On the call of the Difa-e-Pakistan Council, thousands of marchers streamed toward the capital in a massive convoy of vehicles to protest the government’s decision to reopen Nato supply routes, with the rally’s leaders threatening to enter Islamabad even if it were sealed. The DPC insists it is defying the government and the establishment in carrying out its long march, but many analysts see the situation differently. For over two decades, Pakistan has been plagued by the dark creatures born of its own mistakes and flawed policy choices, as well as a failure to provide a counter-narrative to the one supplied by the ultra-right. The repercussions of this are too obvious to require repetition.
In so far as DPC rallies are an expression of political speech, no one can deny right-wing parties the right to assert their own political credentials and positions. But the problems and suspicions arise given that the DPC was born under mysterious circumstances and parties normally at odds with each other on many religious and political issues came together with great speed and eagerness. If the alliance was indeed put together to put pressure on the United States about anti-Americanism on the Pakistani street, what will become of this whipped up sentiment now that the state has clearly changed its mind and decided to go ahead with the supplies’ resumption? Does the DPC’s march signal the beginning of an ‘intended’ end or is the latest show of numbers another signal to the US that there are still many battles to fight and many more rounds of dialogue to negotiate?