Of punching bag and the knockout punch | Pakistan Today

Of punching bag and the knockout punch

Interior Minister Rehman Malik is in hot waters these days and facing the severest ever criticism of his political career from within his own party and outsiders for what they elaborate as his poor performance and dubious role in maintaining law and order in the country, with particular reference to the situation in Karachi.
Malik’s critics were never so quick and regular before, in their criticism of him though they might have reservations over his performance. All this started abruptly when former Sindh Home Minister Zulfiqar Mirza came with startling revelations against Malik and Altaf-led Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). The antagonism of Mirza against Malik opened a barrage of criticism against the latter and he was literally turned into a punching bag by his political critics and media.
Let it be Zulfiqar Mirza, Lashkari Raisani or Humayun Kurd, all from the PPP, or the others from rival political parties and media, everyone took it as a religious obligation to lash Malik for the sins he might not have committed. Some of the senators on Monday even asked the authorities concerned to detain Rehman Malik and sought Malik’s voluntary resignation from the office.
It became easy for the official forums as Senate Standing Committee on Interior also to criticize him under the garb of following ‘foreign agenda’. Chairman Committee, Senator Talha Mahmood while chairing a recently-held committee meeting said Rehman Malik’s ministry had become a mouthpiece of UK, US and the NATO forces and was taking dictation from them. The committee used to criticize Malik on regular basis for not appearing in the committee meetings.
The severe criticism on Malik apparently shook President Zardari’s confidence in him and he assigned Syed Khurshid Shah the task Rehman Malik used to perform as and whenever PPP-MQM relationship hit a trouble.
Despite all this criticism, a beleaguered Malik stood cool and calm on political front and opted not to respond with that thrust to the allegations, particularly leveled by Zulfiqar Mirza but turned guns towards Senator Talha Mahmood.
According to the sources in the ministry of interior, Secretary Interior, Khawaja Siddique Akbar has written a letter to the Chairman Senate Farooq H Naek, expressing annoyance over the attitude of Senator Talha as chairman standing committee on interior.
The sources alleged that Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who is not at good terms with Senator Talha when it comes to official relationship, is behind this very move.
They said that Malik repeatedly tried to make Talha fall in line with the official policy as far as committee meetings are concerned but the latter remained least bothered about that.
Let it be the issue of Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, drone attacks or issuance of fake arms licenses, Talha did not toe the official line and earned ire of the minister concerned. Malik sees Talha also a hurdle in the passage of Anti-terrorism Bill, 2010 which is pending with the Senate Standing Committee on Interior since last around one year and believes that the latter is used to overstep his purview as far as agenda of the committee meetings is concerned, the sources further said.
On the other hand, Senator Talha has taken serious notice of the latter written by Secretary Interior against him and decided to take up the issue at the committee forum. Who knows about the drop scene of this tug of war between Malik, his critics and Senator Talha Mahmood, but one thing is for sure that Malik has the knockout punch that could bail him out of any fight no matter how bad he performed in the earlier rounds. As long as Malik is in good books of President Zardari, he is going nowhere but fate of the rest is yet to be seen.