Did Rehman Malik Really Say This?

Posted on October 9, 2010
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice
22 Comments
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Adil Najam

According to a news item published in the Express Tribune, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has “revealed” that families of several militants were “hiding” in Karachi and that “the government will take strict action against them.”

I have learnt to ignore most of what Mr. Malik says. Yet this statement made me stop in my tracks and wonder whether he had actually said this? If so, what did he really mean? And if it means what it seems to mean, could even he mean what this means?

I wonder about this partly because I have not yet the same news being carried by other mainstream newspapers. Maybe, they too have come to ignore Mr. Malik’s theatrics. Or, maybe, the intensity of other news is keeping this little item out. I hope it is not the later; because if it is so then something really important is being ignored. In fact, I hope it is because he did not say this; because if he did then one should worry about the state of law and justice in the country even more than we already do.

I assume that everyone will immediately understand why I am so incensed by this statement. But for those who do not, let me spell it out: the statement above suggests that it is a crime to be related to a militant, that those who are related to militants are (and should be) in hiding, and that it is our state’s policy to “take strict action” against anyone who is related to a militant!

Since when is it a crime to be ‘related’ to a militant?

What is indefensible is the idea that it is OK to punish – nay, “take strict action against” – the family of militants just because they are related to someone who turned out bad. This notion of guilt by association is not just disturbing, it is a travesty of the basic principles of justice.

22 Comments on “Did Rehman Malik Really Say This?”

  1. Junaid says:
    October 9th, 2010 6:53 pm

    He probably did say it. And what is worse is that he probably means it too!

  2. KARACHIWALLA says:
    October 9th, 2010 6:57 pm

    I think there is much more to this. This is preparing for a massive police action and cleanup in Karachi. This is preparing the way for that.

  3. Ghiasuddin says:
    October 9th, 2010 7:06 pm

    Guilt by association is what all of Pakistan politics is based on. Musharraf haters, Nawaz Sharif haters, Zardari haters, even Rahman Malik haters, they all base all their beliefs on this principle.

    Just wait and you will see this guilt by association evident even in the comments here.

  4. sadaf says:
    October 9th, 2010 7:41 pm

    hopefully they won’t take a page out of Israel’s playbook and destroy the family homes of convicted militants.

  5. Naan Haleem says:
    October 9th, 2010 9:44 pm

    In punjabi we say….
    گرو جنہاں دے ٹپنے تے چیلے جان شڈرپ
    Guroo jinhan de tapney te chailey jaan sharrap

    Its not just him, rather it is the thought of the whole hierarchy of DECISION MAKERS of Pakistan

  6. Saad says:
    October 9th, 2010 11:02 pm

    this joker is famous for such baseless and stupid statements!

  7. Qadir says:
    October 10th, 2010 3:05 am

    this issue of guilt by association is really an important one, because it is not just Rehman Malik, but all of us who are guilty of it

  8. Roshan says:
    October 10th, 2010 3:29 am

    Dr. Adil,
    You have rightly pointed out the guilt by association policy that already have been in place by our ruling security establishment in collaboration with local partners.
    It has its history from Swat operation and I am glad that Human Rights organizations showed their concerns about the social exclusion of ‘guilt by association’. However these concerns hardly given serious thoughts by our security establishment.
    Here is link about Swat: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/16-taliban+families+expelled+from+swat-hs-10

  9. Umar Shah says:
    October 10th, 2010 3:37 am

    Govt./Police/Army action is needed in FATA not Karachi. Once the vermin are blasted out of their holes in those mountains we may be able to move forward as a nation.

  10. Beena says:
    October 10th, 2010 3:48 am

    @Umar Shah.
    I am all for action against extremists and militants. But please tell me how a 7-year old nephew of someone who might be a militant is “vermin”? Because that what it means when you start taking action against families

  11. Khairulbashar Siddiqui says:
    October 10th, 2010 1:04 pm

    I would agree with you, if your assumption is correct. But the reality of life is that they are not only related, they are supporting them with everything, as the real target is to take over Karachi , when time is right. We have to wake up and smell the coffee. Extremism is a problem which need to be dealt with full force.

  12. Daanish says:
    October 10th, 2010 1:11 pm

    In reality and if Mr. Malik has guts he should RESIGN.
    He is notelected as well as he has failed miserably in maintaining law and order in our country.

    His comments are like policy of state sponsored torture to innocent families.

    Shame !

  13. Kaffir Per Pakistani Law says:
    October 10th, 2010 3:23 pm

    Adil yaar:
    “it is a travesty of the basic principles of justice.”

    Can you recall who were the FIRST VICTIMS of traversty of the basic principles of justice?

  14. Sajjad says:
    October 11th, 2010 5:38 am

    Bad. but wait , Militants dont care whos family they are targetting so may be it was a bold statement that security forces can follow the same suit if they continue to kill innocent people.

  15. Jawed says:
    October 11th, 2010 6:18 am

    No Sajjad, you do NOT.
    If you did then you become no different and no better than the terrorists.

  16. Ben says:
    October 11th, 2010 1:36 pm

    It is not Rehman Malik only, it is his boss too who has started talking strange things. Today he said that dictators have played with Pakistan without realizing that there are so many people who are playing with Pakistan now. As a matter of fact, ever since Mr Zardari’s installation, people around the world have started talking about Pakistan’s break-up or “Balkanization” to sort out its problems. Are you listening Mr President! If you are then please read: http://pksecurity.blogspot.com/2010/10/are-you-listening-mr-president.html

  17. Malik Ali says:
    October 11th, 2010 10:21 pm

    Prof. Najam, you are being too kind on Rehman Malik by assuming that he may not have said this. As a former PPP supporters who has given up on ZAB’s party because of thugs and charlatans like Rahman Malik and Hussain Haqqani invading the party, I think that this ghundagardi mindset is now what defines the new generation of jiyalas. There politics is all the politics of ghundagardi and blackmail.

  18. PPP Jiyala says:
    October 12th, 2010 1:18 pm

    You have written against the Jiyala-in-chief. I am afraid now you will not be spared either. All the jiyalas will be after you I guess. Enjoy their attacks.

  19. Ammar says:
    October 13th, 2010 5:59 am

    Taliban are engaged in propaganda warfare and they are disseminating propaganda to undermine our efforts in the war against terror. The question of reconciliation with Taliban is not possible as their ideology coincides with the Al-Qaeda, however those elements who want socio political change can be taken in to the mainstream and as they can be rehabilitated.

  20. Azra says:
    October 13th, 2010 12:56 pm

    Prof. Najam, I am not a PPP fan and a have a strong dislike for Rahman Malik. But even then, i really appreciate your mature and respectful tone and raising the question of whether he said it or not. In our current environment where everyone plays dirty and everyone is on a smear campaign to malign everyone that they have the slightest disagreement with, it is good to see at least someone with decency.

  21. Rasheed says:
    October 14th, 2010 1:59 am

    People like Hussain Haqqani and Rahman Malik have no shame and will sell out everyone, even Zardari, for their own interest. So this does not surprise me at all (plus, he has never contradicted this news). What Haqqani did was even worse: he went on US TV and DEFENDED drone attacks because they were because of warnings of attacks on US. Give me a break, Mr. Haqqani!

  22. Wadood says:
    October 16th, 2010 3:30 pm

    Not only did he say this, he meant it! Musharraf did the same and so do the Americans.

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