The tiff between politicians and military needs to stop
At a time when the operation against terrorism is in its critical stages, any distraction that compromises national unity has to be discouraged. An address by Corps Commander, Karachi, last month wherein he held ‘vested interest’ and ‘political expediencies’ responsible for the problems in the mega city, had raised many eyebrows. Within weeks of the address, DG Rangers, Sindh, submitted a report to the provincial Apex Committee accusing certain politicians of corruption, land grabbing, extortion and smuggling. A version of the report was simultaneously dispatched to the media. Soon after Rangers in balaclavas raided the SBCA offices in Karachi indicating they had taken over the responsibility of tracing out illegal land transactions. This showed a complete lack of confidence in civilian institutions by the establishment.
The Rangers were called in to help improve law and order in Karachi. They are not trained to launch probes into issues like corruption or land grabbing. In case they possessed evidence against certain politicians in this respect, the best way was to hand it over to Police for registration of cases. Alternately they could have shared it with NAB and FIA. That this was not done indicates a distrust in civilian institutions. Publicising the unproven charges was bound to be interpreted as a media trial of the politicians. A perception was bound to be created that the government under pressure from the establishment was about to dismiss the Sindh government. With the clarification made by the Minister of State for the Interior the perception would hopefully be removed.
What is needed at this juncture is to strengthen the civilian institutions. Corruption and misuse of authority is not confined to politicians alone as reports about such practices following successive military rules show. The presence of strong institutions alone can put an end to the ills. Overzealous persons in positions of authority have, therefore, to be reined in. Former President Asif Ali Zardari also needs to be reminded of his belief in resolving all issues through talks instead of agitation.