The need to be watchful

Imran Khan always gets the short end of the stick. There was so much doubt expressed about his shooting, that he had to videotape the changing of his dressing at the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital, and release it to the public. It was not mentioned, but the wounds appear to be in the same places as policemen used to get in the days when they tried to make police encounters realistic: the fleshy part of the leg. The fleshy part of the leg is where wounds are self-inflicted. Not that Imran’s wounds could have been self-inflicted or fired by someone else, because he was on top of the container. Policemen injuring themselves after a police encounter did so in relative seclusion, not a public space like the top of a container. ‘Splinters’ of the bullets did the damage, That sounds a lot like shotgun pellets. The recovered ‘splinters’ have not been made available to any forensics lab, and so can’t be identified as pellets.

The moral of the story? Imran is, in every indirect way, saying that if the attack on him were genuine, then so were the police encounters. You’ve got a pattern, with Imran wanting three names included, even though there was no evidence tying them to the case. Imran would not have benefited, because none of the three would have ever been brought to trial, let alone convicted, and indeed the accused would probably have used their inclusion in the FIR to be acquitted. The police investigating the case would have benefited, because that would certainly not let off Shehbaz Sharif and Rana Sanaullah for free, no matter what office they held.

They might let off a serving general posted in the ISI, but I’m not that sure. After all, Ayub Khan made sure that his patwari in Abbottabad was sent the customary saip (a payment of grain, debt at harvest time), even when President of Pakistan. More to the point, he was a serving Field Marshal.

My gut feeling says that if Maj Gen Faisal Naseer comes from a sap-paying background, which is to say, rural landowners), he’ll make the police happy. However, if his background is urban, he’ll throw his weight around, and try to frighten the IO. Either way, he will win.

Imran has no objection to the police. After all, his present Punjab CM, Ch Pervez Elahi, a nephew of Ch Zahoor Elahi (and perhaps more importantly, his son-in-law), who had started life as a police constable. One hopes Imran is not trying to suborn the Punjab police by the distribution of goodies.

Police rule can be harsh. It is too often thought that the Roman Guard meant military rule. However, the Guard was a police force for the capital, and its Prefect the CCPO Rome. Not only was the official crucial in making and removing Emperors, but a couple of them became Emperors themselves. Imagine the CCPO Lahore becoming CM. Well, KP (then NWFP) had its IGP resign in 1953 to become CM. That was not the end. He became CM West Pakistan in 1957, lasting until March 1958. I don’t knpw if he had favourite DSPs, heavy of hand and black of soul, who kept MPAs in line with a littar. But if he did, there wouldn’t be any backbench rebellions, would there?

I don’t suppose Imran would consider making a donative to the Punjab police. You made one to Praetorian Guard on becoming Emperor (much as the Osmanli Padishah did to the Janissaries). Imran can afford a donative, if one is to believe the stories about his sale of the watch gifted him by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman.

Is the revelation related to Imran’s U-turns over the USA (which he has forgiven, wanting good relations if he comes back to office) and the Army Chief’s appointment (which he is leaving to the government, though he still thinks Nawaz Sharif will appoint someone who will cover his thefts)? Incidentally, does |Imran know anyone apart from sleazebags like Arif Naqvi and now UmarZahoor, the buyer of the watch? Why do so many people around him have cases registered against them abroad? Why is the registration of these cases proof that Umar Zahoor is a sleazebag, but that Arif Naqvi is a modern mujahid?



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