LAHORE: A red flag is always considered a sign of revolution besides being a representative sign of the Leftist movements across the world showing conflicts with religious elements ever since, but now one could see it fluttering on the front of Inqilab March (Revolution March) being spearheaded by a religious scholar, Dr Tahirul Qadri, which has stirred up a new debate.
Though the Pakistan Aawmi Tehreek (PAT) – the political wing of Dr Qadri’s Minhajul Quran International Movement – has its own party flag that is quite distinct from other religious and political parties struggling for their independent agendas, the adoption of red flag by PAT has generated many questions.
The PAT flag consists of three coloured stripes, including red on the top, white in the centre and green at the bottom.
The white stripe signifies peace, green highlights religious identification while red represents radical school of thought in the religion, PAT Punjab Information Secretary Ishfaq Minhas said when he was asked to explain composition of his party flag.
When the PAT spokesperson was asked reason behind waving a huge red flag on the front of their march instead of party flag, he said that they know it very well that the red flag is a sign of the Leftists and radicals but that it was also used by Shia Muslims as their identity for Islamic revolution and that the Majlis Wahdatul Muslamin (MWM) – an organisation of Shias that is a part of Inqilab March – had introduced it as a leading flag of the Inqilab March being an ally of Dr Qadri’s movement for bringing about a change in Pakistan.
He confirmed that a huge red flag has been fluttering on the front of Dr Qadri’s residence and Minhajul Quran International Secretariat in Model Town for the past one week and that over a dozen of devotees were guarding it all the time.
He said that some progressive elements of society and liberal religious sections, especially those who are against terrorism and existing system that had failed to provide justice to common man, were also supporting them. However, he denied that the flag was being used to get some support from the Leftists for their revolutionary agenda.
Some of the participants of the Inqilab March were seen confused and found whispering against waving red flag as a leading sign of their march, considering it a manifestation of Communism and Socialism in their purely democratic yet religious rally.
Some intellectuals, who are also participants of the Inqilab March, on a query told Daily Times that time has changed and that church and progressive movements have come close to each other internationally against their hatred in the past and that they had jointly launched or supported each other on the eve of Wall Street protests and demonstrations against G-8 countries.
So, they said, progressive parties and ultra liberal religious groups in Pakistan could now consider joint ventures in great interest of the poor people for uplifting their living standards.
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