Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman and his dharna have been camping, quite literally, in Islamabad for a few days now
Tuesday, 29th of October, was a rare happy day for the majority of the Islamabadi student population. In the middle of grueling mid-terms in my university that seemed like they would never end, a soul-sucking syllabus that felt impossible to cover and mathematical differential equations that made us shed tears of blood we got an email that made us wonder if we had all died and gone to heaven.
Our exams had been postponed thanks to Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman and his dharna
The roads leading to our university had been blocked due to Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman and company’s containers and so the administration announced that the mid-terms will be postponed until further notice. While a few party poopers complained about having to study in vain, the majority of us last-day-crammers heaved a collective sigh of relief. We were finally free kuch din ke liye hee sahi, and Maulana Diesel didn’t seem all that bad at the moment. Actually, he seemed like the knight in shining orange topa to us lazy students.
But then, soon enough, Neendain Haram Ho Gain also because of Fazal Ur Rehman and his dharna
While no-exams meant we could go out, have fun, let go of all stress and sleep as long as we wanted it didn’t turn out quite as we hoped. As the day of the arrival of the maulvis into Islamabad finally came a sense of unease spread through the city like wildfire.
While, there was not much activity in the afternoon, after maghrib to late at night, the maulvis came into action. The dharna began in full swing and everybody in a four kilometer radius could clearly hear every single word spoken into the microphone. For us students, that meant absolute killjoy. We can barely catch up on our sleep- especially the people living in sectors like G-8, G-9 and so on- as the noise continued till about 2 am. And those who wanted to go out were forbidden by all the worried mothers who were sure that their child will be harmed if he/she so much as took ten steps outside of the house.
As an Islamabadi, how inconvenient really is this dharna?
Since only Kashmir Highway is heavily fortified, while there’s a substantial amount of unease for the travelers, moving about inside the city itself is actually not that hard. Some of my zealous friends decided to actually go and see the dharna for themselves because they had fond memories of a similar dharna by PTI. According to them, Maulana’s security force was containing the jalsa to a certain parameter. It seemed as though the people there didn’t have any arrangement for food, restrooms, and precautions against the uncertain weather were less than mediocre. From what they could see at the time, it seemed that the jalsa would break off soon.
Islamabadis don’t love or hate the dharna, we’re just tired of it honestly
Opinions are divided over the city. While people respect the right of peaceful protest and appreciate the voices raised for Kashmir, the fact that Maulana Fazal Ur Rehman – a man who has faced multiple corruption charges previously – is leading them is enough to give them a bad taste.
Many think this is just a strategic move on his part to save his dying political career. However, some of the religious groups do support the rally and people from Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other areas have shown support by coming to the dharna, I guess.
On the whole, though, majority of the residents of Islamabad refuse to get out of their homes at this time. There is a sense of frenzy and discomfort in the atmosphere. Whereas, us Islamabadi students are just grateful to get a few more days to practice differential equations, till the dreaded mid-terms hit us again.
Cover image via: suchtv.pk / dawn.com