Surprise, surprise By Kamran Shafi Tuesday, 21 Sep, 2010,-surprise-190

Surprise, surprise, that the case of journalist Umar Cheema’s late night kidnapping from Islamabad the Beautiful, his violent beating; crudely shaving his head and eyebrows; hanging him upside down, and dropping him off after a several-hour ride, most of it on the motorway, 120 kms away from Islamabad by thugs of an intelligence agency has reached the usual dead-end. 
Well, what’s new? Yet another dastardly and cruel act by the Deep State shoved under the humongous filthy carpet, maintained with loving care for more years than I care to remember, by our venal and heartless establishment. 

To the matter, however: the motorway authorities say that they do not have CCTV cameras mounted at the entry and exit points of the motorway so they have no way of knowing which type of vehicle might have been used in the kidnap. But what about the toll booth records? 

Since in all likelihood the vehicle in which Cheema was transported entered the motorway at Islamabad (or Fatehjang) and exited at the Chakwal/Talagang exit, the records of these three points should suffice to at least get the registration numbers of all the vehicles that used that section during the approximate hours of his kidnapping. 

So why in heavens name can’t the motorway authorities be made to hand over the record to the much-vaunted Islamabad traffic police who can then try to find the offending vehicle? Surely even the traffic police should know the registration numbers of the vehicles in the use of the brutes that go by the name of ‘intelligence agents’ in the capital of the Citadel of Islam? 

Surely they would, for they must notice these yahoos race about dangerously, following and harassing peaceful and law-abiding citizens who might have chanced to, say, go to a diplomatic mission or to a diplomat’s house. 

As a matter of fact, even the lay police should know these vehicles by sight because they do not even slow down at the various check-posts erected all across the city, check-posts where an ordinary mortal can get shot dead if one does not stop, as happened to a poor lad some time ago. 

But no, of course not. We will never find out what happened to poor Umar Cheema because the Deep State does not want us to find out. It is a law, a country, a nation, and a state unto itself all rolled up in one, independently sprung as it is due to the billions of rupees it forcibly purloins from the hapless government of Pakistan on pain of imminent death and worse. 

No police force in the country dare stand up to it, let alone nominate it on well-investigated and well-founded suspicions of grave wrongdoing. 

The above we already knew, those of us who have dared to even murmur opposition to its stupidities in the mistaken belief that Pakistan does not only belong to the Deep State, it belongs to all us Pakistanis. And that all of us must put our shoulder to the wheel to move our country forward. No! roars the Deep State ... do what I say otherwise I shall teach you a lesson you will never forget. (Witness Umar Cheema’s tribulations, dear reader). 

But by far the more frightening part of the Deep State’s recent exertions is that it is now targeting innocent citizens who have nothing whatsoever to do with the press, or writing, or admonishing it in any way. 

Recent letters to the editor of this newspaper of record state that at least two readers have in the most recent past experienced harassment at the hands of unnamed people speaking from ‘Private Number Calling’. 

In one case, a letter writer complained that his SIM was being used by someone else, probably someone from the Deep State, who else? 

A reader of mine has been complaining by emails to me for some time now of calls from ‘Private Number Calling’ during which the person on the other side asked this gentleman if his SIM was being used by someone else. When this gentleman said it wasn’t and could he know who was calling, the caller traced his ancestry and told him he had better watch out lest he get hurt. 

What in the world is going on? Is this an attempt to ripen and prepare unsuspecting people for a shakedown after threatening them of dire consequences? 

Are these rogue elements who are out to make money through blackmail to finance their dark doings? What in the world is going on? 

This is a situation that simply cannot be allowed to go on, Deep State or no Deep State. There should be no ‘private numbers’ whatsoever. All users of the mobile/landline networks should be treated equally when it comes to the identification of the number calling a certain telephone. We know we live in the dark shadow of the establishment, growing darker all the time, but it is time we the people stood up and said, “Enough!” 

The shadows are growing ever darker because the two main political players, the PPP and the PML-N, are slowly but surely being hijacked by hard-hearted hawks on both sides, who little realise that united they stand, divided they (both) fall. 

An aside here: how silly Babar Awan looked when asked if the federal government would charge Musharraf under Article 6. “The Punjab government should charge him since it was the PML-N government that he dismissed and the same party now rules Punjab which is 60 per cent of the country”, or words to that effect said Babar. I ask you. And I thought that whatever else he was, the man was clever. How wrong one can be! 

In the end, a call to the hardworking and good Shahbaz Sharif: have the seemingly stupid and cooked-up story to harm the Hon’ble CJ of the Lahore High Court looked at most closely. If it is indeed so, isolate the person(s) who have misled you and punish him/them most severely. It is giving Punjab a very bad name indeed.

No comments:

Post a Comment