Dr Tahirul Qadri has taken Pakistani political scene by storm with his arrival and address at a huge public gathering in Lahore on December 23 2012. He has been a social and religious figure for more than two decades. His is a centre right ideology blended with the concept of social Islam.

This ideology borrows from ‘Suhl-e-Kul’ from traditional Sufi version of inclusive social and religious thought, which later on was further developed into pluralistic Islam of Indian sub-continent. This moderate, inclusive interpretation has dominantly been non violent. The ideology has been under criticism for being a status quo force in Indian subcontinent for being supportive to monarchs, dictators however, Tahirul Qadri amalgamates traditional thought with social Islam and vows to eradicate conservative, historical non-progressive social structures and dreams to create an egalitarian society.

MQM’s support to him manifests its keenness to represent urban and semi-urban classes in Punjab. One of the biggest hurdles in the way has been MQM’s secular colour which is not acceptable to increasingly right leaning urban middle classes in Punjab. Standing shoulder to shoulder with a man who is a strong proponent of Sunni Bralvi Islam followers, of which make more than 80 percent of MQM’s supporters, would give MQM both internal strength as well as acceptance in still majority Sunni Bralvi Punjab. MQM’s ideological stand against status quo forces completely overlaps with Dr Qadri’s agenda hence making them see eye to eye. Leaving establishment’s role aside there is a lot common and complimentary between Dr Tahirul Qadri and MQM. No one knows what would come out of this but one thing is clear that the real ruling classes in Pakistan have once again asserted themselves in a quest to gain lost ground.


Australia, January 1.