This is a Pakpotpourri Exclusive
People, I have waited for some time to write my observations which I noted but gave myself time to rethink. This is because knee jerk reactions are often put down as conspiracy theories.
This is regarding the murder in cold blood of the young man Sarfraz by the Rangers group.
One, The man we now know as Afsar, who handed over Sarfraz to the Rangers was fully aware of the camera man. Still he did not let the man go in fear of being photographed and later become a victim of retribution (even if he was unaware of the fate awaiting Sarfraz).
Second, the cameraman is clearly close to Sarfraz as he is being pushed toward the Rangers. The height of the composition shows that it is at least chest level, clearly visible to the Rangers who are standing in front of him. Yet they take no action in stopping the man from recording.
Third, if they wanted to murder him without being caught, they could have arrested the man and taken him away and then shot him somewhere isolated, and maybe waited for darkness to fall. But they shot him in broad daylight, aware of people around them and having no way of knowing who was watching from a distance. They can be unafraid of the law, yes, but they would not like to be recorded still.
Fourth, After the young man is callously gunned down, the cameraman keeps recording, once again in full view of the Rangers. And if not in their view (which would be strange considering the closeness of the shot) they were aware of his presence when the young man was being brought towards them.
Fifth, the cameraman keeps recording instead of calling on his mobile for an Edhi/Aman/Chippa/Other ambulance. Or run out, call a taxi, lift the young man and take him to a hospital. Lucky for him and us that a cameraman from an unknown channel suddenly happens to be at the right place at the right time. But why is no one asking whether capturing the last moments of a dying man was more important than saving his life?
Sixth, it is strange that this cameraman has just recorded an ‘assassination’ event that ranks among the shots of Vietnam executions, as well as that of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald. And yet this shot does not air till 11pm!! What was he or the editor waiting for considering this was breaking news? Was he not afraid that there may have been another recording which would air on another channel?
Seventh, The Assassination takes place in the area of Boat Basin, the police prescient that is most in control of the government, Federal as well as Provincial as well as City. This is where it can be 100% ensured that the ‘team’ of Rangers can be handpicked, and no one among them tries to stop the firing nor pick up the young man and take him to the hospital.
Eighth, Rangers & Police were the only one among the 4 security forces left to malign in the eyes of the nation. On May 2 in Abbotabad, the Air Force (whose radars ‘failed’ to spot the Black Hawks and whose F-16’s did not intercept on way back) and the Army couldn’t even fire at the Navy Seals though they were said to be there for 45 minutes.
Ninth, On May 21, The Pakistan Air Force again (as it was part of their security that was breached) & Pakistan Navy are maligned by the commando raid.
Tenth, on June 9, the Rangers (army men on deputation for civil policing) are the curse of the nation. The budget is halved and therefore less patrolling and stationing on sensitive areas of Karachi.
Now tell me, isn’t it convenient for the feudals that the Armed Forces who became the heroes of the nation in the way they sacrificed their lives, and faced near certain death, in rescuing the millions of flood affected people on their lands, and fed and clothed them while the feudal MPA’s/MNA’s did not even bother to visit them, have suddenly become the biggest criminals in the nation’s eyes?
Very convenient timing also that just when the people are fed up with the civilians in power and their manipulations and submission to IMF pressure to take more loans to make us go into so much debt that we become slaves of the bankers of the world, the only option to get rid of the criminals are exposed for incompetence, carelessness and brutality of civilians.
And who was in charge of ensuring a security system for at least two of those events? The provincial government and the interior ministry. And who is responsible for ensuring that the budgets are spent on our defenses like improvement of radars? The Defense Ministry.
Who let off Raymond Davis when the interrogators were being credited for getting information on espionage from him? The Punjab & Federal government.
The Federal and Provincial governments were never under so much pressure as in April, especially with the Arab Spring about to blow up in their faces also. Imran was getting popular to lead a revolution and there was even talk that Musharraf was better for the nation than these people.
And so, just as the pressure cooker was about to burst as summer was poised to bring more frustration with less energy for industrial and consumer sector, the budget for armed forces was coming up, all this happened.
So less money goes for security especially in Karachi. The city already vulnerable from the sea after the destroying of Orions (forget the Indians, look at the smuggling through the coastal belt and Balochistan border) is now internally at the mercy of the criminal gangs after the halving of Rangers budget.
Think people. Think. Yes there is incompetence involved in Mehran but Abbotabad raid was due to superior technology and permission required from PM to shoot back. The Benazir Park shooting was the act of 5-6 renegades. Yes the Armed Forces/Rangers/Police all show highhandedness, but go into the villages of the feudal lords and the areas of the urban gangs and see what happens. If the media were to post some cameramen there who could roam about secretly, the images would make you squirm.
The one institution that can (unconstitutionally, yes) forcibly remove this government has been tarnished in one sweep within 5 weeks. It cannot recover until this government completes its five years of unjustified borrowing, unjustifiable spending, rising prices and failing energy.
Please speed again trough the 10 points to ponder about the murder at Benazir Park and then the observation just above. Then ask yourself the following 10 questions (and maybe some more that will crop up.) But before you do let me assert that I am NOT for military dictatorships at any level, I am for cantonment areas out of city limits or in the suburbs, I am against hiring of defense personnel in government or semi government unless they are fully qualified and deserve the job on merit and I do not think that Army entering onto the corporate sector is a good idea and certainly against the constitution.
I am just a proud Pakistani who wants to live and die here, who wants to work for and chase our Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s creation and Allama Iqbal’s vision, and who wants people to not become emotional and to think through what is happening around them for the past 40 years before they condemn all and trigger anger.
Now, my 10 questions are
1. Who do the party heads and top cronies most fear for exposure of their corruption, being shot or jailed? (Try the Media, The Judiciary and Police and then think again)
2. Who has not been able to implement the resolution against Drones or follow up on Iran’s warning last week? Who are embarrassed and shown useless and helpless in front of the nation and want the attention away from their incompetence and powerlessness?
3. Between the leaders of political parties and the armed forces who are more likely to stand and fight when they are attacked internally and externally?
4. Which from among the leaders of these parties and armed forces have fled every time there has been a danger to their lives or when the tough decisions have to be made whether economic or setting Raymond Davis free?
5. Among these two institutions who can fly out and not be called a coward? And if so has not to face court martial or be called a deserter?
6. Among the two who has his investments (real estate, cars, etc) here and who has it all abroad?
7. Members of which institution, no matter how incompetent in the eyes of the nation, face a greater probability of being fired at, or bombed?
8. Why is it that when the world condemns Muslims we cry that just because of a few bad eggs, the entire Muslim community should not be condemned. But when a few officers in charge of security fail to perform their duty or one trigger happy Ranger murders in cold blood, we condemn the entire Armed Forces and Rangers?
9. Which institution has looted the most FROM THE PEOPLE in Pakistan’s last 40 years?
And after answering the first 9 questions, last but not least, answer:
10. Who has benefited most from the events from May 2 to June 9?
We have an option to condemn ALL and immediately or we have the option to count to ten, spit our anger, do not allow a few acts to fool us, talk to each other and look back at history and if nothing less, decide among the lesser of two evils. Perhaps now you know what the Sahabis faced when spreading Islam and what our grandparents went through in the years leading up to the creation of Pakistan.
Afraid to act? Then at least recognise the bravery of these people and be ready to look into the mirror and say: I know what you did for my soul Sahabis and what you did for my freedom Grandparents but I am throwing away all that you earned for me. I just hope I do not have to face you up there.
*The writer is Chairman & CEO of a Karchi-based company. He is a known cricket commentator & writer.