by Mian Hameed 23 June 2022
The former PM Imran Khan, on May 25, 2022, starts his Long March from Peshawar, KPK province and reaches Islamabad in an arduous twenty-six hours journey, fighting hurdles and obstacles placed over a 106 KM stretch by the “Imported government.”
The embroiled “Rana Sanaullah in the killing of 20 people” is now the country’s Interior Minister, delivers on his boast, with a boost from Bajwa’s peculiar claim of neutrality. Rana takes on the challenge to ‘mob control’ the peaceful protestors with high-risk—tear gas and deadly weapons. Bajwa and the CJ Bandial looks the other way.
Before the Long March could commence, the Pakistan army backed “Imported Government” with “sixty-six percent” cabinet members out on bail, jumps the gun and quickly hangs the cloud of terror over Pakistanis in the Punjab and the Sindh provinces. The government is terrorizing the citizens of interest by raiding their homes.
The arrests crackdown begins. The police and the men in civil clothing (allegedly Bajwa’s men and the “Crime Minister” Shabaz Sharif’s street-thugs and his militants) posing as the police, join hands to make a blood thirsty posse. The posse raised by convicts in the new democracy raids some “4,500 PTI homes” as claimed by the Interior Minister in a press conference.
The posse climbs the gates of homes around mid-night to arrest Khan’s party members without any arrest warrants – A juvenile, a daughter of a Major and his wife are assaulted upon to terrorize the country – The great-grand daughter-in-law of a famous national poet home’s entrance door is kicked open and the ladies of the house getting victimized scene goes viral on the Internet.
On the D-Day—25th May, as Khan is slowly marching towards ‘D-Choke’ or ‘D- Square,’ the blood thirsty posse is instructed to inflict bodily harm and material losses in the spree of their terror. An elderly woman age 72—Dr. Yasmin, a public figure is assaulted and her SUV vandalized—a broken windscreen falls on her person – Other cars approaching a police barricade is seen charged upon by men with sticks and slurs – Many parked vehicles are vandalized in an indiscriminate fashion – A Khan protestor in route to Islamabad is thrown from the bridge to his death by the posse.
In the greater part of the country, the posse converges upon the peaceful protestors of the real independence struggle with brutality. Beating citizens, including young lawyers are kicked out of their protest bound busses and are beaten to pulp. The Chief Justice fails to take a Suo Moto notice of the ongoing incredible violence.
In a ploy, much of Pakistan is placed under section 144—banning demonstrations. The protection of Islamabad is handed over to the military. Bajwa deploy rangers with weapons, are standing face to face against the peaceful crowd. Rangers, a party to Bajwa’s alleged ‘neutrality’ deploys tear gas.
The protestors, exercising their constitutional rights of peaceful demonstration are fired upon with rubber bullets, shotguns and live rifle ammunition. In the initial hours, Pakistani canopy of peace across the country is quickly filled with loads of tear gas.
Khan is ill prepared for the posse’s terror and to continue his Long March in the wake of Bajwa’s rangers. The peaceful Khan is interested in extracting an election date and has no plans to engage rangers or the army Brigade 111, if deployed. Khan, to save his supporters from the carnage, to which Bajwa is committed to, retreats to Peshawar.
Khan gave a meaningless six days deadline to Bajwa and the government to hand in an election date. Election date not in sight, Khan is expected to return to Islamabad, this time with preparation, he said. Khan’s preparation excludes the idea of taming guns on the army or take out the posse that is harboring Sharif’s militants.
Khan’s preparation includes his written request to the Supreme Court Chief Justice (CJ), the people’s right to peaceful demonstrations. The CJ is struggling to recover from impotence within his justice system. In the absence of constitutional protection, Khan is hesitant to commence Long March, for Bajwa and the government aims to make mincemeat of the peaceful protestors.
Khan’s success with the CJ Bandial and Pakistan’s Fuhrer—Bajwa, comes from stepping up the pressuring on Bajwa and the CJ, and tarnishing their image. Both are not budging. They are candidates to take flight out of Pakistan.
In the aftermath, the peaceful protestors collected the spent casings and tear gas canisters. The casings housed the rubber bullets and the ammunition projectiles. The tear gas canisters were of two different kinds. The silver and the black. The silver canisters may have the most common CS gas (2-chlorobenylidene malononitrile.)
The assessment on the streets for the black tear gas canisters is concerning. Certain symptoms among the affected are attributed to the use of these canisters. Protestors are seen giving care to two incapacitated police-men that took the fumes from canisters lobbed back at them. These are two lost, stoned and stupefied men – Exhibiting different symptoms than the CS gas would inflict upon eyes, skin, lungs and causing dizziness. “Several demonstrators were seen fainting,” which the crowd attributes to the use of the black canisters.
It is believed that the black canisters may have contained chemicals used in a hostage situation that sucks the oxygen out of a room, which does not fall under the use of Riot Control Agent (RCA). As was used by Russia, during the Chechenia hostage crises. It is said that an opioid like carfentanil was used, which is “ten-thousand times more powerful than morphine.” It would make it a chemical weapon banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Bajwa dictator regime’s use of tear gas has no conceptual legitimacy to spark even a milder defense of the legality issue against the human rights law violation. Khan’s supporters do not carry the connotation of a “mob” or a “violent mob” justifying the use of RCA in some remote inhumane thinking quarters.
The collected tear gas canisters were used passed the expiration date. Thereafter, the manufacturer can no longer warrant its product, has brought an increased health risk to the people. There are concerns that the expired canisters can become unstable and may discharge higher volume of gas in a shorter time, making a tear gas, which is not a “low-risk” measure, more dangerous.
The tear gas in large quantities was unleased upon peaceful people. The use of tear gas has health consequences to the elderly and people with disabilities. The research in Bahrain villages documented by Physicians for Human Rights show “increase in miscarriages [from exposure to] high levels of tear gas.” –Williams, Fiorante, and Wong. University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
What has transpired in Pakistan on or around 25th May, offers Amnesty International, the academic programs and its “students unparalleled opportunities to refine their legal research and advocacy skills through legal clinic projects and global fellowships.”
After the Supreme Court’s (SC’s) ruling on the Presidential Reference regarding the Constitutional Article 63-a, alas, resurrects the Speaker of the House ruling to dissolve the national assembly, and to call for elections within 90-days, which Khan should not fight for. The SC ruling on Presidential Reference 63-a, makes the Sharif government an illegal entity.
The Chief Justice is negligent in not taking Suo Moto notice against the use of force, tear gas and other actions, not because peaceful protest is every citizen right, but because it is an illegal government.
Being an illegal government, the Chief Justice should take Suo Moto notice that the illegal government can no longer enact laws, like over-turning the use of the electronic voting machine law so Bajwa and the Sharif government can rig the elections.
The late Gen. Hamid Gul is on record. He said that Imran Khan is not a revolutionary—he cannot bring change to Pakistan because Khan does not have a streak of violence. The trusting Khan, not abundantly blessed with understanding the corrupt worldly ways, also means, his soft posture is extending a lifeline to the certain marked ones in Pakistan.