Rehman Malik's Resignation

Over at Five Rupees there is a blog post calling for Rehman Malik’s resignation as a result of the deteriorating security situation in the country. Leaving aside the fact that today’s attack was at a military mosque with special security protocols for who is or is not allowed to enter which I am sure the Interior Ministry is not in control of, what, would be the benefit of singling out the Interior Minister as the scapegoat for the current security situation in the country?

A resignation by the Interior Minister would rightfully be seen as a mea culpa. This would have the direct effect of shielding the military establishment from all responsibility for the current situation. The resignation of a prominent member of the PPP government would also deal a severe blow to a government that most are declaring as on the verge of collapse. Furthermore, this would feed into a situation in which it is an open secret that the very highest level of the military is actively working to destabilize the current civilian set up.

I could perhaps see some sense in this resignation if Rehman Malik’s statements regarding the origin of the terrorist attacks were any more misguided or shocking than those made by the military. Alas, they are not. Athar Abbas has repeatedly described the unearthing of mysterious caches of Indian arms and medical supplies in Waziristan. In addition, the military is the one actually benefiting from this policy of obfuscation as it serves to strengthen the military’s deliberate policy of distinguishing between the Afghan Taliban and the Pakistani Taliban by painting them as foreign agents. In essence, by denying there is any link between the two Talibans, and even more egregiously, actively promoting the Afghan Taliban, the army and its apologists are committing an act of dire treason against the people of Pakistan

The army cannot continue its double game of shielding some militant groups and fighting some others under false pretenses. No amount of civilian scapegoats are going to change this ground reality. It’s naive to expect any change in this policy but the least we can do is to not play into its hands.

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2 responses to “Rehman Malik's Resignation

  1. Congratulations, Rabia, for writing this post. Rehman Malik has been a a soft target of the establishment and its agents in Pakistani media and politics. Asadullah Ghalib has written some excellent columns in defence of RM in the past few months analysing and appreciating his performance and determination in Pakistan’s war on terror. It is naive to demand his resignation given the limitations that he is “allowed to operate in”.

  2. admin

    Abdul, I (and you, as well, I am sure) have plenty of criticisms of Rehman Malik’s politics. But I’ve realized that regardless of PPP’s flaws (and there are many), if one is a) interested in preserving democracy in Pakistan and b) not a Taliban sympathizer there is no other option than to support the current government. The unfortunate reality is that there are people on various sides of the spectrum who are not interested in both those cases. We have our enlightened moderate elite with contempt for democracy and we have our Taliban lovers with an opportunistic interest in democracy but active opposition to any anti-Taliban policies taken by the government and military. The funny thing is that both of them attack the government for totally opposite reasons.

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