- If you can’t kill him with the bullet, strike him with the butt
The Prime Minister first ordered an enquiry against PML(N) leader Khawaja Asif for posing a risk to national security. Failing to gather any evidence, the FIA chief was reportedly asked to slap treason charges on him. Avowedly when he failed to comply with the instructions, he was given his marching orders. Now Prime Minister Imran Khan wants JUI(F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman to be tried for treason because, like Kh Asif, he too cannot be thrown into the slammer on any other charge.
The reason given by the PM to justify the allegation is that the JUI(F) chief had staged a sit-in with the purpose to topple the PTI government and had claimed he had been given a signal to go ahead. But this is precisely what Mr Khan had himself done when he invoked the umpire’s finger during a much longer sit-in and employed mob violence to seek the resignation of an elected PM chosen in the 2013 polls which were declared ‘fair and in accordance with law’ by the Judicial Commission, appointed on his demand. It is an irony that the PTI government defends former military ruler Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf who has been sentenced on a treason charge, and allows ex-SSP Karachi Rao Anwar and terrorist leader Ehsanullah Ehsan to move freely, but wants political opponents to be tried for a crime punishable with death.
Claiming that he had endured “media attacks” over the last two years and pointing an accusing finger at two media houses in particular, the PM said something that was against the facts. Referring to media laws in Britain, he maintained that there if any media house publishes false news or makes a false allegation, it is shut down. In fact, anyone having a complaint of the sort, takes the paper to court for defamation, which if proved leads to heavy damages. This is what Mr Khan could also do.
The PM unnecessarily drags the Army into dispute by maintaining that its agencies keep a tab on politicians’ corruption and since he is not corrupt he is not afraid of the Army. The Army’s agencies are supposed to gather information about conspiracies hatched by enemy countries. Punishing the corrupt is the task of accountability bodies rather than Army.