Friday, December 04, 2009

Isn't It Time Rehman Malik Resigned?

My question has nothing whatsoever to do with his famous proclamation that he would resign if the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan was proved -- which it has been, if you believe Jeremy Scahill.

No, my concern is rather more simple than that: as Interior Minister, Rehman Malik is supposed to ensure that Pakistani citizens are as safe and secure as possible. Now, I understand we are in a war, and foolproof security is simply not possible.

But the sheer number and deadliness of attacks suggests that him and his team have no clue about what they're doing. The latest attack, using both gunfire and suicide bombs, took place in Rawalpindi and killed 35 people, 17 of them children. In a mosque. While they were praying.

Moreover, when you account for his blame deflecting statements on "foreign hands" being responsible for violence in Pakistan, and his general inability to stay on message and reassure Pakistani people, you begin to wonder: what exactly is he good for?

I know accountability is a four-letter word in Pakistani political circles. But Pakistanis are suffering, and Rehman Malik needs to pay penance for that with his job.


Rabia said...

"Moreover, when you account for his blame deflecting statements on "foreign hands" being responsible for violence in Pakistan,"
If you've listened to Athar Abbas' statements about Indian arms caches found in Waziristan, this is official Army line. I have no idea why you are calling for the Interior minister to resign for basically echoing the official army - and state - line on the origin of the terror attacks.

Furthermore, the idea that the interior ministry is solely responsible for security in a situation where half the terrorist groups operating within the country have direct links to the security establishment is laughable.

Ahsan said...

Rabia, stop straw-manning my position. I never claimed he was solely responsible, only that he was responsible. And on the "but the Army is saying this too!" point, Rehman Malik is the face of that position in a way that the military is not. Newspapers from around the world carry his quotes, not Athar Abbas'.

Rehman Malik has been incompetent. He is a bumbling idiot. That is the bottom line. I was very patient with him for a long time, and gave him the benefit of the doubt when everyone else was calling for his head. But enough is enough.

Rabia said...

Plenty of newspapers carry Athar Abbas' pronouncements regarding Indian weapons caches as well.

I repeat: it's completely illogical to single out Rehman Malik for doing this. You need to examine the reason for this state policy. Hint: it's related to the shielding of Pakistani proxies in Kashmir, i.e. the group whom Mosharraf Zaidi just wrote a column about calling the "Kandahari Taliban" to differentiate them from the Pakistani Taliban. This policy is deeply rooted in Pakistani security establishment thinking. Sure you can call on Rehman Malik to resign, but that means you are shielding the actual formulators of this policy. That's your choice.

Rabia said...

heh, freudian slip. I meant Pakistani proxies in Afghanistan. should not type posts when I am pissed off.

Ahsan said...

Rabia, I advise you to take a step back and read what I'm actually saying. The primary reason I am calling for RM's resignation is the simple fact that some two and a half thousand Pakistanis have died in violence in the last two years. Rehman Malik is the Interior Minister. Ergo, him and his team (primarily but not exclusively) deserve the blame for not keeping Pakistanis safe. I would like to see someone display a sense of shame and repentance with this state of affairs.

This is not a complicated or controversial assertion. It really isn't.

The "foreign hands" thing is not the most important thing for me, because it's part of the silly games that, while deplorable, and part of the broken system of politics on the subcontinent.

You're acting as if RM has been a paragon of virtue and competence, only to be drowned out by the dastardly GHQ. And I suppose that is YOUR choice.

Rabia said...

dude, you're right, it's not complicated. When you call for someone to resign for a particular situation, that means you are assigning primary responsibility for the situation on them.

AKS said...

Ahsan, one of the problems with assigning responsibility to Rehman Malik is that it presupposes that the Interior Minister of Pakistan has some role to play in establishing security in this country. Its pretty evident that the political establishment, that includes the opposition, have decided that security matters are the sole domain of the Pakistan army. I understand that security matters have by and large been dealt by the Pakistan Army since time immemorial but what little say civilian institutions may have had also seems to have been handed
over to the Army. This seems to have happened around the time of the Swat operation. Could this have been part of a deal with the army?

Ahsan said...


I think both you and Rabia are confusing the offensive aspects of the war (Afghan policy, Swat ops etc) with the defensive aspects of the war (cordoning off attacked areas, police, investigations, getting suspects, intelligence). The former, you are right, is basically the sole domain of the military. The latter, I would suggest, is not.

Saim said...


I think you need to weigh Rehman Malik's performance vis a vis others in the government.

Using your yardstick( i.e failing at his job), one could single out half the ministers who ought to take the plunge.

Power woes to finish in Dec 2009, anyone?

Raza said...

wow, ahsan, way to fuck it up. I'm so fucking pissed. you're so wrong you make me want to drop what I'm doing and go beat single player Halo 2 again. you have no idea how politics works, nor how the convulated security establishment of pakistan functions. you're glib and emotional, and have the intellect of west african butt monkey. Every time I read your commentary, I get a searing pain in my skull that causes me to collapse to the floor and convulse in a puddle of my own blood. Three hours later, I awaken only to move the mouse with my blood soaked hand, feel my retinas widen as I see the flickering words of your blog, and a suffer another near-fatal concussion. Rehman Malik is the best person in the world, and you're devil worshiping douchebag for calling for his resignation. He has NOTHING to do with providing security to the populace, YOU FUCKING IDIOT. God, if I ever see you at a bar, I'm gonna not-so-discretely yell obscenities in your general direction so you can hear them but not be entirely sure if I meant for you to hear them so that if you confront me you'll look like the aggressor and hence an even bigger douchebag than you already are for calling for Rehman Malik's resignation. wow, bro. WOW. Way to suck in every conceivable way. Why don't you just create a "1 million strong for Rehman Malik's resignation" facebook page and watch giddily as dimwitted rich kids and guilt-ridding expatriates join your little self-important cluster fuck. Better yet, just become a fan of the ever ballooning "We Support Pervez Musharraf" fan page. Dick.

Watching the Clock Tick on a Friday Afternoon.

Kalsoom said...

Ok THAT last comment was pretty effing hilarious.

Raza said...

Oh and another thing, way to never post part 3 of your Scahill commentary. Two words, dickwad: TIME SENSITIVE.

Oh wait I forgot, you're EPICALLY WRONG ABOUT EVERYTHING. Knowing you, you'd probably just call for Rehman Malik's resignation again reasoning that he himself offered to resign if Blackwater is found to be operating in Pakistan, which it probably is.

Hey Ahsan? Lay off the crack pipe, bro. That's the dumbest steaming pile of bovine feces I've ever heard.

Your wrongness about everything is makes me wanna stick a bunny in a wheat thresher.

Hate It When You Build Up Friday Nights in Your Head At Work And They End Up Kinda Sucking.

Anonymous said...

See if u can post this gem of a video of a PPP Minister