Do criticize – but be logical
September 23, 2011
Interior ministry is not a bed of roses. It has worked wonders in controlling internal situation and rising extremism. War on terror launched by US following 9/11 incidents has multiplied our miseries and woes. These problems were on extremely higher side three-and-a-half years ago than today, and were being faced by nation even when army was also part of the government in Musharraf regime.
Assuming the charge of Ministry of Interior by a self-made person, who had no political, feudal or any other luminous background, was but a mighty challenge at a time when country had fallen victim to terrorism and internal strife.
Readers this was Senator Rehman Malik who assumed the responsibilities of Interior Ministry at a critical juncture of country’s history. At the time when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated and Foreign Ministry was a complete failure, Rehman Malik took up the task of fighting terrorism, breaking the back of terrorists courageously and restoring the peace of the country.
At that moment, every Pakistani from Karachi to Khyber was being targeted by the militants. “The whole nation witnessed that we were targeted in mosques, Imam Bargahs, funerals, peace jirgas, markets, public transport, trains, buses, public meetings, processions, streets, Mohallas and at our homes. We used to hold the funerals of our near and dear ones daily. Even our children were not safe in their schools. Combating all these challenges was a huge task to tackle”, says Rahman Malik.
Readers we saw a remarkable decline in number of casualties and terror acts. The situation took a turn; the people in Karachi were targeted by the target killers. Instead of sitting together and finding out solution to this issue, all the three ethnic groups living there started attacking each other. Despite it, Interior Minister Rehman Malik controlled bloody target killing and performed well in bringing closer the three major parties in Karachi. He played the role of an arbiter in settling the disputes among the major parties of Karachi. Hundreds of target killers have been captured due to untiring efforts of Rehman Malik during the last three-and-a-half years. Development took place in police department in real sense. A marvellous change has been brought about in the performance of FIA, Islamabad police, FC, Rangers and other institutions during this period.
How can we hold Rehman Malik responsible for all this situation when we know that son of Home Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa was killed in a terrorists attack? If son of the Home Minister of a province can be targeted, then who can stay safe? All the previous interior ministers, including Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao and Faisal Saleh Hayat, are before us. We can easily guess what they did to combat terrorism. Was the life and property of the citizens safe in that period? No, not at all. No one else than Rehman Malik discharged or is discharging his obligations in a befitting manner, either in the past or in the current situation.
As many as nine ministers held the portfolio of interior minister from November, 9, 1990 to March, 25, 2007, and prominent names of national politics remained interior minister during the last 17 to 18 years. Only Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain was assigned this office twice. Leading military and civil figures including Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao, Lt-Gen (Retd) Hamid Nawaz Khan, Lt-Gen (Retd) Moin ud Din Haider, Umar Khan Afridi, Maj-Gen (Retd) Nasir Ullah Babar and Feteh Khan Bandial remained saddled on the seat of interior minister. Their period is known to us. We can compare all the past interior ministers with our incumbent interior minister to know if the challenges were larger in the past or the term of sitting interior minister is challenging.
We all bear testimony that conspiracies were hatched to derail democracy in the past as much as we are seeing today. It is a prudent step of the sitting interior minister that he was employing all the efforts to save democracy through politics of reconciliation. We all know it well that the elements who are opposed to these conciliatory efforts are doing nothing than point scoring.
In short, criticising Rehman Malik or any one else without evidence is of no avail. Those who are critical of Karachi situation also remained in power in the past. In this perspective, should we construe that the responsibility of Karachi situation rested with them. If not so, then we should encourage rather discourage an individual because such moves build up identity of a nation.