The famous Shakespearean work that ‘all’s well that ends well’ fits to the government’s endless adventures that started with a noble intention but ended up otherwise, thanks to its botched operations, problematic goals and complex strategies. The context stems from the recent developments coming from the governmental quarters regarding the ongoing march, which is a violent march, of the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) on Islamabad from Lahore. Now, we hear that the government has agreed to release TLP workers, who were rounded up for their involvement in violent protests. Not only that, the government will revise the names on the Fourth Schedule list (and will get TLP leaders off the list) and last but not the least, their head Saad Rizvi will be released. These developments came from Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, presumed to be the architect of the operation against the TLP workers, at a news conference in Islamabad on Sunday.
The question arises that despite knowing well the ability of the TLP to jam roads and cities because of its dedicated religious and political following, the government went ahead with the operation against a crowd occupying a section of roads in Lahore and later showed retreat. This is not the first botched operation by the government against the banned outfit. In earlier operations, the government had to withdraw its stated position, resulting in emboldening the banned group to take law in their hands and coerce concessions. The TLP march which started from Lahore, and crashed the barricades and heavy contingent of police has now arrived at Muridke on Lahore-Islamabad GT Road and has been told by their leadership to stay put there after the government assured them of resolving the issues through talks. If talks were to be tried, they should have been given a chance before the TLP resorted to the march.
The TLP has made its name for violent marches and disruptive protests. Earlier this year, when the government detained their leader Saad Rizvi, the faction killed several police officials and damaged public and private properties. The government registered terrorism cases against its workers and never showed seriousness to conclude them. This is not the way of state-level working. This is the surrender of the state to a lawless crowd. In the first place, continuous detention of Saad Rizvi cannot be defended when higher courts have ordered his release. The government must engage the party, which has participated in all election activities since 2018, and has performed well. Moreover, it is also a dangerous trend to let the terrorists off scot-free.