Sunday, April 15, 2007

A New Brand of ‘Law Enforcers’?









I have little idea who the writer Sadiq Saleem is, but he has posted an intriguing article on New-Pakistan.Com in which he suggests that we may have a new brand of ‘law enforcers’ operating in Pakistan.

It is sounds shivers-running-up-the-spine scary!

I note that he quotes the US-based former Pakistani police officer Hassan Abbas as one of his sources of information. Does anyone have any further information on this subject?
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Islamabad Police Talks of ‘Strangers in Police Uniform;’ Strange Goings on as Pakistan Turns into Mukharabat State

Evidence indicates that Pakistan’s ubiquitous intelligence services now have a secret division of Stormtroopers who might have been responsible for the manhandling of Supreme Court Chief Justice, Mr. Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, as well as for the much condemned attack on the studios of Geo Television.

During the hearing before an inquiry tribunal in the incident of the Chief Justice’s manhandling, the Police Officer incharge of the relevant Police station laid responsibility at the door of “strangers in police uniform.” According to an account of the inquiry tribunal’s proceedings in Dawn, the Station House Officer (SHO) of the Kohsar police station, Inspector Rukhsar Mehdi maintained that he was rather away from the place where the Chief Justice was reportedly roughed up.

“He claimed that some strangers in police uniform were present on the spot where the CJ and his wife were manhandled and forced to ride an official car before proceeding to the Supreme Court where the Supreme Judicial Council was to meet on March 13,” Dawn reported.

Earlier, author and scholar Hassan Abbas, himself a former Police Service of Pakistan officer, had confirmed in an interview on Voice of America (VOA) that the attack on Geo television had been conducted by members of the Corps of Military Intelligence and not by the Punjab police whose uniforms the attackers wore.

Both reports seem to indicate that Pakistan’s intelligence services now have a covert division of stormtroopers who can terrorize people not liked by the regime and can get away with it by shifting the blame to regular branches of government such as the police force.

The police in Pakistan do not have a good reputation so it is easy for General Pervez Musharraf and his Gestapo-like intelligence services to maintain deniability of their involvement in attacks that might cause a backlash as was the case with the manhandling of Justice Chaudhry and the ransacking of Geo television’s studios.

In addition to the two events, there were also reports of intelligence agency personnel dressed as lawyers trying to join lawyers’ protests. These people could have acted as agents provocateurs attempting to discredit the lawyers’ anti-Musharraf campaign or disrupt the protests. But some of them were identified by lawyers who forced them to run off without carrying out their disruptive mission.

Emergence of information about a covert organization that performs more than the usual spying, arm-twisting and blackmailing functions associated with Pakistan’s intelligence agencies confirms that Pakistan is now a full-fledged ‘Mukhabarat State.’ For those who are not familiar with the term, ‘Mukhabarat State’ describes Middle Eastern countries where a U.S.-backed head of state (such as Hosni Mubarak of Egypt) rules with the help of an expansive secret police that manipulates and control every aspect of civilian life.

At the tribunal of inquiry into the manhandling of the Chief Justice, Police Inspector Rukhsar Mehdi was shown a picture published in a section of the press in which the chief justice was surrounded by a number of police officers and a person whose face was not visible grabbing the chief justice by the hair, he said picture was genuine but he could not recognize the man whose hand pulled the Chief Justice’s hair.

When the tribunal head Justice Afzal asked him to recognize a police inspector in the pictures, the SHO said the man-in-uniform was a stranger and not an officer of the Islamabad police. "I have spent years in the capital police but I have never seen this man before," he was reported as saying.

- Sadiq Saleem New-Pakistan.Com



5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is definitely spine chilling. The way secret services in Pakistan have been expanding, it is not at all surprising.

Anonymous said...

This is a natural consequence of what is essentially a military dictatorship.

No ruler can rule for long without an organised popular base to keep the peace at street/regional level. Even the dictatorial governments of erstwhile Soviet Union and present-day China work with the single party, the Communist party to provide them organised broad based support as well as a method of 'distribution of spoils' to keep the base happy.

Either Musharraf will require the support of such a popular base which helps keeps the peace at street/regional level or he will have to rely increasingly on a repressive secret service to keep the peace.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

There is a political party that provides Musharaff with an organized broad base to keep the peace with and with whom he shares the spoils of his rule. It is the oldest, most well funded, most well organized, and most powerful political party in Pakistan: the Army.

As long as the top brass do not feel that Musharaff is hurting their or the Army's domestic political and economic interests, Musharaff will remain in power and will get away with anything including things like getting rid of the the Chief Justice.

AAS said...

It doesn't suprise me a bit. And lets not get too "hysterical". Zulfiqar Bhutto had his own force(goons) as well and i am sure others did too in some form or shape too.

Anonymous said...

I do not know Mr. Sadiq Saleem but new-pakistan.com has been on the mark before. They predicted Musharraf's plans to get rid of the Chief Justice.

The editor of New-Pakistan.com, Syed Hussainy, lives in Canada (Toronto, I think) and was a minor player in Karachi politics (MRD, ARD type stuff) during the 1980s and early 1990s.