News Release

Pakistan: “Father of the Taliban” Trying to Oust Democratically Elected Government

Al Jazeera is reporting: “Pakistan opposition protesters pressure PM Imran Khan to resign.”

JUNAID AHMAD, [in Islamabad, Pakistan], junaidsahmad at gmail.com
Ahmad is director of the Center for Global Dialogue and professor of Middle Eastern politics at the University of Lahore, Pakistan. See his interviews on The Real News.

He said today: “After more than a year in power, the popular Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI (Movement for Justice) ruling government is confronting its most dangerous assault yet. Despite the country being dogged by unscrupulous, criminal, and illegal capital flight by the ruling elites of the country as soon as Khan took power, as well as a concerted campaign of economic warfare from foreign powers to compel the PTI government to accept an IMF loan package, Khan’s supporters knew that he would face such opposition, both internally and externally, and have steadfastly weathered a very difficult storm in Pakistan’s political economy. …

“Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, called the ‘father of the Taliban’ because of his vast network of madrassas (Muslim religious seminaries that have been turned into the production factory of ‘warriors of Islam’), and his political party JUI(F), desire to maintain a monopoly over all things religious. …

“[He] has urged and paid for huge caravans from all provinces to converge in Islamabad, where they are now. There is little question that the Maulana’s [religious leader’s] own irrelevance could not bring out these vast numbers. All serious analysts know that, at the very least, he is being lavishly supported from New Delhi and Washington. All of these external powers cannot fathom a clear-headed and sensible leader of Pakistan [who doesn’t] subordinate his country to Western diktat, maintains the country’s sovereignty, desires peace in the region and beyond, and advances social justice and pluralism at home. …

“However, a significant amount of these protesters are heavily armed. This does not bode well, and will probably amount to a bloody showdown in the already cordoned off city of Islamabad.”