By Shahid Qureshi –
“Do you know which organisations and groups are working against Pakistan here in UK”, a young and dynamic journalist asked me. I said, ‘No I dont’. I told him that ‘Pakistan’s number one problem is treachery’ and I do know individuals and groups working against Pakistan for many years in Pakistan’. What about them? And they glow and shine as moon in the night and sun in day nothing happen to them and all are living happily now and ever after’. I didn’t mean to dampen his nationalism and patriotism but the reality is those treacherous elements and who sold the national interests and harmed Pakistan being awarded and showered with wealth and honour. It is more about your weakness than smartness of your enemies. I said to him, ‘a country which can make a nuclear bomb, long range missiles, fuel its fighter jets in the air, whose girls are flying fighter jets, make drones so on and so forth.
But the same people could not make few holes to drain water from Attaabad Lake in North of Pakistan for 6 months, which swallowed the miles of Silk Road and than caused huge floods down stream from southern Punjab to rural and urban Sindh while our than President Asif Zardari spent his holidays in London. By simply not making few holes these elements have caused losses to the state and lives of the people. Don’t you see any treachery in it? (a) Crucial road link to China was shutdown due to flooding (b) this could be stopped?
Indus water commissioner allowed India to violate the water treaty and continue with the plan to water bomb Pakistan for over 12 years. A politician from ANP installed as Railway Minister and he destroyed the whole system in few years. Hence weakens the national defence and transport network?
When all the engineers and scientists are saying that Kalabagh Dam which was originally planned by the British before 1947 is the most viable and appropriate to serves the needs of Pakistan but politicians are against the dam. Why? That is a matter of national interest. These people don’t know that ‘dams don’t use water they just store it’. Here politicians and rest are receiving money from enemies of the state and no body is questioning them? India achieved its objective in delaying these projects by spending few billions on these anti state elements and have caused harms of trillions. Why no body stopped them? They were hiding behind ‘democracy’. ?
Soon after the so-called democratic government came into power in 2008 they made cuts in the nuclear and missile program, stopped funding in some crucial projects to please who? They left no leaf un-turned to undermine the important national institutions, strangling higher education institutions training people for future. This is one point agenda undermine the armed forces of Pakistan and make country a soft target. Can you imagine Pakistan without army? Do you think these political parties can sustain 24 hours against the Indian military might? In the end it’s the arms dealers who are winning by bribing their ‘agents in democracy’? A secure country can promise a secure democracy otherwise Palestinians have elected HAMAS and Egyptians elected ‘Brotherhood’ but the so called democrats toppled the elected government with military and installed a puppet who only got 7.5% votes in Egypt who was selling Gas to Israelis on the lowest price of $1.5 MMBTU but buying from international market for $9 MMBTU for its own use. Can you imagine who could have signed such an agreement to sell?
Who is going to bring back $200 billion of Pakistan back from Swiss Banks and that will solve all the economic problems as well as release from IMF. What is the delay after all it is Pakisan;s national wealth?
Yes there is corruption everywhere. None of the elected Pakistani politicians have visited the armed forces fighting war on terror or spent any festival with them up until now. Why not? On the other hand European and US leaders regularly visit their soldiers in Afghanistan, Iraq and else where.
Recently I was invited to take part in a discussion with staff of the National Defence University, Islamabad, Pakistan visiting London, on “Pakistan’s Domestic and External Security Challenges Following the ISAF Withdrawal from Afghanistan”. Brigadier Mohammad Iqbal Tahir lead this delegation and it was held in April 2014 at War Studies Department, Kings College London. The other journalists who participated were Christina Lamb, The Times, and Owen Bennett Jones of BBC as well as diplomats, academics and policy and security experts.
“I said to Pakistan’s (NDU) National Defence University delegation attending War Studies Department Seminar at Kings College London:
“FATA is only 1.5 % of Pakistan. What is happening in 98.5% Pakistan run by the democratically elected governments? From March 2008 to March 2013 in Pakistan 64500 people have been murdered over 14000 women have been raped including over 2000 gang rapes, burglaries and robberies are apart from this as they are in millions. All the above happened under the politically run government. Police and judiciary have become a national security threat to Pakistan now? ”
Dr Shahid Qureshi and a team of legal experts conducted a research on ‘policing – judiciary, mafias and national security’ in Pakistan. Following issues were and conclusions were highlighted in the expert report:
(1) Police and lower judiciary have become a security risk to both state and the armed forces of Pakistan.
(2) All the land mafia – qabza groups and the politicians protect criminal gangs.
(3) Recent incident of arrests an active terrorist from close to the Prime Minister’s residence in Raiwind proves that policing and lower and street level intelligence system is collapsed.
(4) Most of police arrests are actually tipped by the security agencies.
(5) Some corrupt elements in the judiciary have joined the criminal land mafia groups and providing legal protection to terrorists and criminals.
(6) Judiciary is too scared to give judgements against terrorist and cases are prolonged unnecessarily for no reason, which encourage the terrorists and criminals due to no accountability.
(7) Police has no idea where the terrorists are being launched and who provide them logistical facilities before the incidents.
(8) Land mafia gangs have become a recruiting stations for the foreign agencies as it is easily infiltrated and bought – any land mafia gang can buy out the whole police station ‘lock, stock and barrel’ with a small monthly fee.
(9) They have access to police wireless sets as well as live information set-up from senior police officers offices.
(10) Any smart operative can infiltrate these mafias and have full access to all the mafia members’ syndicate including judges, police and other officials.
(11) Lower ranking police officials at the station level are not adhering to the instructions coming from the top as they use to be the eyes and ears of the state but now they have joined the various mafia groups.
(12) The state has no ears and eyes on the ground due to police corruption and mafias
(13) System by pass – previous government of AZ introduced the ‘system by pass’ policy i.e. a direct call from President or Prime Minister house to the SHO of police station or a ‘patwari’ (land record keeper). This has undermined the whole system of governance in the country.
(14) Like a dangerous virus these SHO (head of police station) and Patwari (land record keepers) have become a national security threat to the State of Pakistan. Sooner these cancers are cured quicker the recovery.
I spoke to two senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials concerned with Pakistan after the seminar at the war college. Who were concerned with the law and order situation as well as terrorism in Pakistan? In response to my discussion and subsequent article: “Pakistan: Police corruption is bigger threat to Army than Taliban’, published on 28th April 2014 in The London Post: I received following comments from the senior FCO official: –
Dr Qureshi – “Many thanks for this interesting article and the crime figures which are both horrifying and worryingly apparently on the increase. The disparity between the armed forces and police both in terms of integrity and numbers and budgets is deeply concerning when crime rather than terrorism is so dominant, although the two go hand in hand. It is similar to the previous situation in Lebanon, where the police were not competent, sectarian and not trusted by the public, while the army was considered the real protector of the people. There the international community were able to work with the Ministry and the police to start a process of reform, which gradually started to transform their ability and willingness to fight crime and increased public trust. It is still a long way behind the army, but change has taken place.
In Pakistan, although there are various police reform programmes under way, they seem to have had little impact across the board, although there may be some improvement in some areas. This is a very significant area for reform if internal security along the lines set out in the NISP is to be achieved. At present, there does not seem to be a major strategy on the part of the (Pakistan) Federal Government and, as policing is a provincial responsibility, any reform is likely to be piecemeal and limited.
Is this an issue of public debate in Pakistan? Have any of the think tanks addressed it in their reports or politicians in their manifestos or in the National/ Provincial Assemblies? I do not recall seeing any substantial discussion.”
The above comments are self-explanatory and surely need full attention of the concerned for immediate action. Police corruption and incompetence is resulting in deaths and destruction of the civilians as well as the armed forces of Pakistan. The attack on Karachi Airport proved that police has completely failed to locate the terrorists as happened in other cases too.
Who should take responsibility of the corruption in police and growth of mafias? It is the responsibility of the politicians and that’s all.
(Dr Shahid Qureshi is senior analyst with BBC and chief editor of The London Post. He writes on security, terrorism and foreign policy. He also appears as analyst on Al-Jazeera, Press TV, MBC, Kazak TV (Kazakhstan), LBC Radio London. He was also international election observer for Kazakhstan 2015 and 2016 and Pakistan 2002. He has written a famous book “War on Terror and Siege of Pakistan” published in 2009. He wrote his MA thesis on ‘Political Thought of Imam Khomeini’ and visited Tehran University. He is PhD in ‘Political Psychology’ also studied Law at a British University. He also speaks at Cambridge University)