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Prime Minister Imran Khan must Depoliticise and Reform State Police

By Dr Shahid Qureshi: –

A traitor in the ‘capital’ is equal to killings of 20,000 soldiers in the war, and ‘Pakistan’s number One issue is treachery’, I said on a BBC news program. Ignorance of state affairs and not correcting bad governance is no excuse for the Prime Minister Imran Khan as that is his lifeline. Both Gen Zia ul Haq and Benazir Bhutto were killed by the agents and collaborators inside the country. Punjab Police could have solved both the cases, but Chief Minister Punjab Nawaz Sharif and President Asif Zardari were not interested. What is stopping Prime Minister and the (Military) GHQ in doing serious police reforms and creating independent police force in Punjab where PTI is in power?

Tipu Sultan was a brave and visionary ruler in India who even used missiles (displayed in Greenwich Artillery London Museum) against the British invaders but his negligence in controlling his ministers and advisors like Mir Saddiq and others lead to his own death and fall of the Indian empire to few thousand British. He has to give his sons to the British as guarantee. That’s not a problem for current Pakistani rulers as their sons are already here in Britain. Same happened to Nawab Sirjudulla in Bengal, when Mir Jafar betrayed in the middle of battle of Plassey. Imran Khan’s advisors who are also from the line of Mir Jafar, (great grandfather of President Sakinder Mirza) has already betrayed the state of Pakistan in the Covid19 crisis.

Imran Khan’s failure to comprehend that his so-called ‘advisors’ are actually planted by some foreign lobbies is even worse. Especially those who can play for Tehran, London and Washington at the same time. PM not taking input from the security agencies before appointing advisors is sheer stubbornness, incompetence or both? History and criminal backgrounds of the so-called overseas experts was released in the press, but Mr Khan did not get the hint. Before going international he should have looked for the experts and advisors within Pakistan like other states.

Imran Khan has surrounded himself with the people who were responsible for the mess and corruption in energy and economy, he is dealing with it today. The so-called energy experts are actually a con man. They started energy projects with the state money loaned from the banks without paying single penny by fraud and collaboration with bureaucracy. They took the profit from the project for years. The others were taking bank loans, sending it abroad and then paying black money to the banks. That’s money laundering no?

Benazir Bhutto was killed because of her stubbornness, arrogance and over confidence. ‘Don’t go Pakistan’, I personally told her face to face at the IISS in London few months earlier. She was coming to take over Pakistan but was killed on the road like her brother Murtaza Bhutto. She was prime minster twice and had she developed the police and state security institutions instead of undermining, she might be alive today. Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s son was kidnapped from his hometown and was released after allegedly paying large ransom. He also did not develop the state policing institutions.

I have full confidence on Pakistani police, and they would have solved the murder case of Benazir Bhutto, but Asif Zardari has to embarrass and blackmail the state security, so he went to the United Nations.

After reading 64 pages pointless UN report of Benazir Bhutto case costing Rs. 10 million per page makes people wonder, Asif Zardari was as compromised as Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif and Ijazul Haq after his father Gen Zia ul Haq’s assassination by a ‘friendly fire’.

Benazir Bhutto might be alive today had she thoroughly investigated President General Zia ul Haq’s C-130 plane crash on 17th August 1988, and not involved herself in the cover up? (President) Asif Zardari covered up Benazir Bhutto murder case as she covered up the C-130 military plane crash. Punjab Police was actually harassed by the local foreign agents as reported a senior officer.

Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto sent a direct threatening message to a Pakistan Air Force officer Group Captain Zaheer Zaidi, who solved the case of crash and got crucial evidence proving that C-130 Crash was a sabotage not an accident.

Benazir Bhutto’s State Minister for Defence Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, during his stay as a guest of the PAF Chief at the Lower Topa VIP Guest House near Muree, from 5 to 8 May 1989, summoned Group Captain Zaheer Zaidi and said: “Mr. I have brought a message of BB (Benazir Bhutto) to you; it is: (a) It was an act of God, (b) Let the dead sleep peacefully in their graves, (c) Whoever wants to ask anything in this matter should telephone God, (d) You will not say anything on this subject; in future keep your mouth shut.” This was a clear threat to Zaidi.”

“On 18 March 1989, (in the month of Ramazan), there was an iftar party at the Intelligence School, Guldana Camp, in the hill resort of Ghora Gali. The chief guest at the party was Colonel (retired) Ghulam Sarwar Cheema, who was then Minister of State for Defence [in Ms Bhutto’s government]. Group Captain Zaheer Zaidi, being the Commander of the nearby PAF Base, Lower Topa, was also invited to the party. Finding an opportunity, Zaidi mentioned the subject of the inquiry into the C-130 crash to the Minister. Cheema told him to ‘keep quiet and said that: he would come to the Lower Topa Base to talk to him on the subject’. Zaidi, at that time, had no idea that Ghulam Sarwar Cheema was a close relative of Major General Sarfaraz Cheema who had ordered CMH Bahawalpur to stop the post-mortems of the dead bodies.

On 19th July 1989, Group Captain Zaheer Zaidi was informed that he was no longer needed at the Lower Topa Base; therefore, his services were being placed at the disposal of the Pakistan Navy. Zaidi was transferred on secondment to the Navy, from where he was sent on retirement on 5th August 1991. Group Captain Zaheer Zaidi, was president of the standing Accident Investigation Board of the Pakistan Air Force.

On 22nd September 1989, the American team signed on the investigation report. On 25th September, the Pakistani investigation team hosted a dinner for the Americans at a Chinese restaurant in Islamabad. The next day at the American Chancellery, ambassador Robert Oakley invited the Pakistanis and the Americans to a cocktail party. After initial formalities, Robert Oakley addressed the Pakistani team and said: “Gentlemen, I have been informed that sabotage is being cited as the real cause of the crash. We cannot help the dead but can help the living. Therefore, it will be better that instead of sabotage, technical fault is mentioned as the real cause of the crash. If that is not done, then your country would be involved in a war with your neighbouring country.”

What other explanation Zardari regime could have for not properly investigating Ms Bhutto’s murder and Nawaz Sharif as chief minister Punjab for Gen Zia’s plane crash apart from that as someone said:

“Shreek-e- jurm na hotaa to mukhberee kartaa
Humain khabar hay lotaroon kay har thekanay kee”

Translation: (if we were) not part of the crime we would have informed (police) (Because) we know hideouts of the criminals (looters).

The bottom line is if Pakistan had ‘independent policing system’ in place lot of damage to the state and soldiers could have been averted.

(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 Presidential election observer for Kazakhstan, 2019, 2016 and 2015, Azerbaijan2020, 2018 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 and visiting professor in Hebe University in China.)

Views expressed are not of The London Post

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