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.