And now Ch Pervaiz

Recent police raids show the old methods are alive and well

It is almost as if the Punjab Police is obliged by force of habit. The night-time raid on former Punjab CM and PTI President Ch Pervaiz Elahi’s Lahore residence was almost identical to the one on former PM and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s Lahore residence. The raid on Mr Khan’s residence came after the failure to arrest him, and after he had gne to Islamabad. Just as the raid was conducted after he had flown the coop, so does it appear that Ch Pervaiz was not at home. However, just as the police intruded on Mr Khan’s home in the presence of his wife, so too did the police enter Ch Pervaiz’s residence by breaking down the gate forcibly, and disturbing the women of the house. Ch Pervqaiz was wanted for a police investigation, not having appeared to join the investigation. Mr Khan too was wanted to appear before a court in Islamabad to be formally indicted . It could be argued that these raids could have been avoided had Mr Khan and Ch Pervaiz cooperated, in the execution of the warrants.
This seems valid enough, but it is not simply a matter of joining an investigation, but of ending up in the custody of the intelligence agencies, for whom a favourite method of getting custody of someone is to have them arrested by the regular police. The agencies have also been accused of vile tortures of suspects by Mr Khan himself. So long as the police continues to be suspected of behaving in the same way as the past, such resistance is perhaps inevitable, though it should not happen. Unfortunately, the behaviour of the police while attempting to arrest both Mr Khan and now Ch Pervaiz indicates that attitudes have not changed.
The attitude that matters is that of the government, for the police are finetund instruments, who only misbehave as much as their political masters want, especially in such cases.The conversion of the case into one of terrorism,, by filing a case uder the Anti-Terrorism Act of resisting arrest, indicates that this case is political vengeance. Ch Pervaiz knows better than most how the police is misused to settle political scores, having been twice PM, twice Speaker and thrice a minister. Also, at the age of 77, there should be some care exercised by the police in arresting him, not in terms of severity, but in terms of leniency.

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The Editorial Department of Pakistan Today can be contacted at: [email protected].


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