Fake Transgenders

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When individuals in high positions stoop to petty actions, the consequences can be severe, as evidenced by the incident involving Raoof Hasan, the Central Secretary of Information for Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in a well-known area of Islamabad. Many in high offices are condemning this incident, yet it has instilled fear in them as well. What happened to Raoof Hasan today could happen to others tomorrow.

It’s suspected that four men disguised as transgenders were sent to attack an elderly person whose only crime was responding to a press conference with a firm declaration that his party was not responsible for the events of May 9th last year and would not apologise for them. Following this press conference, some of Raoof Hasan colleagues advised him to be cautious.

In March 2018, an incident with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Khawaja Muhammad Asif highlighted the deliberate infusion of hatred into Pakistani politics, with politicians being pitted against each other for personal gain. At that time, Asif was the Foreign Minister and faced pressure to disassociate from Nawaz Sharif.

Refusing to abandon Nawaz Sharif, he had ink thrown on his face during a workers’ convention in Sialkot, a clear message that defying certain powers would tarnish one’s political career.

The following day, a shoe was thrown at Nawaz Sharif during an event in Lahore, and both incidents were blamed on a religious group. Shortly after, then-Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal was shot in Narowal. Although he survived, his arm was permanently affected.

The attacker was also linked to a religious organisation. These incidents aimed to exert pressure on the PML-N, especially following the November 2017 Faizabad sit-in, which appeared to be led by a religious group but served hidden interests that were later exposed by the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Faizabad sit-in case.

Ironically, the forces that crippled the PML-N in 2018 to bring Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to power were accused by Imran Khan in November 2022 of attempting to assassinate him. The attacker of Ahsan Iqbal was identified as a member of a religious party, as was the attacker of Imran Khan.

Nawaz Sharif frequently complained against then-Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI head Faiz Hameed, but it was these two who pressured Imran Khan to allow Nawaz Sharif to travel abroad for medical treatment, with Islamabad High Court’s Justice Athar Minallah granting the permission.

Later, Nawaz Sharif repaid the favor by approving an extension in General Bajwa’s tenure. Imran Khan, as Prime Minister, mistakenly believed the establishment had no alternative but him. This misconception, particularly during a conflict over the transfer of the ISI chief, led to his government’s downfall. Today, Asif Ali Zardari is President and Shehbaz Sharif is Prime Minister, but their government lacks public support.

The attack on Raoof Hasan has further damaged the government’s credibility and garnered sympathy for PTI. The PML-N leadership might now be under the illusion that Shehbaz Sharif cannot be replaced by Imran Khan. Recall when General Bajwa started challenging Imran Khan? It was when Khan’s government became so unpopular after conflicts with the judiciary and media that his own assembly members started defying him, necessitating ISI’s help to pass the budget.

Shehbaz Sharif’s government has adopted a fast-track policy of confrontation with the judiciary and media. The judge who allowed Nawaz Sharif to go abroad for treatment is now being defamed. Maryam Nawaz, who once condemned media suppression during Imran Khan’s tenure, now faces protests from all media organisations for trying to suppress the media under the guise of a new defamation law.

This strange law could be used against those calling Bushra Bibi “Pinky Peerni,” and until a case is decided, it cannot be reported. A key federal government figure assured me a few days ago that the Punjab government would not pass the law in its current form, but it was hurriedly approved.

Don’t assume all stakeholders support this law. Its approval has created dissent among stakeholders. The attack on Raoof Hasan has also unsettled stakeholders, who now look at each other with questioning eyes. Who benefits from the attack on Raoof Hasan?

Perhaps some are trying to manipulate political parties by inciting conflict with institutions. Just find out who is happy and who is unhappy with the Faizabad sit-in commission report.

These are the people who sometimes throw ink on politicians’ faces, sometimes cut their faces with blades, pit them against each other, and then escape. Now they have taken on the guise of transgenders. Without exposing them, our democracy will remain ineffective for the public.

Note: This is the translation of his Urdu column published in Jang. 

 

Hamid Mir
Hamid Mir
Hamid Mir has been in the journalism profession for nearly four decades. He is internationally renowned for his weekly column in the daily newspaper "Jang" and his television program "Capital Talk" on Geo News. Hamid Mir is recognised as one of Pakistan's most fearless and bold journalists.

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