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Islamic Republic of Pakistan, sincerely tried to celebrate the birthday of our Prophet (PBUH)

  • October 19, 2021

Politics essentially is a this-worldly business. But manipulative governments throughout history often pretended to be holier-than-thou to perpetuate themselves in power. And the one we have been living with in Pakistan since August 2018 seems behaving too loud while flaunting its very own brand of religiosity.   

Doing this, the government’s narrative-managers consistently but recklessly forget that as a society we are not the recent converts to Islam. This religion came to us more than a thousand years ago and it spread widely in areas, once perceived as comprising the Indus Valley. 

Our ancestors had embraced Islam, primarily due to the soft but dedicated preaching and stunningly humble practices by a very long chain of successive mystics. They had also inculcated a very deep love for our Prophet (PBUH) in our hearts. This love has rather become an integral part of our collective DNA. We don’t need any government’s edicts or goading to prove our devotion in this respect. 

Yet the Imran government is certainly going extra miles to promote itself as the first-ever government of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, which sincerely tried to celebrate the birthday of our Prophet (PBUH) on a grand scale. 

Since the advent of the current national assembly session last week, the government had miserably been failing to collect at least 86 members from its ranks to maintain the quorum. Instead of pulling its members with effective messaging, the government eventually felt no shame in attempting to manage a full and orderly house by invoking the most sacred name of our Prophet (PBUH). 

On the day’s agenda prominently displayed was an item. It indicated that Ali Muhammad Khan, the minister of state for parliamentary affairs, would move a motion. The motion intended: “This House may discuss the Uswa-e-Hasna (the praise worthy life and conduct) of our Holy Prophet (PBUH).”  

Pray tell me, which Pakistani, even if not a devout Muslim, could dare saying no to such a motion? Yet Shahbaz Sharif, the PML-N President and the opposition leader in the national assembly, decided to prove himself a better student of Machiavelli while preventing the government from engaging the house by hypocritically invoking religiosity. 

At the outset of Monday sitting, Shahbaz Sharif smartly took advantage of his status and forced the Speaker to give him the floor. He started with a lengthy preamble, humbly referring to mass scale celebrations related to the birthday of our Prophet (PBUH). After paying appropriate tributes in sincere sounding humility, he gradually switched to rub in a long list of points, aimed at showing to the world that contrary to compassionate and poor-friendly teachings of our Prophet (PBUH), the Imran government had heartlessly been pursuing policies that unleashed a relentless wave of inflation. An average Pakistani with limited or uncertain income, he kept insisting, was increasingly finding it extremely difficult even to survive, forget hoping for a better future.

Throughout the opposition leader’s speech, hawks sitting on the government benches kept feeling extremely edgy and uncomfortable. They even criticized the PTI-nominated Speaker for letting the opposition leader speak and speak. 

Asad Qaisar considers himself the smartest Aleck under the sun, however. He genuinely seemed to imagine that in return of savoring the privilege of getting the mike at the outset of the sitting, Shahbaz Sharif would let the house smoothly proceed with the rest of the day’s agenda. And he proved completely naïve on this count. Shahbaz Sharif rather took him for a comfortable ride.

 The government could still have turned tables, if it had firmly stuck to the idea of devoting the whole sitting of Monday to commemorate the birthday of our Prophet (PBUH). Instead of focusing on it, though, the government desperately desired that Murad Saeed should first be given the floor for responding to the points rubbed in by Shahbaz Sharif. 

This youthful minister of communication is considered the Alpha loyalist of Imran Khan. The government habitually depends on his delirious verbosity to settle political scores with the likes of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Shahbaz Sharif. But Murad Saeed had no chance even to flutter for the flight Monday; not enough members were sitting on the treasury benches for establishing the quorum. The opposition instinctively spotted this vulnerability, firmly demanded the headcount and the house had to be adjourned until Wednesday afternoon. 

I would simply have disregarded with almost contempt, if another sitting of the national assembly had to be adjourned for the lack of quorum, (nothing unusual about it). But being an ordinary Muslim, fully aware and ashamed of my flaws and faults, I felt deeply hurt over the fact that the most beloved and sacred name of our Prophet (PBUH) was wantonly used to maintain quorum and engage a house crowded with politicians, solely driven by this-worldly temptations. Sadly, I am also forced to exclusively blame the government for leading us to such a pain-inducing state. 

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