New page in The Plight of Pakistani Politics
Arresting opposition leaders is an old and stinking method to assert dominance. The plotters of Pakistani politics need to device some new ideas.
Even as a bomb blast rocked Karachi’s Shireen Jinnah Colony and at least six people lost their lives, this was not the news trending among Pakistani news channels on Tuesday. The Imran Khan government has stooped down to a new low as him and his bosses at the Pakistan army headquarters arrested Retired Captain Safdar Awan who is best known as the son-in-law of Nawaz Sharif, the ex-President of Pakistan. Personnels from the Sindh Police are alleged to have broken into his and his wife- Maryam Nawaz’s hotel room and arrested, more like abducted, him under highly suspicious circumstances as no media persons or lawyers were being allowed to meet him and the police had locked the doors to the Aziz Bhatti Police Station where Awan was being detained. While Senator Saeed Ghani of the Pakistan Peoples Party has condemned the actions of Sindh Police as being unjustified, there is no way that this whole scenario could have happened without the leaders, however namesake, of the PPP orchestrating it. It is no hidden information that the politics of our neighbours is run by their military puppeteers who decide the fate of our Pakistani brothers and sisters under the garb of an “elected” “democratic” government.
This time, Safdar Awan is being targeted for speaking against Pakistan’s Quaid-e-Aazam (Father of the Nation) Mohammad Ali Jinnah and violating the sanctity of his Mazaar. But this reason appears highly unlikely and a total cover-up when one looks at the timing of this detainment. Awan was arrested within just a few hours of holding a massive public rally for his party, the PML-N (Pakistani Muslim League-Nawaz), and against the ruling PPP. It therefore comes as no surprise that the delicate ego of Imran Khan and his cohorts was hurt and they decided to retaliate on the leaders of the only major opposition party of their country- Maryam Nawaz and her husband. Soon he was released on a bail after public uproar and demonstrations by members and lawyers of the PML-N outside said police station.
It must be noted that even the PML-N is not a saintly organization: their supreme leader and three-time President of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif himself, was convicted over multiple charges of corruption and sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by the Pakistani judiciary but the Islamabad accountability court judge Arshad Malik, who wrote that judgement leading to Sharif’s conviction, was dismissed by a seven-judge-bench of the Lahore High Court in July 2019. The former judge allegedly admitted that he was working under the directions and pressures of powerful people back then and had no other options in front of him. As of yesterday, the ex-President’s brother, Shehbaz Sharif, has also been sent to jail over money laundering charges for Rs. 700 crores.
We know that the governance system that exists in Pakistan is as far as it can be from a democracy and actual Jungle-Raj prevails- where a “leader” is a leader only as long as they serve the whims and fancies of the Pakistani army who are the actual authors of this drama called Pakistani politics. Voices are also appearing to claim that this high-voltage scene of arrest and later the bailed release of Safdar Awan is nothing more than a publicity stunt by the opposition, obviously under the directions of their higher-ups, to defame the Imran Khan government as he is no more of use to the political puppeteers of Pakistan. After all, a person is regarded to be a person only as long as the military considers him so. After that his life and liberty are totally dispensable in Jinnah’s Pakistan.
What is disturbing is that these people, who create the illusion of democracy for the pitiable people of Pakistan and reign by the virtue of money and hard power, are trying to influence people outside of their country too. It was observed that a tweet made by the Sindh Police asserting that Awan’s arrest was within the legal limits was deleted a few hours later, only to reappear on their account soon after his release.
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.