Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Karachi Province & Military Operation 1992 by Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz).

It was in Karachi and Sind that he came to political prominence as the province wilted under the most violent period in its history. Ethnic battles between Sindhis and Muhajirs claimed thousands of lives, and General Nawaz's troops were frequently called upon to impose curfews and break the civil strife. In a celebrated incident he was instrumental in organising a handover of 'prisoners of war' between ethnic extremist groups. His experience in Sind stood him in good stead when the government asked the army to take over law and order in Sind last year for a six-month period. Over the past few days there has been intense politicking in Islamabad between the army and the government as to whether the army would continue its role in the province. REFERENCE: Obituary: General Asif Nawaz AHMED RASHID Monday, 11 January 1993 Gen. Asif Nawaz of Pakistan, 56, A Champion of Democracy, Dies RAWALPINDI, Pakistan, Jan. 8 -Published: January 09, 1993 

پندرہ برس گزر جانے کے بعد بھی پاکستان فوج کے سربراہ جنرل آصف نواز کی اچانک موت ان کے اہل خانہ کے مطابق ایک حل طلب معمہ ہے۔ ان کی موت آٹھ جنوری انیس سو ترانوے کو ہوئی تھی۔
مرحوم جنرل آصف نواز کے بھائی شجاع نواز نے پاکستان فوج پر لکھی اپنی تازہ کتاب ’کراس سورڈز‘ میں الزام لگایا ہے کہ آج تک فوج اور سیاسی اسٹیبلشمنٹ اس بات کو ماننے کے لیئے تیار نہیں کہ فوجی سربراہ کو قتل کیا جاسکتا ہے جس کی وجہ سے اس بابت تحقیقات کئی مواقع پر روکنے کی کوشش کی گئی ہے۔
گزشتہ دنوں اسلام آباد میں اس کتاب کی رونمائی کے موقع پر بھی اس حساس موضوع پر نہ تو شجاع نواز نے کوئی بات کی اور نہ ہی کسی دوسرے نے۔ البتہ اس موت اور اس سے جڑی پراسراریت کا ذکر کتاب کے آخر میں دس صفحات میں محض ایک ضمیمے کے طور پر کیا گیا ہے۔
فوج پر نئی کتاب ’کراسڈ سورڈز‘
وقتِ اشاعت: Wednesday, 21 May, 2008, 13:19 GMT 18:19 PST

The Author
On February 11, 1990, the army oversaw the messy business of exchange of 27 political workers captured by both the MQM and the PPP sides in tit-for-tat abductions. The exchange followed talks at the military headquarters at the instructions of Karachi Corps Commander Lt. General Asif Nawaz Janjua. There was General Asif Nawaz’s famous interview to the BBC, during which he dubbed the MQM as a terrorist organization. Whether this was true or not, it was no business of an army chief to pass this judgment. Subsequently, the army played a far from passive role in helping the dissidents of the MQM Haqiqi to take over the offices of the mainstream MQM. REFERENCE: Ayaz Amir, The army in Karachi - Dawn 21.3.1994 as quoted by Abdus Sattar Ghazali in ISLAMIC PAKISTAN: ILLUSIONS & REALITY By Abdus Sattar Ghazali  

Brigadier Imtiaz in Live with Talat (AAJ TV 2009)

Brigadier Imtiaz in Live with Talat (AAJ TV 2009) by SalimJanMazari

LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif said on Sunday that new provinces were not only needed in Punjab, but were are also needed in Sindh. He said Karachi should also be made into a small province. The Punjab Cheif Minister made this comment while talking to the media during his visit to Dera Ghazi Khan. His statement comes against the backdrop of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s recent demand for a Seraiki province in the PPP manifesto. - Reactions: ANP and MQM rejected the division of Sindh proposed by CM Punjab saying that this statement is an effort to play down the demands of Seraiki province in Punjab. Secretary general ANP, Sindh Bashir Jaan said that only Sindhi people have the right to demand the formation of new provinces. He said the Seraiki area has never been part of Punjab and its people have the right to demand a new province. He added that the people of Hazara Division also have the right to demand a new province. Member of MQM coordination committee in Karachi, Qasim Ali Raza said that the people of Sindh and Karachi have never demanded division of the province. However in Punjab thousands of people are demanding new provinces. REFERENCES: New provinces are needed in Sindh: Shahbaz Sharif Published: April 24, 2011 

Altaf Hussain (MQM) Oppose Division of Sindh but Jang Group "SUPPORTS DIVISION" - 1

Altaf Hussain Interview with Dr.Shahid Masood - 1 by SalimJanMazari


Altaf Hussain (MQM) Oppose Division of Sindh but Jang Group "SUPPORTS DIVISION" - 2

Altaf Hussain Interview with Dr.Shahid Masood - 2 by SalimJanMazari


Altaf Hussain (MQM) Oppose Division of Sindh but Jang Group "SUPPORTS DIVISION" - 3

Altaf Hussain Interview with Dr.Shahid Masood - 3 by SalimJanMazari


Sunday, April 24, 2011, Jamadi-ul-Awwal 20, 1432 A.H

Capital Talk (26th August, 2009)

Operation Cleanup - 1 (Capital Talk 26 Aug 2009) by SalimJanMazari


Sunday, April 24, 2011, Jamadi-ul-Awwal 20, 1432 A.H

DERA ISMAEL KHAN: Chief Minister Punjab Mian Mohammed Shahbaz Sharif Sunday called for formation of new provinces in Sindh province as being demanded in Punjab, adding that Karachi be made a province, Geo News reported. Addressing a ceremony of laying the foundation stone of a school building, CM Punjab termed those killed in North Waziristan in US drone attacks as being his brothers. Shahbaz said US drone attacks are promoting terrorism in Pakistan. “This government cannot stop missile attacks because they are earning dollars in exchange of those attacks,” he revealed. Advising government he said, we will have to break begging-bowl if we want to lead an honorable life. He said that being beggars and nuclear power are two different facts, which cannot run shoulder-to-shoulder. Denying to comment on his party’s leader Makhdoom Javaid Hashmi’s statement, Shahbaz prayed for his long life. Not only should new provinces be formed in South Punjab but Karachi should also be made a new province. REFERENCE: Karachi be made a province, Shahbaz demands Updated at 18:37 PST Sunday, April 24, 2011 

How qucikly “Ansar Abbasi” Forget and how even more quickly “Jang Group” removes the URL of unwanted News of Ansar Abbasi from its website cache.

ISLAMABAD: No matter who has authored the script of the ongoing Brig Imtiaz tamasha, engulfing the political arena, the establishment that includes the military-led intelligence agencies and the Pakistan Army have emerged as the main villains, presumably as the authors of the fiasco wanted. Nawaz Sharif and his party are uncomfortable; demand for Musharraf’s trial has been sidetracked at least for the time being; the MQM gets into a position where it believes that its stand is vindicated but the Jinnahpur controversy also created an opportunity for its opponents for a much open criticism of the party and its policies; the issues like the scrapping of 17th Amendment have now become more complex with the two leading parties setting up for a political confrontation after the PML-N finds the Presidency behind the current smear campaign against its top leadership; however, President Asif Zardari is least affected by this recently started political wrangling. It rather has favoured him by temporarily silencing the guns that were targeting him and the government from all around for their alleged misrule, on charges of corruption, the sugar scandal and the reported ruining of the state institutions. The PML-N, which is badly hurt by the revelations about the alleged provision of Rs3.5 million to its party chief Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif by former ISI chief Lt-Gen (retd) Asad Durrani, is pointing its finger at the president to have been the architect of the get-Nawaz campaign. However, the Presidency has strongly refuted these charges but different presidential aides are issuing the kind of statements that apparently show the presidency is getting amused with the situation. However, what is interesting is the unanimity between all these warring political forces showing their abhorrence over the role of the establishment in country’s politics. But in a strange dichotomy except the PML-N, the other two major warring political forces — the PPP and the MQM — are not interested in proceeding against Gen (retd) Musharraf under Article 6 of the Constitution. As one scans through the debates that took place in different talk shows of various private television channels after the recent emergence of the Jinnahpur controversy, the establishment is found to be the target of all.

The MQM, which had been the most trusted supporter of Gen Musharraf during his nine years rule, says that its Quaid Altaf Hussain is not returning to Pakistan because of the establishment. The PPP, too, said that the military operators and intelligences agencies have not been adhering to the command of the civilian governments whereas the PML-N is of the view that it has repeatedly found the establishment and Army chiefs overstretching their mandate. While appearing as a guest in one of the talk shows, PML-N information secretary Ahsan Iqbal has said it has been a harsh reality in Pakistan that policy decisions on some specific security and international issues have not been taken with the consultation or consent of the civilian government. He quoted the Kargil issue as one example and urged upon the need of rationalising the power structure in such a manner that no step could be taken against the wishes of the democratic government.

He said the PML-N differed with former Army chief Gen (retd) Aslam Beg after he issued a statement on the Gulf war that did not match the government’s policy. He said similarly Gen (retd) Asif Nawaz exceeded from the mandate he was given before launching the military operation against criminals, dacoits and anti-social elements in Sindh in 1992. Another Army Chief Gen (retd) Jehangir Karamat, he said, was removed because of his statement on the setting up of National Security Council. He said the PML-N government differed with Gen (retd) Musharraf on the Kargil issue. Senior PML-N leader Khwaja Muhammad Asif was of the view that the military-led intelligence agencies have been extremely powerful and instrumental in the making and breaking of the government. On the issue of the military operation in Karachi and the target killings there, Khwaja Asif said the agencies were mainly responsible for that. He said in both the 1992-93 and 1995-96 operations in Karachi, these were the military intelligence agencies that had played the important role. Interestingly, it was Khwaja Asif, who admitted that had the agencies not been so powerful MQM Quaid Altaf Hussain would have now been in Pakistan. Khwaja Asif said Altaf Hussain’s apprehensions towards the intelligences agencies, are barring him to come back and lead his party, which according to the N-leader would serve the political culture better.

Khwaja Asif also pointed out that the present situation in the tribal areas, Balochistan, Northern Areas and in Southern Punjab is also the outcome of what the agencies did during the last 20-22 years. The PML-N leaders have been distancing itself from the 1992 military operation against the MQM and insisted that it was the Army which had overstepped. In return, the MQM leaders, too, were mainly complaining to the PML-N and its leader Nawaz Sharif over his silence and the failure to stop the 1992 military operation against the MQM. MQM leader Haider Abbas Rizvi endorsed Khwaja’s views and said Hakim Saeed was killed by the agencies but the MQM was blamed for his murder. He lamented that the MQM workers were killed in an extra-judicial manner; military courts were created to try Muttahida workers, who were punished illegally and in violation of the Constitution through summary trials by these courts. Rizvi said in the 1992 operation what he called the Haqiqi terrorists were riding in military jeeps during the Army’s operation against the MQM. “It was all planted,” he said, and lamented the then-prime minister could not do anything to stop the operation.

Wasim Akhtar, another MQM leader, said in one the private channel that it’s a pity that the largest political parties of the country are today still dependent on Army and America. Dr Nadeem Ahsan of the MQM said MQM workers do not want Altaf Hussain to come back. He said the MQM Chief’s life is facing threats from the enemies of Pakistan. When asked to name these enemies, he pointed to both internal and external forces. When further probed, Dr Nadeem Ahsan initially named the Taliban and later said, “There are some other forces too. You can also name establishment.” When asked if the MQM fears from the establishment, he said, “Yes”. PPP information secretary Fauzia Wahab, too, in a talkshow talked of the political influence of the ISI which, according to her, grew after the agencies exposure in the Afghan war against former Soviet Union. Wahab, who is generally considered as her master’s (President) voice, said during the Afghan war the ISI became very resourceful and developed new technologies, which the agencies has to use somewhere to prove its worth. Referring to the history and also finding it true in the present day Pakistan, she said one thing is clear that in Pakistan democracy never got strengthened and the civilian authority has never been maintained. She said in her view there does not exist any central authority. Fauzia Wahab also added the 1992 operation is the reflection of the fact that the military operators at that time were not ready to concede the supremacy of the civilian leadership. She, however, believed the military interventions can’t be stopped by hanging a dictator but by improving the performance of parliament and through the vision and greater assertion of the political leadership. Dr Firdous Aashiq Awan, another PPP leader, blamed the establishment for the PPP government’s “mistake” to launch operation in Karachi against the MQM in 1995-96. REFERENCE: Establishment — the main target in current fiasco Wednesday, September 02, 2009 Politicians point finger at Army, ISI for debacles; all except the president are losers By Ansar Abbasi

Capital Talk (27th August, 2009)


Operation Cleanup - 2 (Capital Talk 27 Aug 2009) by SalimJanMazari


LAHORE: The much trumpeted 1992 operation clean-up in Sindh had actually been launched against the backdrop of the infamous ‘Major Kaleem kidnapping case’, when a serving Army major was abducted and tortured, allegedly by a group of activists belonging to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (which was then known as the Muhajir Qaumi Movement). While the MQM leadership has recently blamed former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for the 1992 operation and asked him to apologise for the atrocities committed during his tenure, it remains a fact that the MQM high command had held at that time the military leadership responsible for the action, saying it actually wanted to avenge the honour of Major Kaleemuddin. As a matter of fact, Major Kaleemuddin of the Field Investigation Unit (FIU) of the Army had been tasked to restore peace in the trouble-stricken Landhi area of Karachi. He was abducted on June 20, 1991, along with a few subordinates, while in civvies ñ the night when the MQM-Haqiqi led by Afaq Ahmed made an abortive attempt to take over Landhi offices of the Altaf-led MQM, called Muhajir Khel. This led to a bloody gun battle between the two MQM factions, killing many from both sides. However, the Haqiqi group was forced to flee after the Altaf group unleashed all its fire power in the gun battle. A few hours after the abortive attempt by the Haqiqi group, Major Kaleemuddin was abducted from the Landhi area by armed activists of the MQM, who allegedly took him to a torture cell and subjected him to ‘mistreatment’. The Major Kaleemuddin kidnapping case is still described by many in the establishment as the bedrock of the subsequent military operations carried out against the MQM under the Sharif and the Bhutto governments. Altaf Hussain and several other MQM leaders and workers were subsequently accused of being involved in the kidnapping episode and named in the FIR registered on June 24, 1991. Altaf left Pakistan in December 1992.

But there are different versions of what exactly happened to Major Kaleemuddin. Some of the MQM leaders had claimed after the incident that the abductors were under the impression that MQM-Haqiqi leaders Afaq Ahmed and Amir Khan – had returned to the port city at the behest of the agencies and that the major was present in Landhi to supervise the establishment-sponsored operation against them. During the court trial, many of the accused had claimed that since the major was in plain clothes, he was mistaken by them for a Haqiqi activist and subsequently roughed up. But as soon he had revealed his identity, the major was allowed to go. However, according to the prosecution, Major Kaleemuddin, along with three other Army officers, was patrolling the Landhi area in an Army jeep when 20 armed youths took them hostage after seizing their weapons. The Army men were taken to a place called Muhajir Khel in Landhi where they were allegedly tortured and kept for seven hours and rescued when the police reached the place. The accused charged with kidnapping the Army officers and torturing them included Altaf Hussain, Saleem Shahzad, Dr Imran Farooq, Safdar Baqri, Nadeem Ayubi, Ayub Shah, Aftab Ahmed, Ismail alias Sitara, Ashraf Zaidi, Sajid Azad, Ashfaq Chief, Javed Kazmi, Haji Jalal Asghar Chacha, Rehan Zaidi and Mohammad Yousuf.

Whatever the truth might be, the then-Army high command’s keen interest in the prosecution of the accused gave an impression as if the traditional martial pride of the Khakis – that nobody gets away with bashing up an Army officer ñ was at work. Gen Asif Nawaz had been the Corps Commander Karachi at that time who got promoted as the Army Chief in August 1991, right before the start of the military operation. A special court for suppression of terrorist activities (STA), led by Justice Rafiq Awan, began hearing of the Kaleemuddin kidnapping case in March 1993 and delivered judgment on June 9, 1994. The court had convicted Ashfaq Chief, Javed Kazmi and Haji Jalal and sentenced them to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment, besides imposing a fine of Rs 20,000 each under the Pakistan Penal Code, the Hudood Ordinance. All other accused, including Altaf Hussain, were declared absconders and sentenced to 27 years jail and a fine of Rs 30,000 each in absentia. Almost three years later, following the 1997 general elections and the subsequent decision by Altaf Hussain to join hands with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, all the convicted MQM leaders and activists challenged afresh their conviction and sentences before the Sindh High Court. Their appeal was heard by a division bench, which found the case as one ‘of almost no legal evidence’. Relying on the provisions of the Suppression of Terrorist Activities Act, 1976, the bench upheld on trial in absentia as well as the right of the absentee accused to file an appeal. Dealing with evidence, the bench observed that the eyewitnesses’ account did not inspire confidence and the evidence of the complainant was, in particular, full of contradictions.

The bench, comprising Justice Nizam Hussain Siddiqui and Justice Abdul Hameed, noted that it is difficult to believe, a group of 15 or 20 boys could disarm four trained soldiers. Therefore, all the accused were acquitted and three convicts serving their term were ordered to be released immediately. But it is interesting to point out that after AQ Halepota, one of the counsels for the MQM leaders, concluded his arguments before the court, the then-advocate-general Sindh Shaukat Zuberi submitted that numerous omissions and contradictions had been made during the trial of Major Kaleemuddin’s kidnapping and torture case and that he would not support the convictions of the accused by the STA court. The verdict came hardly a week after the then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif had travelled to London to meet Altaf Hussain. To recall, the MQM and the PML-N had been coalition partners at that time, before finally falling apart following the assassination of Hakim Mohammad Saeed in Karachi. Major Kaleemuddin had subsequently challenged the acquittal of the MQM leaders and activists by the Sindh High Court. But the petition was dismissed as withdrawn by the apex court on August 13, 2007, mainly due to non-prosecution, as neither the petitioner nor his counsel had turned up. REFERENCE: MQM Shifts Blame for 1992 Operation From Military to Nawaz Sharif By Amir Mir The News, Daily Jang September 02, 2009 - Also, see the Urdu Edition (You’d miss that on, once again bias Jang has removed content) Also, see the Urdu Edition:

LAHORE: The present animosity between the Altaf-led MQM and the Sharif-led PML has more to do with the October 1998 murder of former Sindh governor Hakim Mohammad Said and the subsequent imposition of the Governorís Rule in the province by the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif, rather than the 1992 operation clean-up, following which the two parties had mended fences and joined hands to form coalition governments in Sindh and at the federal level. The MQM is swinging between the PML and the PPP since the restoration of democracy in Pakistan in 1988, by joining almost every ruling coalition in Sindh. Having joined hands with then prime minister Benazir Bhutto after the 1988 elections, the MQM walked out of the PPP-led coalition in Sindh and at the centre in 1989. After the 1990 elections, the MQM teamed up with the Sharif-led PML, but left the coalition in 1992. After the dismissal of the second Benazir government in November 1996 and the subsequent holding of the 1997 general elections, Nawaz Sharif and Altaf Hussain had again joined forces against their common rival PPP.

On February 21, 1997, the MQM leadership signed a power sharing accord with new prime minister Nawaz Sharif and joined the coalition government at the federal level and in Sindh. As per the accord, Nawaz Sharif had agreed to hold a judicial probe into the deaths of ìhundreds of MQM workers in police custody or fake encounters besides granting compensation to the families of the deceasedî. Interestingly, the PML-MQM did not mention the 1992 military operation, for which the MQM now blames the PML. The first major development that followed the PML-MQM reunion was the Sindh High Courtís February 1997 decision to acquit Altaf Hussain and his 18 co-accused in the kidnapping and torture case of Major Kaleemuddin of the Field Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Pakistan Army. The acquittal only became possible after Advocate General Sindh Shaukat Zuberi had submitted before the court that numerous omissions and contradictions had been made during the trial and that he would not support the convictions of the accused by a special court for suppression of terrorist activities.

On April 1, 1997, the PML-MQM coalition government in Sindh announced the formation of a compensation committee to pay compensation to the members of the affected families and their legal heirs ìwho had suffered during the period October 1993 to November 1997î. Once again, there was no mention of the year 1992 when the infamous operation clean up was launched by the Pakistan Army in Sindh. This was despite the fact that the operation clean-up had started in the rural areas of Sindh on May 23, 1992 and in the urban areas of the province on June 19, 1992. The operation had cost the government over Rs 4 billion since 45,000 military and para-military troops of the Corps V were deployed in Sindh to assist the civil administration in restoring peace. As a follow up to the PML-MQM power sharing accord of February 21, 1997, the Sharif government subsequently paid a hefty amount of Rs 500 million from the federal kitty as compensation to the families of 711 MQM activists who had either been killed or left disabled. However, the London-based MQM leadership now claims that around 15,000 MQM workers and supporters had lost their lives in the aftermath of the 1992 operation clean up. Interestingly, the MQM workers were not the only ones to have been compensated by the then Sharif government. A sum of Rs 200 million was also distributed as compensation money amongst 634 bereaved families of the Army, Rangers and the Police Jawans who had lost their lives between May 1992 and April 1998 in ìanti-terrorist operationsî carried out in Sindh.

To the amazement of many, the families of those killed (MQM-A workers) and those who had been blamed for their deaths (law enforcement agencies) were paid an equal compensation amount of Rs 300,000 each by the Sharif government. While the widows and other dependents of the army, rangers and police Jawans were given compensation money because they had lost their lives ìfighting terrorismî, the family members of the MQM-A workers were compensated for their ìextra-judicial killings by the law enforcement agencies.î But the most astonishing aspect of the whole episode was that the army had claimed a head money reward of Rs 5 million from the Sindh government for killing 368 desperados during the 1992 operation clean-up, including several MQM-A activists whose families had to be paid compensation money eventually. The PML-MQM coalition went smooth afterwards for almost a year, before some serious differences erupted between the two partners, making the MQM to quit the federal and Sindh governments in August 1998. Yet on September 20, 1998, the MQM resumed support to the PML government at federal level and in Sindh, but without joining the cabinets. However, their alliance came to an abrupt end following the October 17, 1998 murder of the former Sindh governor Hakim Mohammad Said, who was allegedly assassinated by MQM activists in Karachi. The main accused in the murder case was Zulfiqar Haider, a serving MPA of the MQM from the Sindh Assembly. On October 28, 1998, ten days after the murder and having received the initial inquiry report from the authorities, Nawaz Sharif accused the MQM legislator and seven other party activists of involvement in the Hakim Said murder and set a three-day deadline for Altaf Hussain to handover the killers, including the MPA, failing which he threatened to call-off the PML-MQM alliance. On October 31, 1998, following the MQM leadershipís refusal to meet the deadline, the then prime minister Nawaz Sharif imposed federal rule in Sindh, which was followed by a massive crackdown by the security agencies against the MQM, which led to a fresh round of hostilities between the two political parties whose leadership is at daggers drawn against each other even today. REFERENCE: The real cause of MQM-PML hostility Thursday, September 03, 2009 By Amir Mir

LAHORE: The decision to launch the infamous 1992 operation clean-up in Sindh was largely taken by the military establishment immediately after the retirement of General Mirza Aslam Beg as the Army chief and the elevation of the then chief of general staff General Asif Nawaz Janjua to his place in August 1991. General Janjua had been the corps commander Karachi for three years from April 1988 to March 1991 before being elevated as chief of general staff in April 1991 for a brief period, only to be made the 10th chief of army staff three months later on August 16, 1991. And the operation clean-up was launched shortly afterwards. A careful scanning of the Pakistani newspaper files between 1989 and 1992 show that a proposal to send in the Army to ‘clean up’ Sindh was first floated in 1989 when Ghulam Ishaq Khan was the president of the country, Benazir Bhutto the prime minister, General Aslam Beg the Army chief and Lt-Gen Asif Nawaz the corps commander Karachi. However, difference of opinion arose after Ghulam Ishaq and General Aslam Beg opposed the suggestion. It was during his tenure as the corps commander Karachi that Asif Nawaz shot to prominence. Sindh at that time wilted under the most violent period in its history. Ethnic battles between Sindhis and Mohajirs were a routine affair and Asif Nawaz was often asked by the civil administration to deploy his troops to impose curfew and break the civil strife.

Kamran Khan on Nawaz Sharif , Mehran Bank Scandal, Operation Cleanup


Kamran Khan on Nawaz Sharif , Mehran Bank... by SalimJanMazari

On one such occasion, Lt-Gen Asif Nawaz had to personally come forward as a guarantor between two ethnic extremist groups to ensure a safe swapping of the hostages from both sides, who otherwise would have been killed. Therefore, he had floated a proposal to the PPP government in 1989 for carrying out two separate operations in urban and rural areas of Sindh against extremist elements in the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Al-Zulfiqar Organisation as well as against criminals and dacoits who had been enjoying the protection of influential political personalities and landlords. However, Beg reportedly voiced his opposition to the proposal and simply dragged his feet by demanding Herculean powers from the federal government for the Army under Section 245 of the Constitution. Even otherwise, there were elements in the Bhutto government who argued that a genuinely impartial military operation, cutting across party and ethnic lines, as envisioned by Asif Nawaz, would shake the foundations of the entire political edifice. However, the ground work preceding the military operation in Sindh was eventually started in August 1991 soon after Aslam Begís retirement and Asif Nawazís elevation by Ishaq Khan. After taking Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif into confidence, the military high command had issued directives to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the Military Intelligence (MI) to prepare secret reports on the activities of dacoits, criminals, terrorists as well as political elements patronising notorious elements in Sindh. A separate cell was formed within these agencies to focus on the activities of the Altaf-led MQM, but with precise directives that these reports should remain completely impartial and credible.

However, problems began to crop up when Prime Minister Sharif was informed by the intelligence agencies that some provincial ministers allied to his Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI), President Ishaqís son-in-law Irfanullah Khan Marwat, several prominent Pirs of Sindh, then chief Minister of the province Jam Sadiq Ali and some key members of the PPP and the Altaf-led MQM were all involved in criminal activities. Subsequently, the leaderships of different political parties were informed of these intelligence reports and asked to purge their parties of such elements as early as possible. In response, the PPP high command publicly severed its links with Al-Zulfiqar while Altaf Hussain deemed it fit to expel Afaq Ahmed and Amir Khan from the MQM. However, Nawaz Sharif was advised by his close aides that so many politicians from Sindh have been named in the intelligence reports as criminals that if they were rounded up, the Jam Sadiq-led coalition government would simply collapse; the PPP would seize power in Sindh and the PML-led government in Islamabad would be plunged into a serious political crisis. Sharif was also warned that any action against criminal elements of the Altaf-led party by the Army could prove counter productive, despite the fact that intelligence reports had described the MQM as “a state within a state”. Nonetheless, General Asif Nawaz Janjua was determined to move ahead with his plan of an operation clean-up in Sindh to cleanse the province of criminals. By that time, the infamous kidnapping and torture of Major Kaleemuddin by MQM henchmen had already taken place. In May 1992, a month before the operation was officially launched, the original plan was reviewed by the GHQ and it was decided that a direct clash between the Army and the MQM should be avoided.

Therefore, the MQM-Haqiqi was launched. But the intelligence move backfired and severely damaged the credibility of the Army. During a high-level troika meeting hardly two weeks before the operation clean-up, General Asif told Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that although many MQM, PML, PPP and Pagaro League members were on the criminal list, the Armyís first and foremost target would be dacoits in interior Sindh. However, as soon as the operation was launched, Nawaz Sharif was taken by surprise as the Army opted to raid the Nine Zero headquarters of the MQM in Azizabad to arrest dozens of its activists and leaders who were wanted for their involvement in criminal and terrorist activities. By that time, while sensing the gravity of the situation, Altaf Hussain had already fled Karachi for London. As pressure mounted on Nawaz Sharif by the component parties of the IJI, he decided to give a clear cut message to the Army by travelling to London to meet Altaf Hussain on June 19, 1992 when the operation clean-up was at its peak in Karachi and Hyderabad. And his move explicitly meant to distance himself from the operation clean-up of the Pakistan Army that was being directed against one of his important coalition partners in Sindh — the Altaf-led MQM. REFERENCE: General Janjua — the man behind 1992 operation Friday, September 04, 2009 By Amir Mir

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