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HomeWORLDWith Imran losing ground post May 9, religious fringe loses key ally

With Imran losing ground post May 9, religious fringe loses key ally

(Pakistan Package) Pakistan’s radical Islamic groups and political parties post Imran’s political reckoning?. Image Source: IANS News

Islamabad, Aug 12 : In Pakistan, religious parties, organisations and many hardline religious groups have forced sitting governments to “bow down” to their knees through protests, rallies and sit-ins on issues related to their self-perceived notion of government’s inability to respond aggressively on incidents, events and statements issued by their political leaders or representatives of other countries.

We have seen violent confrontational protests staged across the country, paralysing and seizing connectivity between cities and bringing the country on a standstill by religious groups in the past.

However, with the ouster of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and the “bad performance” of the Shehbaz Sharif government, radical religious groups seem to have settled their aggression within themselves.

Other than religious groups, political parties with religious credentials have also been kept away from the spotlight.

While there can be many reasons behind this sudden change, one factor that seems to fit right is the fact that religious parties have always required the support of a mainstream political party to operate in alliance. Reason being that religious parties in Pakistan and their consistency with the religious norms and practices, keep them at arms length from the ruling quarters.

“Religious parties want Shariah law imposed in the country. Their views are seen more as a conservative approach by the rest of the world. This is why they need a conventional alliance with a conventional political party with moderate views, with who they can team up,” said Adnan Shauqat, senior political analyst.

“This time we have seen a coalition government in place. And with almost all parties except one being in the government, religious parties probably couldn’t find an alliance for themselves,” he added.

Adnan Shauqat said that religious groups couldn’t find a teammate since Imran Khan became a no-go affiliation since May 9 violence.

“One other factor why these radical groups have gone quiet is because… they couldn’t support Imran Khan after May 9 riots, they can never afford to stand against the military establishment because that’s their support base as well, and they couldn’t choose an ally within the coalition government to take their side for an anti-government protest or movement,” said Adnan Shauqat.

Religious groups and parties in Pakistan constitute a massive public support and vote bank, thus making them an entity that cannot be ignored by any political force. And with elections campaigning starting, these silent religious groups would certainly have their doors knocked with friendly political visitors and lucrative offers to gain their support.

Pakistan is an Islamic Republic and religious followers, emotional supporters or religious groups and their leaders, who declare themselves as the saviors of Islam, is a sentiment no one can oppose. People who at times are part of protests and rallies of religious groups are not necessarily part of the organisation but are supportive of the pro-Islam slogan that the group carries, making these groups a formidable force with a capacity of engaging through all corner of the country in a matter of hours.

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