- Is the worst yet to come?
It suits the PTI government to redirect the opposition’s criticism of its failures towards the establishment. There is a perception that to enable an incompetent administration to continue in office the establishment has provided it props. With a prime minister who does not know how to deal with a political crisis except with a confrontational approach, those providing him support are likely to come under criticism .
If all institutions work within their constitutional domain and refrain from interfering in the spheres of others, the country would run smoothly. It was for Karachi police to decide whether, and under which law, a case was to be registered against Captain (rtd) Safdar. The use of a force under the Interior Ministry to humiliate the topmost Sindh police officers was not only a violation of law but also tantamount to degrading the police in the common man’s eyes. With PTI leaders in Karachi pressurizing the police for an FIR and a federal minister threatening the Sindh CM wit dismissal if he failed to cooperate, all these events point to the involvement of the county’s highest office holder who makes no bones about his desire to send every political opponent behind the bars. The reaction on the part of the Sindh police officers was natural, keeping in view the treatment meted out to a force that has to be seen to be strong and prestigious to be able to maintain law and order. Sanity required that the provincial government order a probe, stand by a humiliated police force and persuade its officers to continue to work meanwhile. Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah has managed to defuse the situation for the time being, but unless action is taken against those responsible for police humiliation the crisis is likely to re-erupt. The Sindh Assembly has meanwhile adopted a resolution to pay tribute to the Sindh police and express concerns over the harassment and humiliation of the IGP. The resolution demands investigation and punishment for those involved in the police officers’ mishandling.
The federal government has again tried to cover up its ineptness by accusing the Sindh administration of confronting institutions against one another. If there is confrontation between institutions the responsibility lies squarely on those who transgressed their limits. It is also unfortunate that this imbroglio has added to the controversy over the islands off Karachi that the federal government wants to take over.