Dawn.com: When in 2009 the Taliban had taken over the districts of Buner, Shangla and Lower Dir, they had been some 60 miles away from Islamabad. But that had been reason enough for the world to take notice and pressure the army to conduct an operation in the Swat valley because the Taliban were too close to the capital.
Fast forward three years, on March 27, unruly religious elements roamed freely in the capital city, vandalising public property and challenging the police with little care or concern about the consequences. More shameful was the fact that the city administration and the police were not caught unawares.
The events of the day went on to highlight the sheer incompetence and lack of coordination at all levels in preventing banned outfit Ahl-i-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) leader Maulana Mohammad Ahmed Ludhianvi from entering the capital and then arresting him. Some police officers opine that the mismanagement on the part of the senior police officers and local administration put the lives of dozens of subordinate officials at risk as members of the banned outfit rioted.
To begin with Maulana Ludhianvi should not have been able to leave Kamalia escorted by Punjab police commandoes. Police officials told Dawn: “Every time Maulana Ludhianvi leaves his native town of Kamalia, he has to inform the district administration.”
However, the Maulana clearly doesn’t believe in the rule of law and the police administration doesn’t believe in doing its job well, and so between February 3 and March 27 this was the third time that he had managed to make his way to the twin cities.