The state has once again surrendered before a politically motivated group of religious fanatics.  The government of Pakistan agreed to accept ‘all demands’ of the protesters. The protesters, then, announced their great victory and ended 22-days long Islamabad sit-in.

There was a wave of change in Pakistan. Imran Khan and his PTI were claiming to be the champions of the change. But hopes, dreams and little expectations have been white washed by the mob in Faizabad.

From a failed merger of MQM-P and PSP to this Dharna in the capital things have, it seems so obvious, the same origin and the same ‘planner’. But the failure of the merger and the end of Dharna does not mean the end of intervention of ‘hidden hand’ in Pakistan’s politics. It means quite otherwise.

At a broader level, it goes beyond. It does not only establish a link between the ‘hidden-hand’ and politics of the country. Now it has generated a heated debate about the meaning and scope of democracy in Pakistan.

Pakistan is an interesting country where semi-educated, self-declared scholars offer nothing substantial but only convoluted explanations based upon subjectively determined comparisons between the East and the West in order to justify gender inequalities and an illiberal, or to be more accurate, a confused democracy in Pakistan.

A wrongful practice of democratic theory in the United States or a rape of a girl in Germany do not justify the mob violence or public molestation of a girl in Pakistan. We need to have some objective standards rather than completely relying on others for our actions. A reactionary society is always suggested to have some serious self-introspection to identify as to what went wrong, and how to bring socio-political settings back to normal?

The gathering of people at the funeral of an assassin or some cases of mob violence in the country does not demonstrate the embodiment of the idea of western popular democracy. It can be either of the military’s or the mosque’s democracy, but not a genuine democracy.

Democracy is a philosophy, a theory and a system of governance which is a mean to an end, not an end itself. Moreover, it is, unlike religious beliefs, an evolutionary phenomenon which evolves and transforms for being real, accommodative and supportive. The end of transformation in a democracy sullies the sheen of the very idea of democratic outlook of a culture.

A mob is different from a peaceful demonstration, so are its demands and means of communication. A mob generally comes in to force the government to pay attention to their demands and respond to them accordingly. Politically speaking, when the leaders of smaller groups make sense while remaining within the existing constitutional and political settings it is hard for them to gain attention and secure political support then they tend to challenge the status quo. A genuinely Machiavellian politics comes at play and several extra-constitutional means are chosen to achieve vested political interests.

Therefore, a group of five or six thousand people represents the entire community and as per democratic norms their demands should be addressed as technically indigestible. There is a process to convey people’s demands, to fashion legislation and, above all, fundamental rights are constitutionally protected. A violent minority does not have any right to dictate a government elected by a vast majority or to deprive the lay-public of their fundamental rights.

Pakistan was on a correct path. An image of a moderate, peaceful Pakistan was being established across the globe. But we went even behind India where BJP is ruining the country’s hard-earned secular outlook. In Pakistan, as the state has surrendered the civil society remained shocked, the judiciary was upset and the youth is still not sure as to what has happened?

Things are quite clear now: who rules in Pakistan? Who controls religious fanatics? What happens whenever a civilian government dares to go against the interests of the ‘hidden-hand’? What is the significance and standing of a civilian government in Pakistan? What is the role of political opposition? What is the future of a ‘moderate-like’ Pakistan?

A precedent has been set. The government has maintained it. The ‘hidden-hand’ ensured its continuity. The religious elite assured us to avail it whenever they want to.

Next step is going to be a radical change in the curriculum with the consultation of an under-matric Hafiz-e-Quran. A guy, who has never been to a university, believes in his capacity to 'Islamise' science and perhaps to 'Pakistanise' the social science.

This is an awkward moment in the history of Pakistan. It is not just about the ‘hidden-hand’ and PML-N. Everyone in Pakistan will have to pay heavy price for this unconditional surrender of the state before an extremist group.