It would make sense, wouldn’t it? Both Pervez Musharraf and Tahir-ul-Qadri are entirely peripheral figures when it comes to actually getting any meaningful number of votes, but both enjoy significant followings, and currently have the same goal in mind.
Notwithstanding the sublime symbolism in a former Army chief joining hands with an Islamic scholar, the commonalities do not end there.
Both Mush and TUQ have formed alliances of varying capacities and indeed a diverse state of existence. That these alliances could ally to form an alliance of alliances, which could be a unique sight even for Pakistani politics, which of course has witnessed decades of amusing political gymnastics.
But before we get into the most scrumptious bit about the potential alliance of alliances, let’s first discuss why it would make absolute sense, in addition to the fact that it would allow two irrelevant figures their day(s) in the sun.
Just like IK and TUQ have the same backers, those backers have actually worked under Mush. The same support system never harms any ecological environment.
The move would also perfectly round off the establishment-Islamist parties take over that is there for all for those with, or without, eyes to see.
Even so, what makes this perfectly cooked for all to consume is the fact that it would be palatable for those that might be concerned around the world as well.
These include Beijing, whose participation in the BRICS summit and the recent backtracking over certain CPEC related projects is worrying.
For, TUQ absolutely is a better alternative than Hafiz Saeed.
Over the last couple of months Mush has been wooing the Milli Muslim League, Jamaat Ud Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba – take your pick – by underscoring how he’s a fan of LeT. None of those he has confessed this love to – outside the Hafiz Saeed conglomerate of course – has actually asked Mush why he banned the group in 2002 considering the volumes of mutual affection.
Of course it is mutual for the MML is also looking for ‘patriotic’ leaders to join their yet to be formed bandwagon. That their definition of ‘patriotic’ is someone currently under trial for treason is also fitting. But Hafiz Saeed’s concern right now is getting his bandwagon registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan.
TUQ meanwhile neither has any such roadblocks nor is a globally designated terrorist that even China is worried about. Furthermore, he has Justice Baqar Najafi’s damning report on the Punjab government in his hand and has all the arsenal to lock Lahore down as a New Year’s present to Pakistani politics.
TUQ, therefore, with perhaps the most crucial task against the current democratic system at hand – that is of getting rid of the PML-N bigwigs from Punjab – will make the ideal foil in the one-two punch that has been an age-old double whammy for civilian authority, and recently has been brewing since the Dawn Leaks from October 2016.
Another factor that makes TUQ more attractive is that he isn’t leading a group of former – or current – jihadists that are being mainstreamed into Pakistani politics. As things stand, he is spearheading an array of Pakistan’s mainstream political parties that are collectively mainstreaming themselves into the only narrative that is being allowed to exist in the country.
This is where Mush-TUQ alliance would not just represent the coming together of the two entities that uphold and cement that narrative, but also perfectly epitomise the duplicity on display with PPP – PAT’s alliance – coming together with Musharraf, whom they accuse of killing Benazir Bhutto.
But of course when dismissing the Sharif family is being deemed the ultimate high to ‘save democracy’ in the country – by civilians and the soldiers alike – it should be perfectly okay for the Bhutto-Zardaris to simultaneously chant ‘qaatil qaatil Musharraf qaatil’ and then fight for the same goal with him.
A different version of this episode is what has got the PTI and PPP together after all.
So Mush and TUQ getting together along with their wide array of outlaws and other political parties would be a win for everyone affiliated with democracy in Pakistan.
Except for the democratically elected ruling party, of course.