The Faizabad blockade and seizure of the country by Muslim clerics might be over after Pakistan Army brokered a truce between the Government and the Muslim Clerics headed by Khadim Husain Rizvi. Our freelance journalists had been predicting that the clerics have the backing of the Pakistan Army. The same came out to the public from the courts of Pakistan when Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court questioned them of the same and asked as to how armed forces are playing a role in politics.

Our old report on the protesters is here.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui

Our journalists who are freelancing and reporting from the field had already covered the story in the past that the Pakistan Army was behind the protests. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has ordered the authorities to remove the protesters and end people’s miseries. When the government launched an operation to evict the protesters and without the Army support, the authorities lost to the clerics. The paramilitary forces when ordered refused the government orders and instead asked the government to resolve the issue amicably.

 Brokered Deal

 Army Chief General Qamnar Bajwa and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reached an agreement in wee hours on Sunday. This agreement resulted in the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid and release of all detained protesters. The agreement also mentions payment of demurrage to the clerics.

There is also a reference to another accord at the end of the agreement. This second accord has been kept secret from the public. The government has not acknowledged the presence of the second accord.

Meanwhile, Rizvi claimed that the government had agreed that people accused of blasphemy will neither get any kind of relaxation not will be allowed to leave the country. It is also rumored that Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah would be asked to report to the clerics of Lal Masjid to clarify his pro-Ahmadi remarks. Earlier the Punjab Law Minister had called Pakistani Ahmadis as brothers. In the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan Ahmadis’ are not considered as Muslims. Rizvi along with his deputy Pir Afzal Qadri will decide Rana Sanaullah’s fate after a detailed investigation.

Rizvi also claimed that the government agreed to take his party’s inputs to include in religious teachings in schools and colleges. Their demand to include amendments to the law for making lodging of complaints of blasphemy easier.

 Aafia Siddiqui

Rizvi also pressed on Pakistan government to negotiate the release of Aafia Siddiqui. Aafia Siddiqui is a Pakistani lodged in American prison convicted on seven counts of attempted murder and assault of US personnel. Born in a Deobandi family in Pakistan she moved to the US to pursue her Masters and Ph.D. She completed her Ph.D. in 2001. She was radicalized in the US during her stay and was one of the seven most wanted terrorists at one point in time. She is called the “Daughter of Pakistan” in Pakistan and “Lady al-Qaeda” in the US.

In the past Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif promised to push for her release. However, US has not shown any leniency in her case even though in 2014, ISIS, the Taliban, and other Jihadi groups have offered to release hostages in exchange for her.

This last request is quite strange as Aafia Siddiqui is a notorious and trained as a neuroscientist in MIT, thus her knowledge in science could be an asset in creating nerve gases for not only Jihadi groups but also to Pakistani Army.