of Pakistan’s policy is another factor. Politics has practically become a business since the undertaking of the Sharif family. Ideology and idealism, therefore, have no practical value other than eccentricities. Material profit is a mantra which even Maulana Fazlur Rehman and his colleagues have conquered.
Nonetheless, Maulana’s endangered status in the political scene now is the main focus of the remaining part of this column. The Dharna, however, was a desperate attempt to demonstrate that he and his party still have relevance even though there is hardly any room in the national political scene for ideological parties (religious or any other).