Disturbing Images from Islamabad: Shameful and Needless Violence Against Lawyers and Protestors

Posted on September 29, 2007
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, Politics
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Adil Najam

The stream of disturbing images from Islamabad continues. It has left one dumbfounded. But one must never be silent in the face of injustice. Of the many disturbing reports and images that have been floating in, there is probably none more poignantly disturbing than this one from ARY:

pakistan police media lawyers

Violence, of course, can only beget violence, and one saw this too in the manhandling of the State Minister for Information, Tariq Azeem. Yet more evidence that violence is replacing discourse as the mode of disagreement in Pakistani society.

Tariq Azeem Manhandled

This is not a question of which side you are on. Ultimately you have to be against violence. We have written about shameful violence and police brutality before – tearing down the shalwar of a young man in a ‘missing persons’ protest and then also against the lawyers during the CJ movement. But this is not just shameful; it is needless. Now there are also reports of muzzling the media; another tactic we have seen before. It demonstrates the government’s slipping grip on power, but it also demonstrates a society that is so torn that every issues – may it be religious, social or political – has to end in violence.

The government, after all, has already gotten the verdict it wanted. At least let the people vent out their anger. There is nothing to be gained from this violence. For a nation that has already lost so much, this is merely also losing whatever little dignity that might have remained. As I have written already in a comment elsewhere, history shall judge the merit of the decision that was given by the Supreme Court on the 28th of September, but the violence of the 29th of September was shameful and needless and will remain (yet another) blot of our national political psyche.

50 responses to “Disturbing Images from Islamabad: Shameful and Needless Violence Against Lawyers and Protestors”

  1. MG says:

    Come on people don’t tell me you are still weeping over Bangla…if it were not for Gen. Akhtar Malik and his brother…you would have lost the entire Pakistan.

    Besides, koun see tuoap chaalaa lee hay Bangliown nay….the enitre country is falling apart much like the whole of SA Asia and all beacuse we don’t rule with justice and equal rights for all regardless of their fatih, color creed etc. etc.

    Pakistan is a great country and Inshallah due to prayers of pious individuals and sacrifice of many pious Muslims it will Inshallah gain glory, but with prayers and once equal rights for all are protected adn given.

  2. sallahudin says:

    Well said Mr Harris Siddiqi,

    It saved me saying it. The problem with us is that we are so embrioled in western culture that we are quite happy quoting their twisted views about our beloved nation. Any one in their right mind would think, that no one in the westernised countries is ever going to say anything good about Pakistan. Our country which is the most strongest in Islamic nations cannot be looked upon favourably by the west.
    Patxpat obviously does not read anything favourable to Pakistan. He should have read Indian books commenting about how the Indian army went about destroying the image of our army. Mukti bahni which was in reality indian soldiers would go about looting, raping and anything else they could do in Pakistani army uniforms to destroy pak army image in the eyes of East Pakistanis. It looks like that you have been an expat for so long that you have lost the ability to distinguish a lie from the truth.
    I took an oath 35 years ago to uphold the good name of our nation, to defend my country through thick and thin. I still hold that very close to my heart. My country comes first, it will still be there after all of us.
    It would be very patriotic if people could confine their views to the betterment of our nation. Get out there do something without any reward or personal glorification. May ALLAH forgive our indiscretions. Ameen

    There is always light at the end of the tunnel, but you have to get to the end of tunnel first.

    With Regards

  3. Harris Siddiqi says:


    I understand that blaming the Pak Army for the misfortunes of Pakistan is in vogue these days but you are taking a tone that suggests that the entire Pakistan Army is corrupt.

    The $5 Billion you speak of is not being distributed among the generals while they sit around a desk and throw money at each other. Pakistan Army is one of the largest in the world and in the pre 9/11 world was hurting for weapon systems because of your so called democratically elected governments while their enemy was on a buying spree during those days. They have to make up for the lost time and also for the future to keep up with the sworn enemy and if you ever get a chance to check the prices of military hardware in the international market, you will find out that $5 Billion doesn’t even cover a decent shopping trip. The existing missile and nuclear program of Pakistan also eats a lot of money (Over $1.2 Billion a year by some reports).

    Lets talk about the 4 star general and his BMW. Seems like you would like the general to travel on the roof of public transportation. Name one country in the world where a general retires poor. It takes a lot of effort, hard work and intelligence to reach the rank of a general and they should be paid well just like a CEO of a public company. If you are good at your profession you should be well off.

    I would also like to point out that driving a BMW should not automatically mean that the general is corrupt. It may be that the plot he was allocated in Gujranwala when he was a major 25 years ago went up 100 times in value, enabling him to buy a BMW which every Nathu Khaira in Pakistan has, ever thought about that ? And by the way did Khalid bin Walid , Tariq Bin Ziyaad and Salah ud Din Ayubi ride on the best horses available at the time or walked barefooted during the wars ? ( that was just a light natured comment not grounds for further arguments)

    Now lets talk about the bad seeds in the army. Of course they are there just like there are bad clerks in government offices and bad teachers in government schools. That is just who we are, corrupt people by nature and army is nothing more than people like you and I wearing a khaki uniform but we don’t call all clerks corrupt or all teachers bad then why pick on the entire army?

    I am quite sick of hearing about the rape and atrocities of Pakistani Army in 1971. Were all 100,000 or so Pakistani soldiers in East Pakistan raping Bengali women? Were they all slaughtering the poor Bengali men? and don’t even start on Baluchistan before reading the entire history of the conflict and the social complexities in that province that lead to a clash.

    Next time when a flood hits lower Sindh or an earthquake jolts the Northern areas I would like you see who gets there first to help people, The corrupt and cruel men of the Pakistani Army or your so called political workers bankrolled by your so called political leaders with the money they have looted.

    I would end this on one note, not the most corrupt general in the history of Pakistan could steal 1% of the money in his 40 years of service than the amount stolen by your democratically elected leaders in 10 years. Think about that!

  4. Rafay Kashmiri says:

    The main problem in Pakistan is what u can call influence or
    the mentality, we are all made out of that mud, RURAL AND URBAN PAKISTAN, that is what we show, see and do everyday, untill and unless we bring these together and
    mould a minimum decent mentality by returning to old Islamic morals and respects without age difference instead of far west bagarres and violant temprament.

    We have to abandon the ” Lathi, dangaan, kut, phainti, giddar kut, Kanble kut, Chittrole, Chittar kut etc ( all terms confirmed by Muzang Thaana and custody Punjab )
    They exist even in the western jails and garde a vues, but
    why should we follow the west in their savageries.

  5. PatExpat says:

    Mr. Salahuddin,

    You forgot one the most corrupt institution in your list: Pakistan Army which has gorged up 5 Billion dollars so far in US aid without a penny accounted for. (I am not making this up: Read the Carnegie Report).

    Why did Tauqir Zia when he was Chairman PCB gifted the land behind National Stadium (belonging to PCB) to Army where Army is developing houses and selling them for Rs. 4 Crore each. How can a 4 star General drive a 7 series BMW?

    You can hand a sentence to a politician (rather hang him), a lawyer, media men but the Army is immune. They murdered Bengalis in 1971, not a single Army men has been tried. They raped their women, nobody mentions it. They recklessly kill Baluchis everyday and there is no mention in the news paper. One major raped Dr. Shazia in Sui Gas and Dr. Shazia had to run to Canada to save herself. Mukhtaran Mai gets gang raped and Pervez Musharraf claims that people claim such things to migrate to Canada. And after branding Benazir corrupt, Musharraf is doing a deal with her granting her immunity from future court cases (a feat no civillian government achieve in this country).

    As an institution, Pak Army has a record of largest killings, rapings, lootings and corruption and surprisingly, they are sacred cows and immune.

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