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One escape too many

28 4 56

THE reports late Wednesday that Aasia Bibi might have been sent abroad after her recent acquittal by the Supreme Court revived fears about more protests erupting in the country.

Among the groups that could return with another series of demonstrations the most prominent is the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) that has learnt how to get the attention of the state, even when some of us continue to debate just how many concessions it has actually been able to extract.

It has certainly made the lives of the incumbents difficult by adopting crude ways rather than deft tactics that others in the arena have been unable to apply for one reason or another.

A day after Khadim Rizvi wrapped up his dharna at Charing Cross in Lahore, another set of protesters from outside his group persisted with their sit-in in the vicinity of Data Darbar in the city. This second group went around with a name similar to that of Khadim Rizvi’s group. Their demands were identical, too, but the slogans that they had been raising didn’t appear to have that much of an effect on the government.

The Data Darbar show was not taken too seriously because its organisers had failed to properly showcase their prowess.

After the Charing Cross dharna was wound up as a result of an agreement between the state and Khadim Rizvi & co, the government vowed again and again to punish the rioters who had vandalised public and private property. The TLP on its part recognised the........

© Dawn