Did Maryam and Nawaz Sharif Orchestrate the TLY Dharna at Faizabad?

The 22-day long Faizabad Dharna anti-Ahmedi protest disrupted all aspects of life in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. It was too well planned and organized to be called "spontaneous". Protesters were provided with food and all other supplies they needed to sustain it for over three weeks. The question is: Who was behind this protest? Was it just the Tehrik Labbaik Ya Rasoollullah (TLY) activist mullahs seen on TV screens yelling out abuses at others? Was it the military or its intelligence agencies? Or was it politicians? Let's try and answer these questions.

Faizabad Interchange Near Islamabad
The Context:

It's important to understand the recent context to see who might have been behind these protests. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been up in arms against the military and the judiciary since he was removed from office by the Pakistan Supreme Court in August this year. The point person leading this campaign on his behalf is his daughter Maryam Nawaz. The purpose of this effort is to bring about open confrontation with the military. In the end, Nawaz and Maryam hope to prove that they are victims of a conspiracy by the military and the judiciary against democracy.

Sequence of Events:

A few weeks ago, people linked to the PMLN social media wing, managed by Maryam Nawaz, tweeted a picture of General Javed Qamar Bajwa’s father’s grave allegedly located in an Ahmadi cemetery.

The ruling PMLN propaganda against General Bajwa's faith was followed by Maryam Nawaz's husband Captain Safdar's hateful anti-Ahmadi speech in parliament in which he demanded a “ban on recruitment of Qadianis [Ahmadis] in the armed forces." This drew a sharp response from Pakistan Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor who said the following in a tweet:“When we put on the uniform we are a Pakistani soldier only, irrespective of our religion, irrespective of our province and irrespective of our clan,”

Controversial Amendment:

Law Minister Zahid Hamid introduced  Election Act, 2017 in which the words in Form-A “I solemnly swear” had been replaced with “I believe”.

Sections 7B and 7C of the Conduct of General Elections Order, 2002, which relate to the status of Ahmadis, had also been omitted in the Election Act, 2017.

This caused a firestorm among the rightwing religious groups which, contrary to the advice of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, was exploited by Maryam and Nawaz Sharif to ignite protests leading up to the Faizabad Dharna.

Maryam's Intransigence:

Faizabad dharna participants demanded the resignation of Law Minister Zahid Hamid as a condition for ending their protest. Maryam Nawaz, through her close confidant and minister Maryam Auranzeb, strongly opposed the resignation demand. At the same time, there are reports that traders and merchants close to Maryam and Nawaz Sharif continued to feed and sustain the protest at Faizabad.

Instead of reaching a deal with the dharna participants, the federal government resorted to the use of force that failed to disperse the protest.  In fact, the government action resulted in nationwide expansion of the protests.  Then the federal government called the Army to bring about a confrontation between the military and the protesters.

Pakistan Army's Role: 

To its credit, the Pakistan Army understood the game being plated by Nawaz Sharif and his daughter. Instead of using force against the protesters, the Army chief General Bajwa brokered a deal that forced the government to fire its Law Minister Zahid Hamid that brought an end to the protests.


The Faizabad dharna was orchestrated by Maryam and Nawaz Sharif to create chaos and force military intervention. It started a few weeks ago when people linked to the PMLN social media wing tweeted a picture of General Bajwa’s father’s grave allegedly located in an Ahmadi cemetery. Then Nawaz Sharif's son-in-law Captain Safdar Awan made a hateful anti-Ahmadi speech in parliament to whip up anti-Army hysteria. Then came the 22-day long Faizabad dharna. Maryam and Nawaz Sharif were seeking to use the Army against this dharna and force a military takeover of the government to justify their claims of victimhood to gain public sympathy. Fortunately, the Army thwarted this conspiracy and brought the protest to a peaceful end.

Here's a discussion on this subject:


 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Nawaz Sharif Disqualification

Rising Tide of Intolerance Threatens Pakistan

Pakistan Opposition Indicts But Still Supports Nawaz Sharif

US Reported Alleges Nawaz Sharif Harassed Her

Civil-Military Ties in Pakistan

Pak Media Cheers as Right-Wing Judges Pursue Musharraf

Pakistan Army: Chief Backer and Guarantor of CPEC

Views: 299


You need to be a member of PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network to add comments!

Join PakAlumni Worldwide: The Global Social Network

Pre-Paid Legal

Twitter Feed

    follow me on Twitter

    Sponsored Links

    South Asia Investor Review
    Investor Information Blog

    Haq's Musings
    Riaz Haq's Current Affairs Blog

    Please Bookmark This Page!

    Blog Posts

    With Covid19 Under Control, Pakistan Enjoys V-Shaped Recovery in Manufacturing

    With coronavirus spread contained, Pakistan economy is rebounding with V-shaped economic recovery.   Pakistanis have once again defied all foreign and domestic doomsayers, including media, activists and think tanks of all varieties. The nation's monthly Quantum Index of Manufacturing (QIM) for July 2020 has returned to where it was a year ago in July 2019, according to data…


    Posted by Riaz Haq on September 17, 2020 at 7:00pm

    Kasur: Three of a family shot dead at home

    Punjab News

    Three members of a same family were gunned down in Kasur, Punjab province on Sunday night.

    According to details, the firing incident took place…


    Posted by Sobia Anjum on September 13, 2020 at 10:36pm

    © 2020   Created by Riaz Haq.   Powered by

    Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service