Tahir-ul-Qadri’s grand annual spectacle is targeting Rawalpindi as its next destination on September 3, and the Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chief has stated that a long sit-in is not on the agenda. A shorter, more decisive victory against the government is the stated outcome, but whether Mr Qadri achieves anything in this year’s storm is questionable.

We have seen this before, with Tahir-ul-Qadri showing up, bringing in crowds of followers from his religious support base, and asking for things such as the government to step down and instead place a government of technocrats in its place, forgetting that a constitution exists in Pakistan, and has certain lines that cannot be crossed. Whatever the demand, Qadri is adjusting to where the wind blows once more, and is now levelling accusations of PML-N colluding with RAW to bring about the destabilisation of the country.

Among other things, the blame of not reigning MQM’s leader in was also pinned on the PML-N government. The linkages to terrorism and RAW are beyond ridiculous. It is one thing to question the government on legitimate concerns such as the lack of investigation over what happened in Model Town, but Qadri’s latest ‘revelations’ and accusations are hardly believable and just make a mockery of the people who support him.

But no matter the heavy-handed rhetoric used by the firebrand cleric, it is important to remember that his victory would not actually result in the victory of the martyrs of APS, Quetta or all the other numerous victims of terrorist attacks in the country. While the lives lost in the Model Town incident are just as valuable, it is important to not liken terrorism with the government’s failings, because trying to meld both causes as one only disrespects the people who lost their lives. Let’s not use them for short-term political gain.

The Qisas Movement then, is nothing but an eyewash, using the lives sacrificed as a result of governmental incompetence in Model Town and trying to paint it as something much more sinister. Blood for blood is really not the answer, nor is it practical in the legal ambit of the country Tahir-ul-Qadri is currently in. For one reason or another, the Azadi/Qisas Pakistan march has sputtered and died before, so why would this time be any different?

So what happens on September 3? Is it a day of change for Pakistan, as the PAT Chief claims, where the protest will both begin and end at Rawalpindi with his decisive demands laid down? And what is the actual purpose? To bring the government to task? PAT’s political credibility and support is still practically non-existent. Tahir-ul-Qadri’s country of residence is not Pakistan and the majority of his revenue comes from his religious work internationaly. Could this then be a regular bid to increase popularity? Hopefully not, but nothing else seems to be on the agenda, because if past experience is anything to go by, the Qisas Movement is only based on rhetoric and lacks actual substance.