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HomePoliticsRehman Malik, Pakistani politician whose comments riled Indian leaders—Babri Masjid to 26/11

Rehman Malik, Pakistani politician whose comments riled Indian leaders—Babri Masjid to 26/11

New Delhi: New Delhi: Being chased out from an airplane by angry passengers; offering security to Shah Rukh Khan; saying General Bipin Rawat’s death was a conspiracy; tagging the UNO game instead of United Nations; being accused of rape and embroiled in multiple corruption scandals – that was Pakistan’s former Interior Minister Rehman Malik, who passed away Wednesday due to Covid-related complications.

70-year-old Malik, a former additional director-general of the Federal Investigation Agency, and Benazir Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari’s close-aide, who was bailed out by the former president as well, till the very end, kept replying to people on Twitter wishing him good health. Malik’s handle even posted pictures of him being attached to the ventilator. His team even posted a picture of a bouquet sent by former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, which Rehman himself reposted.

While tributes poured in for the former minister from across the aisle, people also remembered him as the man behind Zardari’s dirty games.

“The corrupt and the mind behind the dirty games of Zardari. Before getting emotional and feeling sad for this corrupt guy Pakistanis must realize that death does not give clean chit of your dirty deeds. He will be answerable,” said a Twitter user.

Another user said that there would now be no Zardari to bail him out.

Malik was the interior minister during the 26/11 Mumbai siege. And his comments had riled up many Indian leaders.

Refusing to give any assurances on punishing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attack, equating Babri Masjid demolition with 9/11 and the Mumbai blasts, and alleging that LeT terrorist Abu Jundal was an Indian intelligence operative. Rahman’s comments and actions had made Yashwant Sinha demand a suspension of dialogue between India and Pakistan and cancellation of the India-Pakistan cricket series.

However this was not the last time Malik would make such remarks. Later (in 2012), the former minister said that Pakistan would not take action against Hafiz Saeed on the evidence India had given. Most recently, he hit out at PM Narendra Modi.

Rehman alleged an aggressive attitude of successive Indian governments towards Pakistan since 1947 till Pulwama Attack. He said the ‘situation had come to that extent that a proven and well known terrorist — Narendra Modi — is serving as the Prime Minister of India.’

He had even cast doubts over the Pulwama attacks and said, “The movement of the convoy is always confidential. How come some one knew in advance to attack that particular convoy”.

Most recently, on the death of Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, Rehman said that Tamil Nadu had made him a target and that his death was the result of a conspiracy.

Known for shooting his mouth against India at any opportunity he got, Malik once even tagged ‘UNO game’ instead of the United Nations, over the Kashmir.

Malik even had his Twitter account suspended for posting fake news.

Pakistan to London and back

If Malik wasn’t liked by Indians, then he also got a fair share of flak from within his own country. An Additional Director-General in the FIA, he was dismissed when Nawaz Sharif overthrew Benazir Bhutto’s government and was even imprisoned.

After getting bail, he fled to the United Kingdom and only came back nine years later to become a cabinet minister – interior minister.

Saher Baloch, a Pakistani journalist, once wrote: “His recent assignment as interior minister can easily be labelled as currently the worst job in the country. With continual terrorist attacks across Pakistan as well as political killings plaguing Karachi for the past several years, Malik has repeatedly been accused of incompetence”.

As interior minister, he faced multiple allegations of corruption – From getting cars and gold to being accused of misappropriating flood relief funds.

Malik was frequently linked to controversies and allegations. From irate judges warning him to appear for the corruption cases, teachers protesting against him getting a PhD from Karachi University and passengers angry for being made to wait by him in a plane.

In October 2011, Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS) protested over the fact that Malik was awarded a PhD degree and demanded its cancellation. They went on strike and said that Malik being awarded the degree went against the principles of the university.

In 2020, US blogger Cynthia Richie alleged that Malik had raped her.

In 2017, a joint investigation team probing Sharif’s accounts based on Malik’s investigation negated his findings, saying that Malik was ‘cunning and evil’.

(Edited by Anurag Chaubey)

Also read: For Pakistanis, Shaheen Shah brings back the Afridi era with his last-ball six

Source: The Print

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