Islamabad, under the PTI government, seems to have become a place where anything goes. From mysterious killings, to the recent case of Usman Mirza, now diplomats’ families are under is no longer safe. The kidnapping and assault of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter indicates that the city is no longer safe for diplomats or their families. The Prime Minister and Interior Minister thundering afterwards in rage may have led to the arrest of the guilty taxidriver, but did not stop the event.
It is also not clear what exactly the Interior Minister thinks he is doing. This is the second major disaster he has presided over in as many days. The attack on the Chinese engineers at the Dasu hydropower project has been laid at the door of terrorists. The incident will have untold negative effects on relations with a friendly country. Afghanistan can hardly be counted as friendly, but it is very important to Pakistan now a days, because of the endgame currently going on. Sh Rasheed Ahmad might realize the futility of a policy leaving Islamabad to those forces which pick on journalists, and attack them inside their homes. Sh Rasheed may find himself unable to police Islamabad, but he would do well to remember that all diplomats, all diplomats’ families will now find themselves unsafe, because the capital is full of people who answer to a higher power than the government.
This has created a sense of immunity and entitlement, a belief that it is more important to know the right person than do the right thing. The government should realize that criminals are not concerned with diplomatic niceties, so it will not be enough to target foreigners or diplomats for protection. Even if terrorists are at work, a vigorous law and order policy will reduce the number of their opportunities. It should never be forgotten that a vigorous watch-and-ward policy will clamp down on all kinds of crime. It should also not be forgotten that if terrorism is suspected, it can only be comatted by efficient intelligence-gathering. With government sleuths distracted by their orders to hunt down the opposition, it seems that the terrorists are getting away by default. Unfortunately for Sh Rashid, as Interior Minister, is in charge of these agencies. If he is not up to the job, the Prime Minister must find someone who is.