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An impatient ANF

September 14, 2012

THE Anti Narcotics Force could have avoided the unsavoury episode outside the Supreme Court on Friday. It is true that the force was tasked to arrest MNA Ali Musa Gilani and there were also reports the accused had gone into hiding. Yet the visibly forceful interception when a court hearing was just a few yards away made little sense. With live cameras at hand, the ANF roughed up the young MNA before arresting him as he arrived to appear before the SC. In something of an anticlimax, Mr Gilani was free after barely an hour in custody — and he was free to contribute to his party’s case against the ‘selective persecution’ of its members. Speaking outside the court following the acceptance of his bail plea in the ephedrine quota investigation, he found the moment opportune for a comparison between those who abided by the law and those who didn’t. His emphasis was on his status as an elected representative and he was soon joined by party colleagues protesting, one, the humiliation of parliamentarians and two, singling out PPP for this treatment.

By the looks of it an incident that could have been averted is going to spur another charged round in the ongoing debate. The PPP will come up with more ‘evidence’ to prove its allegations and its political opponents will try to paint the PPP government as corrupt beyond redemption. Along with its more obvious fallouts, its political gains and losses, this politicisation of the affair could stall the start of a wider, more thorough probe into the pharmaceutical industry that the emergence of this case had promised. Few have been able to venture into this territory even when it is a constant source of rumour and suspicion and is so worthy of some intervention by an authoritative force.