Thursday, August 25, 2011

Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies.

 Somersault: 1. An acrobatic stunt in which the body rolls forward or backward in a complete revolution with the knees bent and the feet coming over the head. Also called somerset; also called regionally tumbleset. 2. A complete reversal, as of sympathies or opinions. intr.v. som·er·sault·ed also sum·mer·sault·ed, som·er·sault·ing also sum·mer·sault·ing, som·er·saults also sum·mer·saults - . (Individual Sports & Recreations / Gymnastics) a. a forward roll in which the head is placed on the ground and the trunk and legs are turned over it b. a similar roll in a backward direction 2. (Individual Sports & Recreations / Gymnastics) an acrobatic feat in which either of these rolls are performed in midair, as in diving or gymnastics 3. a complete reversal of opinion, policy, etc. vb (Individual Sports & Recreations / Gymnastics) (intr) to perform a somersault [from Old French soubresault, probably from Old Provençal sobresaut, from sobre over (from Latin super) + saut a jump, leap (from Latin saltus)] REFERENCE: somersault

Sindh Cabinet & Operation Cleanup (Aaj Kamran Khan Ke Saath - 23-8-2011)


Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 1 (Aaj Kamran Khan ke Saath - 24-8-2011)


KARACHI: In a speech marked by a discernible reduction of bellicosity, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain said on Wednesday that the Army and the Rangers be deployed in Karachi on a full-time basis to stop it from frequently descending into violence. Mr Hussain set alarm bells ringing late on Tuesday night when he asked the beleaguered people of Karachi — where more than 300 people were killed last month alone — to stock up on ration for at least a month. He said the people must do that even if they had to sell valuables. That the major portion of the Wednesday speech by the MQM chief was in English indicated that he sought to address the international audience in addition to his party’s senior leaders and general workers at the Lal Qila ground in Azizabad. This impression was strengthened by a statement issued by British Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt after speaking to Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad over the phone.

Mr Burt expressed his concern “at the continuing violence and loss of life that Karachi has faced in recent weeks”. He said: “I warned that inflammatory statements from any political party risked making the situation worse and that all political leaders and their parties have a duty to refrain from inciting violence and to reduce tensions and restore calm. “Our Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Francis Campbell, has met representatives of all main political parties in Karachi to encourage them to work towards stability in Karachi and the wider region. I have asked my officials to reiterate these points directly with the leadership of the MQM and to discuss our concerns.” While Mr Hussain may have refrained from issuing dark warnings on Wednesday, he was no less impassioned in his appeal for a durable peace in the city. “The Rangers and the Army should come to Karachi and see who is involved in terrorism. They should control the law and order situation here.” REFERENCE: Altaf wants army to quell violence By Mukhtar Alam | From the Newspaper (1 hour ago) Today PTI to sue Blair for ‘harbouring’ MQM leader By Our Reporter May 15, 2007 Tuesday Rabi-us-Sani 27, 1428  UK paper blames MQM for May 12 carnage Rauf Klasra Sunday, June 03, 2007 KARACHI: Altaf wants CJ to tender resignation By Our Staff Reporter May 13, 2007 Sunday Rabi-us-Sani 25, 1428  UK urges MQM not to hinder Benazir’s return By M. Ziauddin October 09, 2007 Tuesday Ramazan 26, 1428 

Foreign Office Minister discusses continuing violence in Karachi with Governor of Sindh Last updated at 18:46 (UK time) 3 Aug 2011 

Foreign Office Minister for South Asia Alistair Burt: "I reiterated the view of Her Majesty’s Government that the stability of Karachi is in the interests of all in Pakistan and the wider international community." Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt MP - Following his telephone call with Dr Khan, the Governor of Sindh, Foreign Office Minister for South Asia, Alistair Burt said: “This morning I spoke to the Governor of Sindh Dr. Khan to expressed my concern at the continuing violence and loss of life that Karachi has faced in recent weeks. I encouraged the Governor in his ongoing strong personal engagement to restore law and order. I warned that inflammatory statements from any political party risked making the situation worse and that all political leaders and their parties have a duty to refrain from inciting violence and to reduce tensions and restore calm. I reiterated the view of Her Majesty’s Government that the stability of Karachi is in the interests of all in Pakistan and the wider international community. I said that peace and prosperity in Karachi was necessary to encourage further foreign direct investment which would be vital to Pakistan’s future economic growth and stability. “Our Deputy High Commissioner in Karachi, Francis Campbell, has met with representative of all main political parties in Karachi to encourage them to work towards stability in Karachi and the wider region. I have asked my officials to reiterate these points directly with the leadership of the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) and to discuss our concerns.” REFERENCE: Foreign Office Minister discusses continuing violence in Karachi with Governor of Sindh 03 August 2011

KARACHI:  “The police are only one of several armed groups and probably not the most numerous or best equipped,” according to a secret assessment of the ‘The Gangs of Karachi’ by then US consul general Stephen Fakan in April 2009. The assessment focuses on the Pakistan People’s Party, Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Awami National Party, Muhajir Qaumi Movement (H), Sunni Tehreek and “Pashtun terrorists”, besides some armed gangs operating in Lyari and other parts of this megapolis. It states that “the PPP’s decision to include MQM in coalition governments in Sindh and at the centre has helped preclude a return to the PPP-MQM violence of the 1990s. But the potential for MQM-ANP conflict is growing as Pashtuns challenge Muhajir political dominance and vie for control of key economic interests, such as the lucrative trucking industry. “Any sign that political violence is returning to Karachi, especially if it is related to the growing strength of conservative Pashtun ‘Taliban’, will send extremely negative shockwaves through the society and likely accelerate the flight from Pakistan of the business and intellectual elite of the society,” the report says. Assessing the overall situation that prevailed in the city, the cable adds that the police consider many neighbourhoods to be no-go zones in which even intelligence services have a difficult time operating. “Very few of the groups are traditional criminal gangs. Most are associated with a political party, a social movement, or terrorist activity, and their presence in the volatile ethnic mix of the world’s fourth largest city creates enormous political and governance challenges.” REFERENCE: ‘Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi’ By Idrees Bakhtiar | From the Newspaper (18 hours ago) Today

Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 2 (Aaj Kamran Khan ke Saath - 24-8-2011)


Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 3 (Aaj Kamran Khan ke Saath - 24-8-2011)


Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 1 (Bolta Pakistan - 24-8-2011)


Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 2 (Bolta Pakistan - 24-8-2011)


Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 3 (Bolta Pakistan - 24-8-2011)


ISLAMABAD: The man who has ruled Sindh as a de facto chief minister for many years finally lost his powers on Saturday. Brigadier Huda, who was an ISI commander in Sindh, was in fact the caretaker of the MQM-PML-Q provincial coalition government. He was responsible for running the coalition in a smooth manner. All major decisions were taken after his consultation. He resolved the differences between former CM Arbab Ghulam Rahim and the MQM many a time. Many provincial ministers even used to say “ooper Khuda aur neechay Huda”. The brigadier’s name figured in the power circles of Islamabad in the evening of May 12, 2007. Brigadier Huda was given credit for the show of massive government power in Karachi on that day. Initially, the MQM was reluctant to hold a rally in Karachi on May 12. The then ISI DG Gen Ashfaq Kayani also had the same opinion that the MQM should not come out on the streets when Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry would visit Karachi. It was Huda who played an important role in convincing the MQM not to cancel its rally. He assured the MQM leadership that there will be no riots on that day though he was proved wrong. He was supposed to be very close to the then Army chief General Pervez Musharraf. However, no action was taken against him. REFERENCE: De facto Sindh CM finally transferred Monday, April 21, 2008 By Hamid Mir

The blasts in the rally of Benazir Bhutto on October 18, 2007 in Karachi were another failure of Brigadier Huda. He was responsible for the security of Benazir Bhutto on that day more than anybody else. However, he was not transferred despite his repeated failures. His downfall started on April 9, 2008, when many people including lawyers were killed in the Karachi violence. It was another failure on the part of Huda. The new PPP government in Sindh felt that Brigadier Huda was still having immense political influence. It believed that he was in contact with the anti-PPP forces. Many important bureaucrats reported to the provincial government that Huda was interfering in different departments. He was more interested in “political makings and breakings” than doing his security job. After the episode of April 9, PPP leaders asked ISI Director General Lt Gen Nadeem Taj through the prime minister that Huda must be transferred. It took just a few days and Huda was transferred. He was replaced by another brigadier. The PPP gave a message that it means business and it will not tolerate any ambitious spymasters. There are rumors in the capital that the ISI DG will also be transferred soon but highly-placed sources in the new government dispelled all these rumours. “The prime minister has the authority to change the ISI DG anytime but right now we don’t need to change him,” claimed a top PPP leader. REFERENCE: De facto Sindh CM finally transferred Monday, April 21, 2008 By Hamid Mir

MQM on Asma Jahangir & 12 May 2007 Tragedy


Altaf Hussain Exposing Nawaz Sharif on Judiciary & Long March.


KARACHI, Aug 29: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement and the Human Rights of Commission of Pakistan continue to trade allegations following the release of an HRCP report in Lahore on Aug 27 on the May 12 violence. Terming the report baseless and biased, the MQM has asked HRCP chairperson Asma Jahangir to desist from playing politics under the shelter of the human rights body. Speaking at a press conference here on Tuesday, deputy convenor coordination committee Dr Farooq Sattar said the report issued by the HRCP chairperson amounted to contempt of court as a larger bench of the Sindh High Court was hearing a case about the May 12 violence. “This is an attempt to influence the proceeding and the court should take notice of it,” he remarked. He criticised Ms Jahangir for her “mala-fide intention to malign the MQM”. Dr Sattar, however, said that a day before May 12, Ms Jahangir called at the party’s London secretariat and spoke to a senior leader, Mohammad Anwar, telling him that a conspiracy was being hatched against the MQM and there would be bloodshed on May 12. “If she was not involved, then how could she know about the conspiracy and bloodshed in advance?” He said the party had sent all pieces of evidence and details of MQM workers killed on May 12 to national and international rights organisations. However, it was surprising that the HRCP in its report did not bother to incorporate the evidence provided by the MQM, he added. He said the SHC was hearing the May 12 incidents case and any decision to fix responsibility could only be taken by the court. In a press statement on Wednesday, the HRCP said it welcomed comments and critiques on all its reports and in that sense the press conference held by Dr Farooq Sattar was not unexceptional. However, it termed baseless his allegations against the HRCP and its chairperson. “Reports compiled by HRCP are independent of all influences and are not initiated at the behest of any group or individual. HRCP believes in collective decision making by its representatives and those associated with the fact-finding process. All credible information is included,” the statement said. It further said: “Dr Sattar has alleged in his press conference that the MQM sent a bundle of material to HRCP regarding the May 12 violence. HRCP has received no such material. “He has further made malicious allegations of contacts made by the Chairperson of HRCP warning the MQM of a conspiracy against them through bloody ethic violence. This is also baseless. It is amazing that MQM found it fit to disclose such a scandalous fact only after the publication of the HRCP report.” REFERENCE: KARACHI: HRCP report on May 12 violence irks MQM By Our Staff Reporter August 30, 2007 Thursday Sha'aban 16, 1428  

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Asma Jahangir on Wednesday accused the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) of having involvement in the bloody incident of May 12, 2007, in Karachi, and requested an independent inquiry into the incident. As many as 49 people were killed and many others wounded four years ago on May 12 when a deposed Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry visited Karachi. Talking to reporters on the Supreme Court premises, the SCBA president along with Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) Vice Chairman Latif Afridi announced that the legal fraternity would observe May 12 (today) as black day to express solidarity with those 49 killed. Asma said that on May 12, 2007, lawyers, journalists and members of civil society, who wanted to accord a rousing welcome to Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry deposed by former dictator Pervez Musharraf, were killed in Karachi. She demanded a free inquiry into the incident, and announced that on Thursday (today) the SCBA was convening a “protest meeting” at the apex court. The PBC vice chairman appealed to the CJP to take suo motu notice of the May 12 incident. REFERENCE: Asma blames MQM for May 12, 2007 incident Staff Report Thursday, May 12, 2011 

LAHORE, Aug 29: The Labour Party Pakistan has criticised the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) for launching a propaganda campaign against the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for presenting a report on May 12 incidents in Karachi. Party Secretary-General Farooq Tariq said there was no justification for the MQM to initiate a whispering campaign against HRCP Chairperson Asma Jehangir because the commission was a non-political organization which continued investigating the incidents of individual and state terrorism and issue reports. Asma Jehangir was a human rights activist and had nothing to do with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Mr Tariq said the MQM had been irritated over the HRCP report because it showed its involvement in the carnage. He said workers of Labour Party and other organisations had expressed fears about violence when the government and the MQM decided to organise a rally in Karachi on May 12 on the arrival of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. He said that if the MQM had any videotape about May 12 incidents in Karachi it should make it public without editing. REFERENCE: MQM rapped for ‘drive against Asma’ By Our Reporter August 30, 2007 Thursday Sha'aban 16, 1428 

KARACHI, Aug 30: A top official of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said on Thursday that the organisation tried to restrain the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) from creating “mayhem” on May 12 when the independent rights body’s chief telephoned the MQM leadership a day before and advised them to avoid conflict during the chief justice’s visit to the city. “Our chairperson tried to persuade the MQM leadership to hold its rally on any other day and avoid the possibility of conflict. She did nothing else. The MQM leaders’ allegations against her are baseless and concocted,” Iqbal Haider, secretary-general of the HRCP, said at the launch of their report on the May 12 events at the organisation’s Karachi office. Referring to the recent statement of Dr Farooq Sattar, deputy convener of the MQM’s coordination committee, in which he termed the HRCP report “partisan” and said the report was not appropriate considering that the matter was sub judice, Mr Haider said that in fact the HRCP was assisting the Sindh High Court in the suo motu case pertaining to the May 12 violence. “Such statements do not befit those who attacked the judiciary and detained lawyers. They themselves committed the greatest contempt of court by not allowing the chief justice of Pakistan to come out of the airport. Their allegations against the HRCP contradict their own role,” he said.

He asked Dr Sattar to produce the “unedited version” of the tape of Asma Jehangir’s conversation with the MQM leadership so that the truth was told in its “real sprit” to the public. “The tape should be genuine, unedited and not distorted to let people know what she had advised to the MQM,” he said. Mr Haider said the report, titled “A City Under Siege: Carnage in Karachi,” had been submitted to all the seven judges of the larger bench of the SHC conducting proceedings into the May 12 events on Thursday. “We’ll appear in court on Monday when the proceedings of the case are scheduled to resume,” he said. Mr Haider said the investigations were conducted by impartial volunteers and prepared without any political influence or partiality. According to him, the May 12 killings had no precedence in the past because never before had the police and other law-enforcement agencies been asked to relinquish control of law and order and adopt the role of “mere spectators.” “The government failed to discharge its duties in protecting and safeguarding the lives of its citizens, and it failed deliberately,” he claimed.

‘15 million held hostage’

The report says May 12 represented something quite unprecedented in the history of Pakistan. “In quantitative terms the violence perpetrated on that day might find parallel only very occasionally. Well over 40 people lost their lives, and the number of the injured ran into the hundreds. But it was in qualitative terms that the events were truly without historical comparison. “An entire city of nearly 15 million was held hostage by people who appeared to be private citizens. The violence and the threat of violence engulfed nearly all localities of this huge city – in the east, west, north, south and the centre,” says the report.It says the escalation of tensions in the build-up to May 12 was entirely avoidable. The idea of a showdown between supporters of the CJ – who, despite the reference, was a serving functionary of the state – and supporters of a political party was “almost entirely artificially created.” “There was nothing inherently antagonistic in the two positions held by the supporters of the lawyers’ movement and the MQM that warranted any form of violence or bloodshed. It appears almost incomprehensible that large-scale violence of various types – roadblocks, ambushes, armed clashes, abductions etc – was meticulously planned and executed across the city, while the state security apparatus was effectively withdrawn.” The report says May 12, 2007 will be remembered as the day the state withdrew. “While the loss of precious lives is the most deplorable aspect of the day, a matter of grave concern from the perspective of institutional integrity of the state is the virtual withdrawal of the state’s security apparatus for almost 20 hours and the actual takeover of the city by armed cadres of one or more than one political party,” it says. “For some apparently inexplicable reason, the objective was to stop the CJ – a serving state functionary – from being received by his lawyer and political supporters. It is clear from the benefit of hindsight that all of the actions of the Sindh government – which was the main state organ responsible for security – were geared to achieve this aim.” The report holds responsible the Sindh provincial government and the federal security agencies such as the Rangers and military – “that arrogate and retain de facto and de jure policing duties in Karachi” -- for the gory events. “To this extent the functionaries of the federal and provincial governments and military and paramilitary forces stationed in Karachi bear responsibility.” It says that the MQM, to a great extent, and other political parties, to a smaller extent, have a case to answer. “All the evidence shows that these parties, particularly the MQM, acted like organised military forces, which mobilised large numbers of people to carry out acts of brutal violence against their opponents as well as non-partisan citizens. For this the level of responsibility needs to be more specific and direct than the one implied in the notion of collective political responsibility.” “The MQM, or at least its military organisation, bears the direct and specific responsibility for the majority of the violence. Residual responsibility lies with the armed supporters of other political and religious parties,” the HRCP report says. REFERENCE: KARACHI: ‘HRCP urged MQM to avoid May 12 conflict’ by Hasan Mansoor August 31, 2007 Friday Sha'aban 17, 1428

Way Back in 2007: KARACHI, May 12: Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain on Saturday asked Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to resign from his post for violating his oath of office. “Mr Chief Justice, you had breached the oath taken under the Constitution by taking another oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order. I demand that you make an apology to the whole nation for this act, tender resignation and then come forward for the cause of the independence of the judiciary,” he said while addressing a rally called by the party against what was described as political jugglery in the name of the independence of the judiciary.  Mr Hussain was of the view that opposition political and religious parties were using the issue of CJ for dissolution of the government. “This should be stopped forthwith as solidarity of Pakistan lies in a true democratic government,” he added.A large number of people reached M.A. Jinnah Road to take part in the MQM rally. Mr Hussain, who was sad and grieved over the loss of lives on Saturday, said that no untoward incident had taken place in any part of the city but with the landing of CJ’s flight at Karachi Airport the situation started deteriorating. “After noon when the CJ’s plane landed in Karachi, terrorists started targeting MQM rallies in different areas by firing indiscriminately.” He informed the participants that over a dozen workers of the MQM were targeted while hundreds of workers and supporters were injured. However, he declared that nothing could stop the struggle of the MQM for the rights of the oppressed people. The MQM leader said that the Sindh Home Department requested the CJ to cancel his visit to Karachi on the basis of certain intelligence reports but he did not accede to the request. “I believe now you [the Chief Justice] are feeling relaxed after so many people lost their lives due to your programme.” “Mr Chief Justice, kindly recognise political jugglers around you. On the occasion of your arrival, miscreants and enemies of the country killed innocent people,” he said. He wondered why the participants of a procession in Punjab to welcome the CJ in Lahore were raising the slogans of “Go Musharraf Go” instead of “Go Military Go”.

He also asked the legal fraternity why they did not hold rallies and demonstrations when former chief justice Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui and other honorable judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts were asked to take another oath on the PCO which they refused. He said that MQM would support the CJ if he apologised to the nation for taking another oath under the PCO and tender resignation for doing an unconstitutional act. Mr Hussain said that opposition political and religious parties were jealous of rapid development work in Karachi. “Miscreants in the name of the independence of the judiciary tried to engineer Pakhtoon-Mohajir riots in the city but they will not succeed in their evil designs,” he said. He demanded that the judiciary be given independence and all institutions be restricted to their assigned tasks only. He asked the participants to disperse peacefully and not be provoked. REFERENCE: KARACHI: Altaf wants CJ to tender resignation By Our Staff Reporter May 13, 2007 Sunday Rabi-us-Sani 25, 1428

Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 1 (Aapas Ki Baat - 24-8-2011)


ISLAMABAD - The law and order situation in Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi has taken a turn for the worse, amid growing apprehensions that the violence-stricken largest port city of Pakistan may eventually turn into another Beirut of the 1970s and 1980s, when rampant terrorism, target killings, gang wars and sectarian and religious fundamentalism was the order of the day. Located in the south of Pakistan, along the coastline meeting the Arabian Sea, Karachi spreads over 3,527 square kilometers in area, almost four times bigger than Hong Kong. With an estimated population of 18 million, Karachi is the most populous city of Pakistan and one of the world's largest in terms of population. Being the foremost financial center, it is home to premier banking, industry, economic activity and trade. Locally known as the "City of Lights", Karachi is home to prime corporations involved in textiles, shipping, the automotive industry, entertainment, fashion, arts, advertising, publishing, software development and medical research. Being the location of Karachi port and Port Bin Qasim, two of the region's largest sea ports, Karachi was the capital of Pakistan until it was replaced by Islamabad in 1959. Karachi, also the capital of Sindh province, has long been the destination for generations of ethnically diverse migrants. Being a multi-ethnic metropolis where a diverse people had lived peacefully until internal and external forces gradually pitted them against one another, the Karachi of today bears remarkable similarities to the Beirut of the past. Home to displaced Palestinian migrants, who were first welcome and then resented by the native people, a city where arms proliferated as by-products of warfare in neighboring states, Beirut was a place where the inner contradictions of the Lebanese state and society had converged. The rot spread from Beirut and eventually led to a bloody civil war across the whole of Lebanon, which resulted in an estimated 175,000 civilian fatalities, prompting Israel to invade southern Lebanon in 1978, and the whole country in 1982. Just like Beirut, Karachi is currently hitting headlines for all the wrong reasons in the wake of an unending spate of bloody violence that has claimed over 250 lives in the first three weeks of August, while more than 300 people were killed in July alone. Likewise, 500-plus people had been killed in targeted killings in the trouble-stricken city during the first half of 2011 (between January 1 and June 31), compared with 753 people who lost their lives in 2010. Both the major ethno-political parties of Karachi - the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) representing the Urdu-speaking citizens and the Awami National Party (ANP) representing the Pashto-speaking populace, despite being in coalition with the Pakistan People's Party (PPP)-led provincial government in Sindh, blame each other for the wave of gory violence and the subsequent rise in killings. As per the national census of 1998, around 45% of Karachi's population affiliated itself with Urdu. By 2010, almost 25% of Karachi's 18 million inhabitants called themselves Pashtuns. The remaining 30% of the population comprises Sindhis, Balochis, Punjabis, and more. As far as the strength of the political parties in the 168-member Sindh assembly is concerned, the PPP has 93 members, the MQM 51, the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam Group) 11, the Pakistan Muslim League (Pir Pagaro Group) eight, the National People's Party three and the ANP two. Sindh's Pashtun population stands at around 25%, but the ANP has only two members in the provincial assembly. Admittedly, not all Pashtuns are ANP voters, but 25% of Karachi's population is massively disenfranchised. The PPP has 93 members in the provincial assembly but 95% of them are from outside Karachi. On the other hand, the MQM's stronghold in urban Sindh is reflected in the provincial assembly, where it occupies 28 of Karachi's 33 seats. Its control over the Urdu-speaking Mohajir representation gives the MQM enormous potential to keep its organizational and ideological resources at high alert most of the time. The root cause of the law and order problem in the city is that both the MQM and the ANP have seemingly converted themselves into narrow ethnic-based entities that are using violence as a tool against one another. Although the MQM is largely held responsible as the main perpetrator of the violence, the ANP has apparently also started playing the same game. Consequently, Karachi is literally armed to the teeth today. From top politicians, landowners and industrialists to the sharpshooters of the underworld, guns are more visible than anything else. Security officials say the nexus between politics and crime is an old one in Karachi as hired assassins, extortionists, kidnappers, drug-peddlers, land-grabbers, gunrunners and even petty criminals have successfully managed to find their niche in one political party or another. All of them are heavily armed and most of them have the connections needed to escape arrest and prosecution. Therefore, Karachi seems to be witnessing a process of militancy today, like Beirut of the past, where the crisis involved only one sectarian party at the beginning which gathered the Maronite community under the leadership of Pierre Gemayel, the fascist founder of Phalange party, and his son Beshir Gemayel. As the crisis persisted, sectarianism flourished and spread to the rest of Lebanon, turning the whole country into a cauldron of ethnic strife. Like Beirut, Karachi also seems to have reached a state of complete anarchy, with hundreds of bullet-riddled and tortured bodies, stuffed in gunny bags, being recovered from different parts of the city every day. Life in the metropolis has become so precarious that even common citizens are becoming victims of the killing spree and kidnapping has become a common occurrence. The law-enforcement agencies believe that the ethnic-cum-political rivalries between the Mohajir and the Pashtun communities were the dominant factors behind most of those killed in Karachi this year so far. In fact, Karachi has always been a city of refugees. At the time of independence in 1947, Karachi was a sophisticated trading city inhabited by a large number of affluent Hindus, Parsis, Muslims and Christians. The city population increased considerably when hundreds of thousands of the Urdu-speaking migrants from India (Mohajirs) came to Pakistan, especially after the 1971 dismemberment of the eastern part of the country (now Bangladesh), and started settling in Karachi. As Russian forces invaded Afghanistan in 1979, hundreds of thousands of the Pashto-speaking refugees from Pakistan's Pashtun belt in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) started migrating to Karachi. Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, counter-insurgency operations in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and FATA have resulted in the displacement of tens of thousands of people, with an estimated 300,000 internally displaced persons pushing into Karachi. The mass influx was bound to destabilize established equations, hence changing the demographic composition of Karachi (which was once dominated by Sindhi-speaking people) and turning it into an Urdu-speaking Mohajir-dominated city. In such a situation, ethnic differences were bound to emerge between the Mohajirs and the Sindhis, the Pashtuns and the Sindhis and the Mohajirs and the Sindhis, thereby causing tensions. After Pakistan's third military dictator, General Zia ul-Haq toppled the government of the first elected prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, (who was a Sindhi) in July 1977, the military and intelligence establishment decided to nourish and nurture an Urdu-speaking student leader, Altaf Hussain, who was a Mohajir. The establishment wanted to weaken Bhutto's PPP by dividing the Sindh province on ethnic lines (Mohajir vs Sindhi). Consequently, in 1984, Hussain, who at the time was chairman of the All Pakistan Mohajir Students Organization, launched a political party - the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (MQM) or the Mohajir National Movement. In a bid to weaken the PPP, the Zia regime allowed the MQM to form a network of professional militants through which it successfully established its stronghold in Karachi and literally took over the city. Gradually, the MQM's militant wing rose in stature and strength, with extortions, carjacking, land-grabbing, illegal construction etc earning it massive revenues to run party affairs. As a result, the MQM has retained power since it became part of mainstream politics in 1985 (when the Zia regime held general elections on a non-party basis after a gap of almost a decade), by entering into alliances with major political parties - at different times, the Nawaz Sharif-led Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the PPP. It is generally believed that being the product of the Pakistani military and intelligence establishment, the MQM has always enjoyed the support of the military leadership, with the aim of undermining ethnic Pashtun groups and political parties. However, after Zia's death in 1988 in a plane crash, the military's policy towards Hussain saw a drastic change, with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) accusing him of being an Indian agent conspiring to break up Pakistan by converting Karachi into an independent Mohajir state called Jinnahpur. This led to a massive military operation under then-prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1991, prompting Hussain to flee Pakistan and settle permanently in England. The "operation clean-up" by the army had exposed many torture cells and brought before the public the violent tactics employed by the Mohajir party. Yet the military operation was finally allowed to peter out because the army and the politicians did not agree on its direction. The second crackdown against the MQM was carried out during the tenure of prime minister Benazir Bhutto. This was spearheaded by the police with the help of the paramilitary Rangers, which took out many hardened criminals associated with the Mohajir party. The action was successful as peace was restored to Karachi and the state for once seemed in ascendance in the city. However, once the Benazir government was dismissed prematurely, the MQM staged a comeback and started to display many of the old tactics that had defined it since day one. A number of police and civil officers involved with the operation against the Mohajir party were hunted down and killed. Others chose to run or hide. The third crackdown against the MQM was carried out by the second government of prime minister Sharif following the October 17, 1998, murder of the former Sindh governor Hakeem Mohammad Saeed, who was allegedly assassinated by MQM activists in Karachi. The main accused in the murder case was Zulfiqar Haider, a serving member of the MQM from the Sindh assembly. On October 28, 1998, 10 days after the murder and having received the initial inquiry report from the authorities, Sharif accused the MQM legislator and seven other party activists of involvement in the murder and set a three-day deadline for Hussain to hand over the killers, including the Haider, failing which he threatened to discard the PML-MQM alliance. On October 31, following the MQM leadership's refusal to meet the deadline, Sharif suspended the provincial assembly and imposed federal rule in Sindh, which was followed by a massive crackdown by the security agencies against the MQM. However, after Pakistan's fourth military dictator General Pervez Musharraf took over the reins of power in October 1999 following a coup, the MQM literally started ruling the roost, mainly because of Musharraf's Urdu-speaking Mohajir connection with the MQM and its self-exiled leader. Having usurped power, Musharraf went to see Hussain in London. This was strange because several criminal cases had been registered against Hussain even at that time, including that of kidnapping and torturing a serving army officer. An MQM stalwart was later named Sindh governor and he reportedly had several criminal cases registered against him - all of which were dropped. Under Musharraf's patronage, the MQM not only acquired unbridled power in Sindh but started to spread its wings to other parts of the country, including Punjab. REFERENCE: Islamabad fiddles while Karachi burns By Amir Mir Page 1 of 2 South Asia Aug 24, 2011

Filthy Politics on Dead Bodies - 2 (Aapas Ki Baat - 24-8-2011)


Given the MQM's massive Urdu-speaking Mohajir following, its political influence in the city as well as its martial might, it is hard for both the mainstream political parties of the country - the PPP and the Pakistan Muslim League - to ignore it whenever they are voted to power. Any government is compelled to include the MQM to ensure peace and stability in Sindh province. As a result, the MQM has always been a part of the Sindh government since 1988, by joining almost every coalition government. At the same time, however, Karachi is bound to see bloodshed whenever the MQM decides to quit the ruling coalition after developing differences with the federal government, as is the case nowadays. The MQM quit the federal and Sindh governments on June 27 over some petty differences with Islamabad. Well-placed government circles say the MQM leadership is angry with the Asif Ali Zardari-led PPP because of its extremely friendly ties with the high command of the Awami National Party, which also rules Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, being the majority party in that province. But another important factor that put off the MQM leadership was the arrest of several of its activists who had already been charged with involvement in terrorist activities.

Muhammad Ishtiaq alias Police Wala, one of the most dangerous target killers who confessed to having killed many in Karachi, including police officers, has already claimed his association with the militant wing of the MQM. According to some recent Pakistani media reports that quoted official documents, Ishtiaq has confessed his involvement in terrorist activities before the Joint Interrogation Team comprising representatives of the ISI, Intelligence Bureau, the Crime Investigations Department, Sindh Police, the Special Branch and the Rangers. As per his confessional statement, Ajmal Pahari, a sharpshooter who was arrested recently in Karachi and who was involved in the killing of 100 people, also belongs to the MQM. Ishtiaq disclosed that several "MQM setups" worked in Karachi and carried out target killings.

Ishtiaq stated in his confessional statement:

Initially, all killing teams in Karachi were centralized under Shakeel Omar. But when Shakeel Omar got heavily involved in land-grabbing and corruption activities in Surjani town, he was sidelined and Ajmal Pahari alias Adnan and Saeed Bharam alias Ahmed were given the job. But as they too got involved in corruption activities, vigilance committees were created at the unit and sector levels to serve as armed wings [of the MQM]. But they too grew out of the party's control. Finally, a new setup under the joint command of Adeel Bhai and Siddique Bhai [who were looking after a South African unit] was formed. In their place, Qamar Teddy and Raza Bhai were made in-charge of the South Africa unit. Adeel Bhai and Siddique Bhai are also in constant touch with Anis Qaimkhani in London, who is in-charge of the [MQM] killing teams. Every sector of the MQM has its own vigilance team for carrying out terrorist activities in their respective areas. Presently, the MQM high command from London has ordered all militants to target the office bearers of the ANP, the Punjab Pashtun Ittehad (PPI) and the splinter group of the MQM called Mohajir Qaumi Movement (Haqiqi) in Karachi.

However, the MQM high command has already disowned Ishtiaq as a party activist, saying the Urdu-speaking Mohajir community of Karachi is actually the main victim of the current wave of terrorism, through which it is being coerced into rejoining the government.

According to a March 27 BBC report titled "Pakistan's untold story of violence":

The MQM's new deal with the establishment is that its control of Karachi will remain unchallenged by the security establishment. In return, the MQM will support the establishment's policies in the center. Obviously, this deal stands as long as the MQM controls Karachi. But the Mohajir party has been increasingly feeling the pressure exerted by the growth of the Pashtun community in Karachi which is home to a bewildering number of political parties and campaigning groups. Arriving here in their thousands, the Pashtun newcomers are in competition for land and jobs with the Urdu-speaking community. MQM leaders say these new arrivals must not be treated as long-term inhabitants of the city - a call at odds with its identity as a party of migrants. They say there is a link between the growth of the Pashtun community and the "Talibanization" of parts of the city - the Taliban is predominantly made up of Pashtun people. The MQM leaders further say that they will resist this at all costs, and this bellicosity has led to violence which has claimed dozens of lives.

On the other hand, the Pashtun-speaking Awami National Party leadership maintains that the MQM knows that the threat to its monopoly over street power stems from only one community - the Pashtuns - so it has taken upon itself the task of browbeating them into submission. The Pashtuns further allege that the MQM has monopolized the power of Karachi's Urdu-speaking community by literally beating, torturing and killing workers of the Awami National Party, forcing it to hit back in self-defense. Subsequently, different parts of Karachi have been declared "no-go areas" for Mohajirs and Pashtuns by rival communities. The battlelines are marked by party flags strung from lamp posts and mobile phone masts, staking the contenders' territory. Fluttering banners in red, white and green flying in the middle-class areas of the city belong to the MQM, while crimson flags flying across poorer neighborhoods belong to the ANP. As the violence refuses to die down, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) recently dispatched a fact-finding mission to Karachi with a view to ascertaining the causes. According to its report:

Karachi is in the grip of a multi-sided wave of insecurity-driven political, ethnic and sectarian polarization that has greatly undermined its tradition of tolerance and good-neighborliness. While gangs of land-grabbers and mafias have tried to exploit the breakdown of law and order, they do not appear to be the main directors of the horrible game of death and destruction; that distinction belongs to more powerful political groups and it is they who hold the key to peace. The HRCP acknowledged that various elements and factors have contributed to a weakening of the state's capacity to keep order, yet the ultimate responsibility for the present situation and for meeting it lies with the state. On its part, the federal government has handed over the worst-hit areas of the city to the paramilitary Rangers, giving them a free hand to arrest culprits with a view to stopping the violence, which shows no sign of abating. Aerial surveillance has been put in place, rewards offered and a large number of arrests have been made, amid calls for the army to take control. Army chief General Ashfaq Kiani has stated that his troops were ready to control the situation if the civilian government asked it to do so. In the same breath, however, Kiani said the police and paramilitary would, if properly deployed, be able to stem the unrest. However, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has already ruled out such a move, saying targeted action would be taken by the army and the police instead because the army was busy fighting terrorists in the militancy-hit tribal areas. Similarly, Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani has said that sending in the army may not bring peace in Karachi. Gillani has said military action can't be a solution and stressed the need for the optimal use of police and paramilitary forces. As things stand, Karachi continues to bleed, with the stakeholders engaged in political wheeling-dealing, rushing from one meeting to another and discussing power-sharing formulas that might guarantee the restoration of peace. Pakistan's leading English newspaper Dawn summed up the situation in an August 21 editorial titled "Karachi Carnage":

Those who have played a part in the recent spell of bloody violence deserve to be brought to book. Unfortunately, justice is in short supply in this country and officialdom can be expected to proceed as it wishes while the people suffer. The truth is that the perpetrators of the bloodshed are not unknown entities. Neither is it any one political organization that sparks the flames of unrest. Everyone in the political ranks from the president to the interior minister to members of various parties in Sindh knows who is behind the ongoing wave of violence. In this connection, President Asif Zardari's recent statement urging the MQM to rejoin the government sheds interesting light on the situation. Will the MQM's rejoining the fold put an end to this uninterrupted spell of killings? If so, what does that say about the manner in which the MQM and the ruling PPP operate? The people of Karachi deserve to know the truth because they have seen too much death and destruction first-hand. There can be no mollycoddling out of fear or favor. There comes a time when facts have to be faced and that time is now. REFERENCE: Islamabad fiddles while Karachi burns By Amir Mir South Asia Aug 24, 2011 - Amir Mir is a senior Pakistani journalist and the author of several books on the subject of militant Islam and terrorism, the latest being The Bhutto murder trail: From Waziristan to GHQ.

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