There were many remarkable things about Allama Dr Tahirul Qadri’s long march on Islamabad, but perhaps the most remarkable thing is that the agreement to end it was signed on one side by the Prime Minister. Now according to the Supreme Court, he should have been arrested by NAB in the case after which he was named Raja Rental, and at the time of the signing, should have been fleeing the Investigation Officer, who should have been leading raids on the last known whereabouts of the accused, including PM House, as well as the ancestral home in Gujjar Khan, all under the guidance’ of the Deputy Director and Director of NAB the IO (himself an Assistant Director) worked under, and ‘under the supervision of’ the Chairman. Instead, the IO was off committing suicide. As Raja Pervaiz Ashraf was not accused of having killed anyone (though I can’t help thinking that the rise in bills should have caused a few heart attacks among consumers, with some of them fatal), he should be worried, for if Kamran Faisal, the IO, didn’t commit suicide, he was murdered, and who with greater motive than the Prime Minister?
The first step of a proper IO would have been to conduct a raid on Prime Minister’s House. Then, instead of signing agreements, Raja Pervaiz would have been too busy jumping over the boundary wall. Then he would have had to make his way down to the Makran Coast, where he would have taken a launch to Dubai, where he would have joined Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani. Perhaps he would have joined Shahrukh Jatoi, the accused in the Shahzeb Khan murder, in his surrender to the Pakistani authorities. Dubai is famous for many things, but I doubt if it likes one of the reasons for that fame, the refuge of choice for Pakistanis accused of anything.
But what of the raiding party? Well, while Raja Pervaiz was clambering over the wall of PM’s House, the IO should have been in it, ordering the arrest of everyone in sight, and having them beaten to within an inch of their lives until one confessed either to where Raja Pervaiz was. Or else confessed to the crime of which he was accused. Remember the phrase ‘within an inch of their lives.’
No wonder Rehman Malik is unable to concentrate on the War on Terror, not with having to make sure Dr Qadri, or rather his followers, are adequately supplied with portable toilets. Dr Qadri himself was presumably adequately provided for in the container in which the negotiators for the government did the deal. Presumably they could have used the container’s facilities, though that would have risked them having to answer pointed questions from colleagues about whether they thought this was why they thought they had been sent to negotiate.
I personally do not think that Raja Pervaiz had anything to do with Kamran Faisal’s death, except that suicide might have been the result of the case. That shows the IO should have belonged to the old school, for he would have reported by now whatever his superiors have wanted, and have added a buffalo theft charge so that he could feel at home, especially when he got hold of the buffalo alleged to have been stolen, as the case property.
Raja Pervaiz would probably have understood buffalo theft charges, for not only is he politician, but also a property dealer. Both are vocations in which arrests frequently occur. Just because one is PM doesn’t mean nowadays one can get away with anything.
Meanwhile, Dr Qadri called off the sit-in, which had gone ahead despite all the rain and cold in the federal capital. With the sit-in ended, much sympathy was expressed for the women and children taking part, and it was noted that a large number had ended up in hospital. That provides another reason the sit-in needed to end. Apart from toilets, the federal capital isn’t too well equipped with hospital beds. Not to mention that the sitters-in left behind a lot of solid waste. Plastic bags, that is.
Now that the long march is over, it is to be presumed that our problems have gone away with it. If they haven’t, then maybe we shouldn’t think that ended it, but till then, it seems to be the best thing since sliced bread. The PM has still not been arrested. When he is, the lights will go off. Well, they keep going off anyway, so they will go off when they should be on.