It has been almost two weeks and the federal capital of Pakistan is under siege. A sit-in at Faizabad interchange has actually halted the traffic and connectivity of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. The same old game of mixing politics with religion to achieve desirable result is being played, the religious clerics having all joined hands in the name of protecting religion.

At Faizabad interchange the hundreds of ‘hijacked minds’ are demanding the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid. Sadly, the government cannot do much about it as after hanging Mumtaz Qadri last year, it finds itself at war with religious clerics.

The residents of twin cities are held hostage to the religious clerics whose only business is selling religion. These religious clerics sell their own interpretation of religion to their followers and make sure that each and every sect remains hostage to their brand of preaching so they can enjoy the power and wealth. The religious clerics have successfully built a religious business empire that is worth billions of rupees. This business empire has also given them the authority and hegemony over religious narrative of the state.

Their alliance with the establishment has always been successful in giving birth to a national narrative based on religious hatred and a wish to conquer the world through weapons. Such is the power of the establishment and Mullah nexus that since the creation of Pakistan, not even a single elected civilian leader or party were able to challenge this nexus and their narrative.

The religious clerics operate through a network control the religious sentiments and ideologies of the common citizen. The followers or devotees are taught not to question any of the religious interpretations of these religious clerics. So, the end result is the millions of brains who lack the understanding about modern civilization and who actually kill others merely on the difference of opinion.

The religion business empire actually runs on the back of devotees’ inability to think critically and without prejudice. Devotees after becoming ideologically hostage to their respective Mullahs, peers actually turn in to zombies and are used by these religious businessmen. Even the most educated among masses are held hostage to the self-created religious beliefs.

From Zulfikar Bhutto to Benazir Bhutto and now Nawaz Sharif, all have been toppled or weakened by the help of the faith industry. The faith industry acts as guardian and custodian of the narrative of the establishment and in return they are given free hand to massacre anyone in the name of religion. This faith industry works by the basic economics rule of demand and supply. The religious clerics sell the religious doctrine with the hidden agenda to control people’s minds and the devotees or followers buy it for the satisfaction of their inner emptiness or to get rid of the burden of guilt as per the belief.

Guilt is actually the force behind followers and devotees buying this drug of self-created beliefs and doctrines. After selling expired milk, stolen or faulty mobiles, after occupying lands and selling illegal properties or taking bribes and kick-backs everyone needs to get rid of the guilt. By giving donations to these religious clerics or following them blindly not only makes one free from the burden of guilt and sin but also guarantees a good moral and character certificate in society.

This faith industry, knowing their clients’ needs, actually provides them with the relief and in return takes control of society’s social fabric. From shrines to mosques to imambarghas, everyone is busy in minting money at the expense of devotees and followers. So the establishment, when left with no option, always uses the faith industry to exploit the masses to manipulate the desired policies.

The Faizabad sit-in by Tehreek-e-Labaik is a classic example of the faith industry and establishment nexus. The protestors in the sit-in want the resignation of the Law Minister Zahid Hamid for allegedly making changes in electoral form which as per their perspective challenges the finality of Prophethood and it is a conspiracy to please Ahmadis on the behest of western powers.

The agony is that millions of people think the same. Such is the state of hallucination that it has given birth to a paranoid society where millions of believers feel threatened by a few thousand Ahmadis, Christians and other minorities. Knowing the state of the mind of followers these faith business merchants are cashing in by declaring that religion and holy personalities are in danger. The faith industry actually claims to defend religion and God and the devotees and believers like opium addicts follow them. No one thinks logically that violence breeds violence and it is this religious and faith industry that has actually been responsible for the extremism in society and for creating millions of useless minds who are unable to contribute towards the betterment or advancement of modern civilization.

The billions of rupees given as charity to these religious clerics, if given to a hospital, a science and technology research center or to some educational institute, can actually enable us to produce minds like Stephen Hawking. Stephen is better, the people who invented polio drops or who invented heart surgery are better or Khadim Hussain Rizvi or Mumtaz Qadri is better, we can easily answer this question.

Whenever our child or loved one falls ill we go to hospital to get them treated, not to religious clerics. If we can only understand that it is science and knowledge that actually helps humanity, not the mere sloganeering of protecting God and religion, we can surely get rid of the extremism, but it seems a dream thus far.

Coming back to the sit-in, for the incumbent government, the dynamics are completely different. The government knows that if it uses force to disburse protesters the religious clerics will take the fight to the streets by declaring war against the government by declaring it blasphemous. This could actually create unrest through the entire country and thus help the establishment to topple the government before the senate elections in March.

The faith industry knows it and they are exploiting the situation to their advantage. The establishment seems happy as it can give them the opportunity to put the final nail in the coffin of PML-N government. The sitting government is in no hurry to disburse the protesters who have virtually halted the everyday lives of the common citizens of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Welcome to Pakistan a country still living in the stone age and being hijacked by the faith industry mafia.