Unfair decision

By SY E D S A A D A T

THERE are two types of laws in Pakistan: one law is to be read and implemented and the othertobereadandforgotten.Providing exemplary protocol to VIPS and malcing sure that their Beet of cars passes through busy roads without any obstacles or hiccups comes under the former variety. Meanwhile, knowing that you have rights as a citizen as you wait in a long queue in the sweltering heat as the VIP protocol speeds away falls in the latter category.

Former senior superintendent of police, Islamabad, Muhammad Ali Nekokara, despite 19 years of service, apparently did not know this simple guideline and went on to express his professional difference of opinion in a professional manner regarding the use of force during last year`s famous sitins by Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri.

The fact that he is an alumnus of the London School of Economics and the Harvard Kennedy School might have something to do with this assertion of rights but he failed to understand that this is neither the United Kingdom nor the United States.

This is Pakistan and the fact is that he was recently found guilty of insubordination by the inquiry committee comprising very senior civil servants.

A recommendation for dismissal from service was made and the notification issued on March 31, 2015.

This is where the military as an institution are so different from the civil service; they 1(eep the faith of their men in their institution alive by making sure no one is penalised unjustly or because of political pressure at least.

Had it been a case of a military officer, before taking any action against their own officer the institution would pose the following question to the powerful mafia exerting pressure to penalise him. Has any action been taken against the main perpetrators of the situation (in Nekokara`s case, Imran Khan or Tahirul Qadri)? If the answer had been in the negative, they would refuse to oblige.

Nekokara, sadly, being an honest officer, did not ensure he `earned` enough to be least bothered about his salary or dismissal.

He was under the illusion that honesty is the best policy perhaps another side effect of his stint in Harvard and London School of Economics. It is really ironic to note that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and PML-N have reached an agreement on the judicial commission when Nekokara has been made a victim of the political conflict between the two.

One cannot blame the inquiry officers; after all they have to save their skins as well. Being very senior civil servants they know when to comply and when to defyunlil(e poor Nekokara. The thinking is that the officer who doesn`t know this rule should be dismissed from service because he is a misfit, a square peg in a round hole, a clean fish in a dirty pond. The way our service works, even if one is not dismissed, the incident would be a dark spot on the officer`s career every time his promotion is discussed. A creditable role could be viewed in a negative light.

Another Model Town-like incident was thankfully averted by Nekokara`s defiance.

He was right in stating that asking a noncoherent force comprising the Islamabad Police, Punjab Police and even Railway Police to use force might have had severe consequences as it would have been very dif ficult to regulate it.

The video footage of the Punjab Police mercilessly beating up some media men during those days adds credence to thisassertion. In tact, Khawaja Saad Rafique, a senior minister who had reached the scene had admitted in a TV programme back then that the policemen were hostile beyond belief and were about to thrash him as well when he tried to stop them from assaulting the media. I wish theinquiry committee had called him as a witness as well or may be the inquiry is an eyewash, and the decision has been taken elsewhere.

Islamabad has had four IGs and four SSPs in a very short period of time. Dr Muhammad Rizwan, Muhammad Ali Nekokara, Asmatullah Junejo fell victim to the same fault of getting caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. Nekokara has been dismissed with hardly any voice being raised in protest by his peers.

They say knowing when to walk away is wisdom, being able to walk away is strength and walking away with your head held high is dignity. Nekokara would be walking away with his head held high but the same can`t be said about his superiors in the police force.

Police officers do get a gun as part of their official gear just like the khakis, which makes me wonder whether the difference lies not in guns but guts? I often get emails from my readers asking why I left the civil service. This is precisely why.ē

The article published in Dawn Newspaper.
The writer is a former civil servant syedsaadatwrites@gmail.com