Sunday, June 27, 2010

Pledging No Revenge

Upright Opinion
June 27, 2010

Pledging No Revenge

By Saeed Qureshi

President Zardari in his speech made on Benazir’s Bhutto 57th Birthday declared that he is not going to take revenge of his wife and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson’s assassination. It is a strange logic propounded by him. He thinks that the advent of a democratic order in Pakistan is the only revenge that was pertinent and befitting to the murder of a towering political leader of Pakistan.
He churned out the same logic last year on the second death anniversary of Benazir in that he too equaled his spouse’s murder probe with the compensation of a democratic dispensation in Pakistan. By the way, the re-establishment of democracy in Pakistan was the outcome of the legal activism and lawyers uproarious marches and stormy street agitations than any contribution by the PPP’s political leadership.
In the meantime, the government had assigned the task of probing the ghastly murder to the United Nations at a fabulous cost of 5 million dollars albeit with a limited mandate. Zardari and other PPP leaders have thus far welcomed the United Nations 65 pages report. However, all of a sudden the government has starting branding it as a flawed report.
In this connection, the PPP government has handed over a memorandum to the United Nations general secretary highlighting the inadequacies of the report. The two stances of the PPP government stand in contradiction with each other. One is flabbergasted to figure out why the government in the first instance bothered the United Nations to probe this case and why it welcomed it initially.
Even the investigation that was conducted indigenously confirms the names of the suspects who were arrested immediately after the murder. If they were the assassins then there was no need to invoke the United Nations to come into play and distract the focus from the domestic investigation, which was more relevant and credible than that of any international organization. Still there no reason for Mr. Zardari to declare time and again that he knew the real culprits but would reveal their names at an appropriate time.
The mandate given to the United Nations’ investigation team was narrowly limited in it scope and, therefore, was limited to broad conjectures, hazy hints and fuzzy corollaries that were not helpful in fulfilling the main task of reaching the heinous culprits. The government of Pakistan, has of late, objected to the United Nations’ report, which was of perfunctory nature. The objections of the report might have been due to a late realization by the PPP government that it

might have contained some hints to expose the real culprits in the longer run. The security lapse and lacunas pointed by the UN report must be to the chagrin of certain powerful actors who might have awakened to the murky possibility of being nabbed or identified as responsible for faulty and insufficient security arrangements for the fallen leader.
One can only scantly surmise that the later volte- face might have been due to the possibility that the president of Pakistan or some heavyweights of the party or other powerful invisible characters might be part of the conspiracy to kill Benazir Bhutto. Nevertheless, the minds of the people in Pakistan are not still clear of the doubts that her spouse who is clamoring no blood for the blood of Benazir was somehow trying to push the whole high profile murder under the rug to save him and other stalwarts in or out of the Pakistan People’s Party.
Hamid Mir the celebrated anchor of the GEO Television’s popular program, “Capital Talk” in his article ( published in daily Jang on April 26), has accused the then chief of Military intelligence Maj. General Nadeem Ijaz as one of the accomplices and mastermind in the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. He alleged that on his orders the place of assassination was hosed and even post mortem not carried out. Presumably, there seems to be a backdoor pressure on Zardari to not divulge any further information on Benazir’s Assassination. Hence, his backtracking from the previous pronouncements.
The traditions of Balochis and Sindhis is to not forgive but to exact blood for blood until someone begs for mercy or there is a quod pro quo for heavy compensation like marriages and confiscation of lands and property of the perpetrators. If they can kill a man or woman for committing adultery in broad day light, why should they relent on the blood of an eminent scion of the Bhutto family and chairerspon of the party whose other leaders are now in power?
It is a pity that the party whose top leader was killed has not hotly and assiduously chased the assassins and was rather painfully and staggeringly slow in conducting the inquiry. There have been more vociferous demands from other parties for the hot pursuit of the assassins than her own party. Woefully, an ace leader was brutally murdered without visibly any remorse from her heirs or the party top brass. The latest call from Zardari also means that, “do not ask questions about the poor insecurity, the fleeing away of Rehman Malik and Babar Awan from the murder scene and finally no post martem for the deceased leader.” In a nutshell it means forget about the murder.
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