Pakistan Social Justice Group








Press Releases



MMA, LFO & Islamization

Modified Version Published in the Daily Dawn 12.06.2003 and Daily Times 24.06.2003)

Nadeem Yousaf


The leaders of religious-political parties first time became a third political force in the history of Pakistan’s politics. Whether they keep (or improve) this position in future, it very much depends upon how they do politics at the center and provincial levels. In Islamabad, MMA politics is commendable because they have taken a principle stand on LFO. The author does not agree with those who think that LFO is not a primary but a secondary issue. We must understand that LFO is a document that changes the basic fiber of the constitution and concentrate power in one Person. Gen. Musharraf has not introduced LFO to have balance of power but to keep rein of the government in his hand. We are experiencing that no decision is made without his consent; on the contrary, a decision can be made without the consent of Prime Minister. Of course, how the parliament can function when sword of LFO is hanging on it. Principally, rigged referendum does not give any right to rule the country. It is high time that we have to learn that secret of our survival is to follow the constitution and laws than praising a person or an institution. The author appreciates all those political parties, which oppose LFO and army-share in running the affair of the government. Army generals have no right in political power sharing.


When we analyze MMA style of ruling the province, it is disturbing. Contrary to the center, their style of ruling in the province is not better than any of their predecessors. They are taking such steps on the name of Islam, which are beneficial to none; unfortunately, they have announced actions till today which creates anxiety in the province. Putting restriction on cinema houses, inciting workers to break billboards, declaring Shalwar-Kameez as compulsory uniform in schools, trying to get bill passed so that women should put on veils on their faces and so on. These are all superficial actions on the name of Islam.  When they form a government in the NWFP, it was hoped that they would take actions that will improve the condition of poor people of the province. We should note that ban on alcohol is already in Pakistan; so repeating the same decision at the provincial level is meaningless action.  Anyway drinking alcohol is not a problem of Pakistan because only an insignificant number of people have drinking habit. Similarly, eradication of bank’s interest will also not resolve people’s problem but creates a new problems (any way it is still a discussion whether or not bank’s interest really fall under the concept of usury).


The leadership of MMA is not recognizing that superficial actions like Zia-ul-Haq on the name of Islam actions are diminishing their popularity at the national level.  Of course, large population of Pakistan does not want such actions. Practicing Islam is a personal matter and MMA will not be held responsible at the Doomsday if people of Pakistan offer their prayers or not. On the contrary, Islam clearly mentions that rulers will be asked whether or not they look after human rights of their subjects. It is strange that leadership of MMA does not seem to be concerned about decreasing level of corruption, increasing job opportunities and other social welfare policies. The author suggests to the leadership of MMA that if they want to remain popular on the political scene, they must consider resolving people’s real problem and issues. They must acknowledge the fact that no one can force other person to practice Islam. The MMA should forget that they are authority on Islam; all Muslims know what Islam is; if they are not practicing, it is not problem of MMA.


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