From Rana Sanaullah’s resignation to enforcement of Shariah

Few thousand followers of Pir of Sial Sharif gathered in front of shrine of Data Sahib at Bhatti Chowk Lahore.  Pir Hameeduddin Sialvi addressed the Khatam-e-Nabuwat Conference and gave 7 days dead line to enforce Shariah in the country. He threatened to launch the protest movement in every corner and street of country, if his demand is not met.

This was the third Khatam-e-Nabuwat conference organised under the leadership and guidance of Pir of Sial in last two months. Earlier two protests were held at Faisalabad and Gujranwala. The protest had originally started with a single demand of resignation by Law Minister Rana Sanaullah for his controversial remarks in a TV programme. But, on Saturday, Pir Sialvi just demanded implementation of Shariah laws in the country in seven days.

Pir Sialvi also directed the participants not to vote for the PML-N in the next general elections because, he said, the party had failed to punish the offenders who tinkered and tampered with the text of oath on finality of the Prophet (PBHU). The Pir also supported the “jail bharo (fill the jails)” movement announced by the Tehreek-i-Labaik Ya Rasool Allah, starting from Jan 27, during which the TLYR claimed 100 workers of the party would court arrests daily till all jails in the province were filled.

The conference was attended by the workers the TLYR, the Sunni Ittehad Council, the Sunni Tehreek and other religious and spiritual leaders belonging to the Barelvi school of thought. The other leaders of different parties and organisations also spoke in the conference. They also stressed to the participants not to vote for PML-N in the upcoming general elections. 

At Faisalabad conference, five of the PML-N lawmakers – two MNAs Nisar Ahmad Jutt and Ghulam Bibi Bharwana and three MPAs; Maulana Rehmatullah, Nizamuddin Sialvi and Khan Muhammad Baloch – had announced to resign. It was expected that some more law makers will resign but it did not happened. 

Pir Sialvi is one of the most respected religious spiritual leaders of the country. He is custodian of the Sial Sharif shrine. He has following in the different cities and areas of Punjab. Many politicians and law makers are his followers. Now he is using his religious clout to generate a protest movement to force the government to accept his demands.  He demanded resignation of Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah during the Faizabad sit-in. 

The different parties, organisations, religious leaders and pirs belonging to Barelvi sect is fighting to gain maximum ground and support among the Barelvi voters. They are using the sensitive issue of Khatam-e-Nabuwat to gain political support among the religious voters.

This movement has clear political agenda and just using religious slogans to exploit the religious sentiments of the people. It is becoming clear that this movement is aimed to cut support for PML-N. It might be able to take away few thousand votes from PML-N in some constituencies in Punjab. This movement is gradually increasing pressure on the government. It will be interesting to see the next step. But this movement is not going to wither away easily and soon.

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