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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Op-Ed: Safdar’s sloganeering at Quaid’s mausoleum should not go unpunished

For his conduct unbecoming of an officer, Capt (R) Safdar must be tried and punished both under civil and military laws as he carries the rank of an officer of the Pakistan Army and is a graduate of the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, from where he hails.

October 18, 2020 will be recorded as one of the darkest days in the history of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. By shouting at the father of the nation, Capt (R) Muhammad Safdar, the domesticated son-in-law of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif (NS) of Gawalmandi has proven beyond doubt that NS is the biggest political blunder of the Zia-led establishment.

Citizens infuriated by Safdar’s actions

Karachi is the city of Quaid-e-Azam, where he was born on December 25, 1876 and died on September 11, 1948 after a glorious struggle for the creation of the first Islamic Republic.

Workers of PTI went to the Brigade Thana to lodge a report against the perpetrators of this desecration at the final resting place of Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It took them 10 hours of a sit-in before the complaint was lodged against the Captain, his wife Maryam and 200 other unknown workers (mostly paid) of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz). Finally, he was arrested and moved to the Aziz Bhatti Thana. PML-N workers led by Muhammad Zubair the Ex-Governor are complaining about the Police high handedness in arresting him. According to him, the arresting party should have waited in the lobby for the Captain to come out of his room, which meant allowing him to escape from the backdoor, a typical PML-N vanishing stunt.

Read more: Will Captain Safdar be sent to jail for three years after disrespecting Quaid’s mausoleum?

The act was so blatant and disorderly that Ijaz-ul-Haq, the son of the third dictator Zia-ul-Haq came in the open against NS and admitted the blunder of his late father. After he married Maryam, he took early retirement from service.

I remember in the seventies, the Mazar of Quaid was desecrated. The ‘Vote Ki Izzat Wali’ (respecting the vote) elected government of ZAB decided to post a uniformed contingent of the three armed forces’ cadets at the two most important mausoleums (Jinnah, Iqbal) 24/7. Since then, the guard of honour duties have regularly changed with great fanfare. It seems today that we are not in a position to even let our founders and leaders rest in peace in their final abode. As a political party, PML-N is famous for breaking the rules of decency and fair play and they usually get away with this disorderly behaviour.

Misusing the name of the founding party of Pakistan?

The All India Muslim League (AIML), the founding party of Pakistan was formed in Dhaka in 1906. The headquarters of the party were later moved to Lucknow. In the year 1934, Dr Muhammad Iqbal convinced Jinnah to become the President of AIML. He then successfully led the movement for the creation of Pakistan and was appointed the first Governor General (GG). After the partition of India, AIML ceased to exist. Jinnah wanted to frame a new constitution of the Pakistan Muslim League (PML). After failing to get consensus he left the league, never to return. PML fell on hard times.

Read more: Nawaz Sharif wants to go back to Jail: Maryam Safdar

As a Muslim League child, it hurts when these so-called ‘Neo-Leaguers’ indulge in malpractices of all kinds. Misuse of the name of the founding party of Pakistan has to be stopped. Now, even the resting place of the founder has been rendered unsafe. It clearly shows disrespect for the leader and the manner in which he led the party. Being an astute lawyer, he always operated within the ambit of the law. He was never arrested or questioned for his conduct.

Trial and punishment 

For his conduct unbecoming of an officer, Capt (R) Safdar must be tried and punished both under civil and military laws as he carries the rank of an officer of the Pakistan Army and is a graduate of the prestigious Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul, from where he hails. In the past, both serving and retired officers have been stripped of their ranks for disorderly behaviour. Then there are civil ordinances to enforce discipline and the respect of such places where revered leaders are laid to rest.

A few years back I was in Sarajevo, while driving back to the hotel at night, I came across a well-lit grave in the city. On inquiry, I was told that the first President of Bosnia Herzegovina Alija Izetbegovic was buried there. It was a small but very serene and quiet place, as a mark of respect, I stopped there and offered Fateha. Incidentally, today is his 17th death anniversary, he died on October 19, 2003. As the city came under siege, there are graves all around but his stands out as a mark of respect for the departed leader. This blatant disrespect of our Baba-e-Quam from a leader of a party that claims to be the political successor of the founding political outfit is shameful and condemnable which should not go unpunished.

Read more: The motives of Captain Safdar behind his Anti Ahmaddiya remarks

Also it has been revealed that the Captain did not retire, he sought release from the Army; as such he should not be addressed as Captain (Retd.) either. Interesting times lie ahead for this nation.

Dr. Farid A.Malik is the Ex-Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation. (Fr. General Manager PITAC, Process Engineering Manager Intel Corporation Engineering and Management Consultant). He was a Shadow Minister PTI and Co-Ordinator of the PTI Think Tank where the framework of the Welfare State was developed. The article was first published in The Nation and has been republished here after making certain changes for which prior permission from the author was taken. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.