Recently a retired military lawyer Inam Ur Raheem stirred the hornet’s nest by initiating a legal challenge seeking to end the tenure of COAS General Kayani by labeling the terms of his extension as illegal. The court did not entertain his appeal, calling it non-maintainable. While the case should’ve been laid to rest for good, the airwaves were soon abuzz with reports that Inam had allegedly been attacked by MI officials in broad daylight. An FIR was subsequently filed in RA Bazaar Police Station Rawalpindi, against COAS Kayani and MI DG Maj- Gen Naushad Kayani.
The question of who sent thugs to beat up the retired lawyer remains to be investigated, however, what is unfortunate is how local and foreign media, with Mr Declan Walsh at the fore, have set camp on Mr Inam’s bandwagon. COAS Kayani’s statement earlier this week attempted to shift the planes of argument above trivialities and discuss national interest and consensus instead of cleaving the masses from institutions one by one. Current goings-on however, tell a sinister tale.
Inam ur Rahim’s fortuitous timing in appealing two years after the COAS’s extension, right after the Asghar Khan case’s verdict, is no accident. The case was timed to create maximum impact and draw the most amount of blood, however once the case was withdrawn, the prosecutor went ahead and alleged that Military Intelligence had him beaten up in broad daylight in front of a public audience. Instead of putting two and two together and calling these miscreants out for what they are, the media sidled up to the lawyer (who had earlier been involved in defending a military officer later indicted for spreading Islamist propaganda) and created a furor over the incident which could even have happened as a result of a personal enmity.
Inam states that he would not be deterred if the police do not take on this case as there is no stopping now. The absence of evidence and sufficient investigation does not seem to dissuade anyone from pointing fingers at the military establishment and leaders, and instead are providing fuel to fire. It is unfortunate how the current prevalent discourse aims to accomplish a singular target, that is, deepen the military civilian divide and tarnish the Army’s reputation.
How the honorable Supreme Court chooses to respond to Inam’s latest accusations against the military now remains to be seen.