ISLAMABAD - Some incidents taking place during the last couple of days indicate that cracks have started appearing in the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC) - a conglomerate of over 40 religious and political parties and groups - that had emerged with a firm resolve to strengthen the defence of the country.
The sources aware of the developments say the leadership of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has started distancing itself from the rallies and protests of the DPC with a ‘go-slow policy’ that is a cause of major concern for the alliance.
An activist of a religious party and very close to the DPC leaders on the condition of anonymity said the leadership as well as activists of JI came joined the March 27 protest and sit-in very late in front of the Parliament House against the possible resumption of Nato supplies and the new terms of engagement with the US. He said the sit-in call had been given on the insistence of the JI on March 26 and the major allies in the DPC had to face difficulty to get agreed JI to extend the date for a day, but the JI’s final response was beyond comprehension.
According to an insider, the JI is moving away from the public gatherings on an assumption that the other religious parties in the DPC will take political mileage from the large rallies.
He said the JI had also recently held a separate meeting in Karachi after a DPC rally to prove that it had the strength to hold big rallies without support of DPC.
JI Islamabad chapter chief former MNA Mian Muhammad Aslam was contacted for comments but he did not respond to the call. Similarly, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, the chief of the faction of his own faction of PML, is also now not visible at the DPC meeting due to some unknown reasons. Sources said Sheikh Rashid wanted to gain political support from these rallies, but the response disappointed him and he thought that it would not be a proper forum for him.
They further said previously, he had been weighing options to join Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) but currently looking into other possibilities to save his political career.
The PM-L Zia head, Ijazul Haq, is facing tough resistance from the activists of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), formerly known as Sipaha-e-Sihaba Pakistan (SSP), for being the former federal minister for religious affairs when the Lal Masjid operation was launched during the Pervez Musharraf regime.
A leader of a religious party said the activists of ASWJ started raising slogans against Ijaz whenever he came on the podium to deliver a speech in the DPC rallies. According to insiders, Sheikh Rashid did not face similar opposition though he was also the federal information minister in the previous regime.
Moreover, the sources confided to The Nation that criticism has started from the inner ranks of DPC over the recent incident of arrest and release of ASWJ’s chief Maulana Ahmed Ludhianvi.
Some of the component parties have started criticising Ludhianvi for his participation in the March 27 event, saying he should have avoided it as the local administration had already imposed a ban on his entry in the capital.
The Islamabad Police have also registered a case against him for delivering speeches allegedly to promote sectarianism in the society.