The shooting of a young man in Karachis Boat Basin should be seen as a conspiracy against the military as well as our Sole Warrior on Terror. It is glaringly obvious that the armed forces and the people cannot be driven apart. So if Rangers engaged in a little bit of innocent target practice, why should the armed forces be blamed? And if they were being judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one, why are people objecting? The policy of shooting on sight, of police encounters, is an old one and considered popular among the people. If the Rangers are in Karachi on a policing mission, why shouldnt they behave like policemen? The only flaw that can be seen is that they dont seem to have accepted any money. As everyone knows, the police doesnt move without money. But the Rangers are above criticism. Why? Because the armed forces are above criticism, and the Rangers are part of the armed forces. But while Ranger officers are all from the Army they themselves are under the Interior Ministry, and thus any criticism of them is actually a criticism of the Minister in-charge, none other than our Sole Warrior. No wonder if the War on Terror does not go right, what with the only person fighting it having to look after Rangers shooting up people on TV screens. Besides, how is the War on Terror going to be fought with Hamid Karzai over here for the weekend? An important part of the War is shooting up Afghan civilians, but without having Karzai condemn them, whats the point? US forces chief Petraeus can go on packing in preparation for taking over as CIA chief towards the end of the year, but his predecessor Panetta was in Pakistan, but left without any agreement. If the Abbottabad raid is an indication, it means that the CIA can just send in forces whenever they want, without any fear of interference from our armed forces, which presumably will be too busy killing the citizenry to interfere. In fact, thats probably part of the reason for the uproar. Not only is there a failure of protection, but there is the reverse. However, as I said, this was actually a conspiracy against Rehman Malik, or else against the provincial Finance Ministers, three of whom presented budgets this week. All of them got curtailed coverage because of the Karachi incident, which in the world of politics is usually enough to prove a conspiracy. However, there was a special reason to prevent coverage of the Punjab Budget, and that was its being presented by a minority member, Kamran Michael. It wasnt at all clear he had been made Finance Minister, but he presented the Budget and became the first minority member to present a provincial budget. Enough to make Hafeez Sheikh look askance at the federal minority members. Well, that might be the reason why the incident was arranged, and everyone should look very carefully at the Karachi incident, because it also created a very poor image of Pakistan abroad. More to the point, it created a very bad image of the Pakistan armed forces abroad. Now we know that so long as the image abroad of the armed forces is maintained, we need fear nothing. But the Punjab government should take care of Kamran Michael, because the militants might object to him. So far, they havent objected to the Budget he presented, but you never know And with their track record It would be better to be on the safe side. Im sure Kamran Michels family would agree even if Kamran Michael doesnt. We have to guard our precious resources carefully. Look at how the Somali Interior Minister was killed. We havent heard a peep from our own since then, and I hope he is all right. I dont know how to tell Al-Qaeda, who blew up the Somali minister, that they got the wrong man. But maybe he too was the only person in the whole of Somalia who was fighting the War on Terror. Maybe that was why he was killed. Whatever the case, our Warrior must be protected. But he shouldnt use Rangers for the job. Nor the Balochistan police (Khrotabad), or the Punjab Mujahid Force (Salman Taseer), or even his local Sialkot police (the two brothers). That leaves only his family, but then they havent killed anyone, let alone the person they were guarding. The country has enemies. That should be clear. And they are the ones who opposed its creation. They are the ones trying to drive a wedge between the armed forces and the people, just as was driven in 1971, with the result that we lost half the country. It seems that the American presence in the region is being used to destroy Pakistan, and it is our own rulers and our own military that is helping in this. They seem to believe that this will win back American favour, but that has gone to India, one reflection being the qualitative difference in the relationship between Pakistan and the USA, then and now. Its almost as if the lesson that Pakistanis learnt from that experience was that American favour was needed to govern, and the USA that a new ally in the region was needed. And since the USA was making the running, thats whats been happening. The USA has courted India, and will keep on doing so. Of course, it doesnt help for Rangers to go around shooting up people.