The Rise of the TLP and the way PTI government surrendered were so apologetic that it was surprising to everyone. Every religious party or group that resorts to militancy one way or another gets support from Rawalpindi. But it is their strategy and not ideology that makes them extend their support to such militants. What happened during general Zia’s days was that our prime agencies were neck-deep involved in the Afghan war because of their huge interest that later they even attacked not only the president Musharraf but also the GHQ.
But during General Musharraf and even post-General Parvez Musharraf days they tried their best to clear out these elements which were mainly because of their own interest as the institution consists of the privileged class. So, maybe one section may be backing TLP but the reliable sources in the army say that it is not a powerful section that is patronizing these people.
We have had the past experience of Lal Masjid in 2007 when the heart of Islamabad was turned into a Battleground between the militants and the security forces. Hundreds of lives were lost on both sides.
The reason to look back in the past at the Lal Masjid operation is that the Lahore-based TLP is not getting that significant support. TLP is receiving huge financial support from within and outside Pakistan and a brother religious Islamic country is also watching over them. When we look closely at the current situation, it looks indeed like it is a major threat. But in the near future, they will become an even bigger threat for the state like JEM, LET and TTP.
Initially, perception of a common man and even for people outside Pakistan regarding proscribed TLP was that it had crushed the PTI government. But those who had witnessed the militancy of “Bhai” Altaf Hussain in Karachi and the Lashkars and the Taliban’s era of three decades, know quite well that such type of militancy cannot sustain for a long period of time. As we know that during Afghan war, the Taliban and Al Qaeda and their outlet Lashkars and Sipahs sustained and strengthened by the support of CIA and ISI nucleus.
That is another thing that when Afghan war abruptly ended and it, they rose on both sides of the Durand line and then they miscalculated the power of the state. Despite all its weaknesses, Pakistan is not be doing well on many fronts but we should not forget that army generals from Punjab know their value and know geographical significance first for the US in the past and now for China.
The Barelvi TLP is a new phenomenon especially in Punjab and it is an undeniable reality that they are getting support from within Pakistan from small sections as well as outside.
But the way the lower middle-class workers came out on the streets at police stations, kidnapped security forces, was indeed worrisome. And there is a doubt that some other militant group penetrated into TLP and then the young TLP leadership got scared that the situation and movement have gotten out of their control. So TLP wants a comfortable agreement with the government to save face clearly suggests that they don’t have much strength to come back again and this compromise clearly suggests they are nowhere near to LET, JEM or TTP.
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