Lahoriites as well as entire Pakistan was stunned by the moving scenes flashing on our media yesterday morning. In broad day light from down town Lahore, Salman Taseer’s son Shahbaz was abducted by armed men riding on a jeep, and this is all to the story. The event took place just after 10 am, and since then it’s the same tale of conspiracies giving space to further conspiracies.
Shahbaz, heading his slain father’s business empire is no different from the other children’s of Salman Taseer. Progressive, yet they have no inclination toward the current political scenario in Pakistan, nor I will place a bet on them to take over Pakistan’s political scene in the coming future.
In Pakistan, one can today wake up to any news in the morning and simply comfort oneself by saying “it isn’t the 1st time, or even worst could have happened”. Just in a decade or so we woke up on 12th October to be surprised that a PM with 2/3rd majority has been shifted to jail while a General in uniform has been crowned as the new emperor, not so long after that the twice elected PM got assassinated without a clue till date, than on one May morning the world woke up to the shock that OBL, the most wanted man in the world has been found and eliminated next to a garrison town in Pakistan…………. so Shahbaz Taseer kidnapping can be a continuation of these “untold-unexplained dramas” of Pakistan and its political sphere.
For the 1st few hours it seemed that like numerous incidents taking place every day, Shahbaz might be picked up for ransom or other worldly benefit, which for sure Taseer family has no limitation. On the other hand one couldn’t rule out extremist forces, the same which took out the deceased Governor while in office earlier this year. But certain reaction and actions very coordinated and swift have turned many heads in a specific direction, the path of dirty politics. A kidnapping of this magnitude, is a nightmare for any administration and especially at this time. The CM of Punjab was in Karachi, and made his entry back into his province after the episode had taken place. An emergency meeting was called at airport, attended by law Minister Punjab and senior officials from security apparatus of the province, for an overview and way forward on this issue. The next trip was to the Taseer family, as a gesture of support and seriousness to the issue. Side by side, the CM also lead from the front by taking over the whole recovery operation, personally.
Now we live in not so ordinary timing, where every day hundreds perish in suicide bombings across Pakistan, people get kidnapped and later recovered, ofcourse their heads from a sack on the road. Entire localities taken hostage for days by armed men moving freely, while the law enforcement agencies wait for a political solution to this mess. With this prevailing, let me put forward a calculated response from certain quarters, as if they were waiting for the “precise moment” to pass by. While it happened in a provincial capital undoubtedly, the matter is of state level, keeping in mind the target. Straight away a bombardment of political pundits from the ruling party targeted CM Shahbaz Sharif and his administration for the said incident, and in a short time a policy statement was witnessed from PPP Punjab regarding the launch of “Mass Protest” against the existing setup… Superb. As if prepared in advance, their leaders from every corner blessed the media screen with dead right numbers of kidnapping and killings on Punjab soil in the past 3 years, and left no stone unturned to prove that the current administration in Punjab itself is behind the incident. The ever visionary Raja Riaz jumped into the band wagon by demanding “resignation” from CM Punjab on immediate basis. I wonder why Raja Sahab never left his morning “Nehari Nashta” to demand the same from their party CM in Sindh, under whose nose in the last one month hundreds have perished.
This flash screen of the events from yesterday by a specific grouping is to give you a clue about what “might be or may be” the real force behind this incident. The executives in Islamabad, Mr President, PM and the Interior Minister also came out to voice their concern, but did manage to take calculated steps, in order to be on a safe distance. The President, being the spear header of every other crisis in places like Karachi, did not bother to call in an emergency session or meeting of the concerned stake holders, in an effort to initiate a joint force for the recovery of Shahbaz Taseer. Same is the case with PM and Interior Minister, they were very vocal in their reservation on law and order situation in the context of this episode, but never offered the resources at their disposal on this issue. Nearly every opponent of CM Punjab and his administration mentioned his very significant dash to Karachi a night before, exclaiming on media the unwanted intervention of Sharif’s in Sindh affairs. The timing, immediately after this visit is enough to turn heads, along with the targeted campaign launched in such an organize manner.
Lastly, the scheme for the kidnapping is very significant. The place, center of the city, the timing, making clear that the attackers had no haste or worry of escape, the operation, nothing less than what we witness in Hollywood CIA inspired block busters, is enough to reveal the “would be” force behind this episode. It was carried out in the most professional manner, and the events after this episode were no mere coincidence, rather a well coordinated effort. The slain Governor was an extra ordinary politician as well as entrepreneur, but his children were no threat to any one politically. The chap has nothing to do with this, and it is very important that Shahbaz is recovered safe and sound. As the events are still rolling, its pretty hard to ascertain the final culprit of the crime and for that I have “may” and “would” to leave space for the final outcome. Punjab administration at any cost is responsible for the lawlessness under its domain, and should resolve this case in the most transparent manner to solve this case, and recover Shahbaz Taseer safe and sound.
A few months back a top line journalist was abducted from Islamabad, later recovered dead but haven’t heard Mr Rehman Malik’s team in Islamabad delivering a single credible report on that.
I pray for the early recovery of Mr Taseer, and safe and sound return to his family, but it seems that what ever ethics or morality we had in politics in this region, are gone. Politics and power run together, but its obsession goes a long way.