After the recent developments in Pakistan including abduction of IGP Sindh and the arrest of Capt. ® Safdar, the forces known as ‘State above the State’ stand exposed
On the night of 18th October 2020, Pakistan Democratic Movement9PDM), an opposition alliance, had organized a public gathering at Jinnah Bagh Karachi, participated by hundreds of thousands of people. All opposition parties criticized the role of PTI government. PDM chairman Maulana Fazul Rehman, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif also targeted those forces in their speeches, which are known as ‘selectors’ in Pakistan. But the entire scenario strangled the political situation in the early morning. As I switched on TV in the morning, there was ‘Breaking News’ that the husband of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, Capt. Retire Safdar is arrested by police on the FIR, registered by a PTI worker Waqas late last night. All the electronic and social media flooded with condemnations on this unexpected arrestment. Then some authentic journalists tweeted that the Inspector General of Sindh Police, Mr. Mushtaq Mahar was abducted last night, and was forced to sign the arrest warrant of Capt. Retired Safdar.
When the news went viral, all the PPP leadership condemned it but according to Sindh Government, they were unaware about this late night incident. Apparently, no one knew, ‘Who’ were they, ‘What’ they wanted, ‘Who’ was behind this? Although, it all is crystal clear that some forces consider themselves above the constitution and law, and that they have authority to do anything, by crossing all the lines.
Unconfirmed news sources claimed that on that night the IG Sindh was brought in DG Rangers’ office on the demand of a PTI Federal Minister, elected from Karachi. After this incident, IGP Sindh Mushtaq Mahar, Additional IG Imran Yaqoob, 25 Regional DIGs, 30 Districts’ SSPs immediately sent leave requests to the Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah as a protest. The Police department was fully disturbed, and they had concerns about demoralizing act by ‘unknown authorities’. Being civil servants, they deserve to be respected and needed full authority of their seat, but unfortunately, they have no powers of their Seat, and were undermined by certain forces, working above the state. The next day, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto along with CM Sindh, visited the office of IGP and expressed his solidarity with Sindh police. On their appeals, IGP decided to withdraw their leave requests. PPP chairman also requested the Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa for fair investigation of this incident. He responded quickly and accepted the request. CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah also constituted a committee of provincial ministers to find out the truth.
But this is not first time. Such kind of practices of working above the law and constitution, have a history of seven decades. There are several examples like missing persons’ case, manipulations in general elections, extension of Army Chiefs, extra judicial killings, appointments of retired army officers as heads of civil departments and corporations like CPEC, NDMA, WAPDA, PTA and PIA. This all is questionable.
When someone spoke against them, he or she would be prized with the title of traitor. Media censorship is also the example of a strange state which is working above the State. Our respected judges are failed to bring these forces in the Court of Law, our Politicians failed to stop their involvement in the civilian government’s affairs. These ‘invisible/visible forces’ are now most powerful from all others. In the past, Civil-Military conflict resulted in the Martial Law in the country, or imposition of emergency, but in the present times, the Establishment and Military has covered their face with mask of democracy. They are very much active in politics and playing lead role in the Government with all Precautions.
The IG Sindh’s abduction issue was aimed to create Constitutional crises, posing a threat to all the institutions. If institutions are not allowed to work freely, how could they will be sincere to their uniform? It’s not a joke. It’s not a fun piece, but a serious matter. If the politicians are accountable for their corruption, money-laundering, why the military personnel should not be brought to the court, along with their money trail, audit reports, and their properties? Unlike other countries, the military in Pakistan rules the country instead of serving at borders. All this has harmed the country.
Nawaz Sharif called these forces ‘Aliens’ when he was removed through the court from the Prime Minister’s office. Why our other politicians are afraid to openly name such forces, and instead used the words like ‘hidden forces’, which are powerful than the State.
The incident of IGP Sindh’s abduction and Capt. ® Safdar’s arrest is a serious matter to re-think on the ‘State above the State’. This narrative is become famous among opposition parties, but how long they will fight for the supremacy of civilian rule and parliament in such a way? When a political party is blessed with power by these forces, they will start obeying their orders, and stop their fight for the sake of the Power. They always compromise on their party manifesto and ideal politics. How long political parties will surrender their civilian weapons weakening the struggle for the real democracy. If PDM wants no more ‘State above the State’, they should be sincere with their speeches, narratives, and constitution of Pakistan.
On the evening of 25th October, PDM organized another massive crowd in Quetta, where Maryam Nawaz and Maulana Fazul Rehman targeted the PTI government, for their failed policies and their selectors. MNA of Pakistan Pashtun Movement, Mohsin Dawar was detained at Quetta airport, and he was unable to attend the PDM gathering, which proved that these unseen goons are very much active. Another example is missing of a TV reporter Ali Imran and coming back after 22 hours. Therefore, it’s responsibility of our politicians to expose such ‘invisible’ forces without any fear.
On 10th of November, the Inter Services Public Relations released a report, wherein it said: “The IG Sindh was abducted by army officers; they become overzealous on public pressure, and unlawfully did this”.
Although, they were transferred from their assignment, their transfer is not enough to remove the general perception of ‘state above the state’. It is needed to change the mindset of our stakeholders.
Right now, without any fear, Provincial Government and the Inspector General of Sindh need to make public the story of that night, and declare what happened with IG Sindh? This is the only way to expose them, to draw a line between civil and military powers.