Malik along with all the 1,500 security forces that “launched a coordinated operation to regain control of the navy base” should hang their heads in shame for allowing two alleged terrorists to flee! Since they were “seen running off the base” why weren’t they shot injured by the snipers? If they were out of the sniper’s range, why no security personnel made any attempt to chase them?
The only logical answer that I can come up with is that those who fled could be a few of the uncounted number of Raymond Davis type sleuths allowed to operate in the country. Since the terrorists, according to Malik, “were dressed like Star Wars characters”, it could be possible that they managed to flee in their ‘Death Star’ ship which safely landed at Bagram or Washington! Alternatively, they could be the agents of the infamous Blackwater.
Even at a time when the whole nation is in shock, Rehman Malik never fails to provide entertainment to lighten their mood. Malik termed the operation successful. Addressing a press conference at the CM House, Karachi, he said: “Pakistan Navy Mehran Air Base in Karachi has been fully cleared of terrorists after a well-coordinated successful operation.”
For who was the operation successful, the minister did not elaborate. Was the “well-coordinated” operation successful for the joint commando force of navy, military and rangers who could not subdue the miscreants in their own backyard? Or was it successful for the terrorists who not only managed to penetrate a high security zone but at the same time also managed to destroy two P3C Orion surveillance aircraft kept in the hangars, kill a naval officer, three firemen, three SSG personnel, one sailor and two personnel of the Pakistan Rangers?
I am inclined to believe the latter. And this is where I cannot help laughing at the rather limited vocabulary of Abdul Rehman Malik. If former US president George Bush Jr. was renowned for his political gaffes, our minister for interior is not far behind in following in the footsteps of his former master. Malik Sahib puts Shakespeare to shame with his own hilarious Comedy of Errors! Politicians in general, like Rehman Malik, are not trusted by the public, are renowned for lying and covering up issues while acting in their own vested interests. The list of Malik’s blunders, bloopers and errors is rather long. Here are just a few examples of some memorable Malikeian gaffes, bloopers, flubs and brain lapses.
Navy spokesman Irfan-ul Haq told the media that around 12 terrorists had forced their way into the naval base. The whole nation was flabbergasted when Malik stated that there were six militants who attacked the base. Whereas Lt Irfan Asghar, who was on night duty when the base was attacked, in his FIR 447/11 registered under the explosives and terrorism act with Shahrah-e-Faisal Police Station, stated that there were 10-12 terrorists who attacked the base. To save the minister’s face, the FIR will be revised in order to remove the discrepancies.
Malik said there were 11 Chinese nationals and six Americans on the Naval Air Base at the time of attack and all of them were safe, contradicting earlier reports that one foreigner had also been killed in the fighting that started Sunday night. During moments of stress, Malik makes a ton of mistakes during his interaction to the media. Take for example the Air Blue crash. At the time when the nation was grieving over the crash in Islamabad in which all 152 passengers were killed, Rehman Malik raised false hopes of victims’ families by stating that “five survivors have been pulled out of the wreckage and taken to hospital by a helicopter.” He later retracted, saying that there were no survivors.
There is nothing worse than a politician who waffles on like Abdur Rehman Malik does, with little regard to timing. He is just interested in getting cheap media publicity. All of one needs to do is to pick any newspaper or surf the net and evidence of cheap publicity is splattered all over the place. Take for instance his stunning revelation that the killers of Benazir Bhutto had been arrested and would soon be exposed.
Malik Sahib had a field day lapping up his cheap stunt while reading front page headlines the next day. Revealing such vital information of national importance requires some serious considerations like for instance the timing, the venue and the occasion. Even when the local police bust a gang of petty criminals, they hold a press conference to announce their accomplishment. The criminals and the weapons along with items recovered are put on display.
But not so our minister. In fact when he revealed this crucial piece of information he was not talking to the media but to a gathering of PPP activists, workers and others after opening a passport office in Chakwal! He said: “All those responsible for the horrendous crime have been arrested and would be exposed soon.” Where are these so-called killers being held? It’s been three months since this incredulous piece of disinformation was blurted out, but the alleged killers have not been produced before any court of law so far. Since there was no physical or judicial remand of these so-called killers, it would only mean that they being illegally detained by Malik and cohorts.
In Raymond Davis case, Rehman Malik lied to the nation that Raymond Davis had a diplomatic passport. The local media had already shown the scans of the non-diplomatic passport of Raymond Davis. The contradictory statements of Raymond Davis and the US Embassy, Islamabad exposed these lies.
Karachi has witnessed a surge in target killings in recent months. The interior minister seems oblivious. In April, speaking to reporters outside parliament, the interior minister claimed that the government’s measures against target killing were paying off. Referring to the reports of violence from Karachi, Malik said: “It is unfair to call all [violent] incidents as get killings.” He denied that there have been any target killings in Karachi since April 15. Last year, he ridiculed the New York Times report on Mullah Baradar’s arrest in a joint Pakistan-US spy operation as “propaganda”. Later on he ended up eating his words when the ISPR confirmed reports of this arrest.
Former chief of the air staff Air Chief Marshal Tanvir Mahmood Ahmed at IDEAD-2008 claimed that Pakistan Air Force was fully capable of stopping drone flights and missile strikes. He said it was up to the government to decide if it wanted to benefit from the PAF capabilities and deter the aggressors violating territorial integrity of the country. His predecessor Chief Marshal Rao Qamar Suleman at the Risalpur Air Force Academy passing out parade in May 2009 asserted this. “We had shot down a US spy plane near Kasur in 2002,” Suleman said. Interior Minister Rehman Malik proclaimed that “F-16s cannot shoot down drones.”
I am confident if a fair and transparent survey is conducted right now, more people would list the statements of Abdur Rehman Malik as being more of a threat to Pakistan's future than the actions of a few terrorists. It is pathetic that the inferior minister divulges facts without verification leading to serious doubts about his ability to continue in office. Malik is well-known in the Pakistani media as someone who speaks more than he should. An inspirational advice for Abdur Rehman Malik: “Even a fish would have stayed out of trouble, if it had kept its mouth shut.”