Father’s Days In

I think the strategy being applied to Ch Pervaiz Elahi and son Moonis Elahi is counterproductive. The story goes that Ch Pervaiz is doing the ins and outs of jails, and has been arrested and released about 20 times already, not just because he is wanted, as because Moonis is wanted, and Moonis, caring nothing for his father’s plight, is living it up in Spain, in London, off the ill-gotten wealth that the father and son garnered from Ch Pervaiz’s stint in office before the Punjab Assembly was dissolved.

I don’t know anything about the family, but I would suspect that one of the main forces keeping Moonis away from Pakistan would be his mother. I would not be surprised to find that she was rather pleased with Ch Pervaiz being in jail, because at least that meant he was away from that witch, that schemer, the Second Wife, who according to some reports, has gone back to the USA since Ch Pervaiz was first arrested.

The other main force would, I suspect, be Ch Pervaiz himself. It’s an old tactic for the police to arrest a relative of the person they want, and hold him or her until the wanted person surrenders. If we ordinary civilians were to do something like that, it would be called hostage taking, but policemen call it good police work.

Anyhow, as a father myself, I would rather spend time in jail, so long as my boys are free. I think Ch Pervaiz would be the last person to blame Moonis for staying abroad while he was in jail. Any extravagances by Moonis would be seen by Ch Pervaiz as the reason for which he got that wealth improperly.

Ch Pervaiz is really facing the range of the police’s tactics. His latest arrest was as one of the unknown persons who overflowed into the Islamabad Judicial Complex when PTI chief Imran Khan made his first appearance there. There is the textbook example of why the police enter an FIR against unknown persons. So that they can drag anyone into the case. Does anyone remember that Ch Pervaiz’s uncle and father-in-law, the late Ch Zahoor Elahi, was arrested for buffalo theft in a case in which the FIR had been registered against unknown persons.

The police has got his remand until October 22. They will use this time to find some evidence, such as an eyewitness, or CCTV footage, to establish Ch Pervaiz’s presence in the judicial complex on March 18. Perhaps they will use this time to recover the teargas shells from Ch Pervaiz that were fired at the police defending the Complex. Ch Pervaiz will also have an opportunity to produce witnesses who can give him an alibi for the designated time, and show that he was in Lahore, or Gujrat; in fact anywhere but Islamabad.

If that is the quality of the cases that are being brought against him, he should be glad they haven’t chosen a buffalo theft yet. That is the kind of crime our police prefer to investigate. Of course, a nice criminal assault or an unnatural offence has probably also been lined up. Those are also offences cops like investigating, especially while interviewing the victims.

While all of this is happening, the country is not going closer to elections. In 1977, us oldsters usharrasf martial law? Some might remember, the coup was followed by the slogan Pehlay ehtesab phir intikhab (First accountability, then elections), and 90 days was stretched to seven and a half years. The only real accountability was Bhutto’s hanging.

There’s no pehlay halqabandian phir intikhab (first delimitations then elections) slogan being raised, perhaps because it’s not catchy, but that’s what it amounts to. By the way, does anyone remember how Zia interpreted the 90-day restriction back in 1985, when he sacked the Junejo government under Article 58 (2b)? He said he had to give a date within 90 days, not order an election held within 90 days. So while he dismissed Junejo on 29 May 1988, he announced elections for December 16. He didn’t hold them, dying in the` Bahawalpur crash, but that was the date on which they were held. I wonder if the EXP is following his interpretation on giving a date.



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