The capital is choked, nearly paralyzed for the past ten days by a puritanical fervors and slithering religiosity that permeated through its skin several decades ago; cementing the two nation theory, Islam and the True-Muslim onto the to-be carved Hindustan. Needling a misconstrued ideology of a league onto an infantile land struggling to find its face in the dark, thousands of protesters with tremendous constitutional control and might have explicitly untangled who our strongest banger is.
These protesters have settled at the Faizabad Interchange, clogging D-Chowk and the rest of the capital like the cork oak that blocks the gushing red wine.
Piercing through the ideological demarcations and juxtapositions embedded in the capital, representatives of the predominantly Sunni Religious parties continue to sit in protest to ensure the sanctity of the Khatm-i-Nabuwwat oath in the Elections-Act 2017 as part of the Tehrik-e-Khatme Nabuwwat (movement of the finality of the Prophet). The movement, run by burning passion and raging religious sentiments was solidified by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1974. It is when he declared the Ahmediyya Community ‘Non-Muslims’ in the constitution of Pakistan.
The protest was instigated when excerpts of the Election-Act floated on social media without (clauses) 7-A and 7-B that solemnly declare the second half of the Islamic faith: the end of Prophet-hood after the last Prophet of God. While the Federal Government rejected the allegations of removing these poignant clauses, the protesters stood firm on their demand for the resignation of the Minister of Law, Zahid Hamid, resulting in a metaphorical angina in the heart of the country.
Islamabad, by name, is where Islam is abaad- living with all its adulterated and unadulterated senses, despite (and irrespective of) its modernist twists and liberal undertones.
The routes to Rawalpindi have been blocked for hours at a stretch; where cars stand with no movement and where two deaths have taken course in ambulances crammed between vehicles, churning claustrophobia, anger, frustration and injustice altogether. Presently, negotiations between the two parties are being rolled out as the National Assembly on Thursday unanimously ‘passed amendments to the Election Act 2017 to reinstate clauses 7-A and 7-B.’ The clauses, before the reinstatement had omitted the status of the Ahmediyas from the Elections Act after the constitutional amendment of 1974. Zahid Hamid in an effort to prove his loyalty to Islam and his true identity as a Muslim and as an aashiq, declared that he and his family are in fact, real Muslims who solemnly and passionately believe in the finality of the Prophet.
The High Court weighs in on the matter
While the High Court ordered the Government on Thursday to end the sit-in till 10 am (the 18th of November) at Faizabad, the capital remains to be heavily intoxicated with maulvis, mullahs and representatives of the religious parties stubbornly exercising their right to dissent. Their protest has prompted religious demonstrations at chaurangi (Karachi), blocking roads and people alike. In the words of Ahsan Iqbal relating to the order of the Court, “Our forces have the capability to clear the area but we are keeping the operation as the last option. This is not a sign of weakness but we are doing this out of respect for the matter of finality of Prophet-hood.”
The intensity of the situation is severe and cannot be undermined (nor can it be misunderstood) in terms of its repercussions, considering that Islamabad has been captivated and made to apologize before the trigger can be pulled. Security measures have been taken as the residents of I-8 are told to remain in their respective houses and those at Murree road have been advised to move to secure locations as the traffic remains to be inconveniently and most terribly jammed at the outskirts of the city.