Why the silence?
It’s been over half a year since we’ve heard from that wonderful consortium of crazy people, the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC). There haven’t been any news reports of large rallies of the sort held by the DPC last year. Even when tensions with India mounted in January this year as a result of the killing of Indian troops along the LoC, there was no agitation of the sort one had come to expect from the DPC.
There are some reports that the DPC continues to be active and operating in stealth mode. We are told that the U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan, Richard Olsen met with DPC’s leader Sami ul-Haq this past month and requested his assistance in DC’s ongoing attempts to negotiate with the Taliban. The DPC may be working behind the scenes, but the drive to mobilize public sentiment in favor of hardline causes seems to have fizzled out.
Mujahid Hussain’s piece in the Viewpoint potentially offers some clues as to why:
According to well placed reports, it has been decided at a high-level meeting that the Defence of Pakistan Council [Difa-e-Pakistan Council] would not be allowed to hold rallies in major cities of Pakistan as the leaders of the Defence of Pakistan Council are adding to the country’s external problems.
This meeting was held at the Presidency. A high-ranking military representative was also present. However, the military representative remained non-committal during the meeting.Jamat-ud-Dawa, responsible for arranging all the rallies and meetings of the Defence of Pakistan Council, and Jamat’s head, Hafiz Saeed, are known for their extremist views. Given this background, Pakistan is facing disturbing situation at the external front.
However, the powers that be do not want to render the Defence of Pakistan Council ineffective even if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already warned that the Defence of Pakistan Council is harming Pakistan’s interests at external front.
Most likely, a terrified civil government will beg the GHQ and request the military leadership to help rein in the Defence of Pakistan Council. [The Viewpoint]
But it appears that the burner has has been reduced from hot to simmer. The utility of the groups that constitute the DPC hasn’t been forgotten by the powers-that-be in Rawalpindi; yet there appears to be some sort of attempt to check the hitherto unbridled freedom with which the DPC operated. It is an old game that the generals at GHQ think they have mastered. The operative word there being “think.”