IMRAN Khan has called for introspection regarding the jailbreak in Dera Ismail Khan. Having followed his advice, I have come up with some answers. It all started when KP Chief Minister Pervez Khattak made the announcement that the Taliban would be accorded all the respect that they had been expecting for long.
This rather tactless remark probably made the police force think about exactly what it was that they were being asked to give up their lives for. Had their colleagues, in the thousands no less, given up their life for nothing? Were they pawns in this game where the Taliban could pick them off at will just to demonstrate that their call for respect was indeed credible and reasonable?
As if this wasn’t enough the esteemed CM was then found at a UNDP-funded workshop, a very public forum attended by people from every walk of life, chastising the police for being corrupt on the same day that an officer was killed just south of Peshawar while battling militants.
Perhaps other people felt left out of this feel-good exercise designed to create the illusion of actual action being taken, and so came forward the provincial revenue minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, also from the PTI, who took it upon himself to brand the provincial police force as cowards who ‘hid in sewers’ and who ‘chicken out when they see militants’.
Whether any mention was made of at least two police officers who were martyred during the D.I. Khan jailbreak is not known. Reports, however, showed that the ANP was the only party that showed any indication of political presence at their funerals, because the provincial government, the PTI and the JI did not bother to send their representatives.
A couple of days after the police force was labelled ‘cowards’, Asad Qaiser, Speaker of the KP Assembly and belonging to the PTI, could not muster the courage to condemn the TTP for this act, even though he was prompted multiple times by the TV anchor and even though the TTP had very explicitly already claimed credit for the jailbreak.