KARACHI: Life stopped for Pakistani cab driver Ghulam Mohammed when his seven-year-old daughter was shot dead on her way home from school, a victim of senseless political and ethnic violence sweeping Karachi. Shumaila was Mohammed’s only child, born after he and his wife struggled for 12 years to have a baby. It took two stray bullets to bury all the hopes and dreams they had for the future. “She was the one who gave meaning to our life. Now we have no reason to live,” said the tearful 36-year-old, a resident of Qasba Colony, one of a series of troubled neighbourhoods in western Karachi turned into a battlefield. Shumaila was one of 300 people whom the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) says died in political and ethnically linked shootings in Karachi last month and one of the 800 killed since the start of this year. She was carrying her books when the bullets pierced her abdomen and splintered a rib. Seriously wounded, she was eventually picked up by an ambulance after medics struggled to access the street under gunfire. REFERENCE: Pakistan’s poor dying in Karachi violence AFP Yesterday http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/07/pakistans-poor-dying-in-karachi-violence.html
Dunya TV-IN SESSION-05-08-2011
KARACHI: The United Kingdom Under-secretary Foreign Affairs Alistair Burt telephoned Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad on Wednesday and discussed the law and order situation in Karachi. The present political situation of Pakistan and of Karachi, in particular, also came under discussion between the two. Burt lauded the efforts of MQM chief Altaf Hussain in the restoration of peace in the metropolis. He gave an assurance that the UK was ready to help Pakistan in any way to achieve political stability and for the restoration of peace in Karachi. Burt also appreciated the role of all stakeholders in Karachi who are making efforts to restore peace. Ebad apprised Burt that the government was fully cognisant of the situation in Karachi and action was being taken against criminal elements. REFERENCE: Ebad, UK official discuss Karachi situation our correspondent Thursday, August 04, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=7875&Cat=13
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 http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/04/altaf-wants-army-to-quell-violence-british-diplomacy-comes-into-play-for-peace.html PTI to sue Blair for ‘harbouring’ MQM leader By Our Reporter May 15, 2007 Tuesday Rabi-us-Sani 27, 1428 http://archives.dawn.com/dawnftp/22.214.171.124/dawnftp/2007/05/15/nat5.htm UK paper blames MQM for May 12 carnage Rauf Klasra Sunday, June 03, 2007 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8280&Cat=13&dt=6%2F1%2F2007 KARACHI: Altaf wants CJ to tender resignation By Our Staff Reporter May 13, 2007 Sunday Rabi-us-Sani 25, 1428 http://archives.dawn.com/dawnftp/126.96.36.199/dawnftp/2007/05/13/local3.htm UK urges MQM not to hinder Benazir’s return By M. Ziauddin October 09, 2007 Tuesday Ramazan 26, 1428 http://archives.dawn.com/2007/10/09/top11.htm
Foreign Office Minister discusses continuing violence in Karachi with Governor of Sindh Last updated at 18:46 (UK time) 3 Aug 2011 http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=News&id=639436482
“Someone told me my daughter had been shot and I rushed to hospital despite all the risks, only to find her dead in the morgue,” Mohammed said. Authorities appear powerless to stop the bloodshed, human rights activists say, pointing out that most of the victims are innocent civilians. “People have been killed because of their political affiliations, but it seems most are killed because of their ethnic background,” Zohra Yusuf, chairwoman of the HRCP, told AFP. “The majority of them are poor and destitute.” Shumaila was Pashtun. Her father arrived in Karachi from the northwest 20 years ago looking for work and then settled down and got married. Today the northwest is on the frontline of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked bomb attacks and the migrant flow to Karachi is even greater. Shumaila’s bereaved parents live on a congested street in a neighbourhood of Urdu and Pashtun speakers, where trigger-happy gunmen from both sides can quickly reduce the area into a battlefield. HRCP says Karachi suffers political, ethnic and sectarian “polarisation”. But the government blames vague mafias involved in land grabbing and drug pushing for the killings, and for creating “misunderstandings” among political parties and ethnic hatred. “It should not be called ethnic violence,” said Sharfuddin Memon, an official in the home ministry of the southern province Sindh, of which Karachi is the capital. “The mafias are killing people in such a manner that rival communities and parties are left with the impression of an ethnic war which is not there. The mafias do this to get stronger and weaken the writ of the state.” REFERENCE: Pakistan’s poor dying in Karachi violence AFP Yesterday http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/07/pakistans-poor-dying-in-karachi-violence.html
policy matters - 6th aug 2011 - p1
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The Urdu-speaking family of Anwer Ali, 22, say he was walking to work when unknown gunmen shot him dead. “He was the only bread earner for his mother and two sisters,” said his cousin Mohsin Ali. The family rent a one-room house in a squatter settlement near the area of Katti Pahari, a flashpoint for the most recent violence, and are deeply frightened about the future. It is not just shootings. People have seen everything they own go up in smoke, with their houses, buildings and vehicles set alight by arsonists. Despite the deployment of extra police and paramilitary forces, residents complain that the security personnel do nothing to help. “Mafias are involved in the killings, but armed wings of political parties have played a big role in creating the mess,” said Tauseef Ahmed Khan, who teaches mass communications at Urdu University. The armed wings work to maintain party influence, prevent rival groups from infiltrating their territories and force people to remain loyal, he said. “There are killings on ethnic grounds while most of the victims are poor people who don’t know the reason why they are being killed,” Khan said. REFERENCE: Pakistan’s poor dying in Karachi violence AFP Yesterday http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/07/pakistans-poor-dying-in-karachi-violence.html
The major headache for the government is that it cannot afford to have two systems of the third-tier of government because it will institutionalise the rural-urban divide. The PPP will find it hard to make the arrangement palatable to its supporters in the interior of Sindh. A number of PPP leaders and activists were of the view that such a decision would lay the foundation of partition of Sindh which no one could accept. REFERENCE: PPP and MQM clinch deal on LG system By Shamim-ur-Rahman | From the Newspaper http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/07/ppp-and-mqm-clinch-deal-on-lg-system.html
Local Government restored in Karachi, Hyderabad
In Session -- 7th August 2011
KARACHI / ISLAMABAD: The deed has been done. Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan issued two ordinances on Saturday resulting in the revival of the 2001 local government system in Karachi and Hyderabad as well as the restoration of the previous delimitation of both districts. The decision, being termed as the ‘first phase’ of an agreement, came following long negotiations between the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, represented by Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad, and the Pakistan Peoples Party, represented by Senator Babar Awan. Talking to the media at the Governor House after the talks, the Sindh governor said that the decision to remove all differences between the PPP and MQM had been taken via the ordinances, and reflected the will of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and MQM chief Altaf Hussain. Awan, while talking to the media, said that two ordinances, and not three, as was being initially reported, had been signed. He gave details of the phases of negotiations that had taken place. The first phase took place in Islamabad between the governor and Awan, the second took place at the Governor House in Karachi, the third at the Sindh Chief Minister House, and then the last one at the Governor House again, after which the ordinances were signed. He said that the decisions were in the best interest of strengthening democracy, and stressed that there was no lack of trust between the MQM and PPP, nor was there any deadlock at any stage. REFERENCE: Two ordinances bring back nazims in Karachi, Hyderabad Published: August 7, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/225608/zardari-altaf-working-together-to-strengthen-institutions-awan/ PPP-MQM: The deal has been done By GM Jamali Published: August 6, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/225440/breakthrough-ppp-mqm-the-deal-has-been-done/ 800 killed in Karachi this year: HRCP By AFP Published: August 5, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/224920/800-killed-in-karachi-this-year-hrcp/ MQM stick to opposition, despite PPP overtures By Irfan Ghauri / Qamar Zaman Published: July 16, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/210326/mqm-supports-jui-fs-haideri-as-opposition-leader/ MQM will support the government: Altaf Published: August 6, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/225466/mqm-will-support-the-government-altaf/ MQM, ANP call for army deployment in Karachi By APP / Express Published: August 3, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/223402/mqm-anp-call-for-army-deployment-in-karachi/
LG system to be restored in Sindh, President Zardari issues order
KARACHI: President Asif Ali Zardari approved the restoration of Local Government (LG) System 2001 all over Sindh and Governor Ishratul Ibad was likely to issue an ordinance shortly, late on Sunday. Express 24/7 correspondent Sabin Agha reported, although the ordinance has not been issued yet but the president had issued an order for the provincial government to restore the LG system 2001 in the entire province. Upon those directives, Governor Sindh will promulgate an ordinance in this regard shortly, for which Chief Minister Sindh Qaim Ali Shah and other cabinet ministers have reportedly reached the governor house. Earlier talking to the media, Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon had announced the restoration of LG System 2001 in the province. The decision has been made amidst strong opposition from Sindh nationalist parties and the ANP. Earlier according to sources, President Zardari had called upon Sindh’s PPP Ministers to Islamabad on Monday for consultations over the LG ordinance and the security situation of Karachi. The leaders included Manzoor Wassan, Sharjeel Memon, Agha Siraj Durrani and Zulfikar Mirza. However prior to that they had met at Pir Mazhar ul Haq’s residence late on Sunday. ANP’s reservations: Earlier President Awami National Party (ANP) Sindh Shahi Syed expressed serious reservation over the restoration of the Local bodies (LG) system in Karachi and Hyderabad and has stopped Ameer Nawab from performing duties as provincial minister on Sunday. He said that if things did not change soon, it will become difficult for the ANP to work with Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). He further said that PPP always neglected the ANP before taking any important decisions and blamed the ruling party for having a non-serious attitude. Speaking on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), he had criticized them saying that every time they quit the government, efforts to restore peace in Karachi received a blow. On the other hand, senior ANP leader and Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) Information Minister Mian Iftikhar despite expressing his reservations on the restoration of the LG system, had said that PPP-ANP partnership will not be affected in KP. Sindh nationalist parties had called for a strike, protesting against the revival of the LG System. REFERENCE: Local Government system to be restored across Sindh, resident issues order Published: August 8, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/226518/local-government-system-to-be-restored-across-sindh-president-issues-order/
LOCAL GOVERNMENT WAY BACK DURING THE MARTIAL LAW REGIME OF GENERAL PERVEZ MUSHARRAF IN 2001
The Convenor of Central Coordination Committee Dr Imran Farooq has confirmed the reports about the telephonic conversation between the Founder and Leader of MQM Mr Altaf Hussain and Federal Interior Minister Retd General Moeen Uddin Haider, about the malicious and negative reports published in different newspaper that MQM or some of its members are threatening and putting pressure on the candidates who are contesting the local bodies elections. Dr Imran Farooq further said that MQM and Mr Hussain have appealed the people to peacefully keep themselves away from taking part in the Local Bodies Elections because of the reservations of the MQM over dividing Karachi into 18 parts with malicious designs. Dr Imran Farooq has categorically denied that during the conversation Mr Hussain has withdrawn the appeal made by the MQM of boycotting the Local Bodies Elections. He appealed to the people to peacefully boycott the local bodies elections. REFERENCE: STOP PRESS - STOP PRESS - MQM HAS NOT WITHDRAWN ITS APPEAL TO BOYCOTT THE LOCAL BODIES ELECTIONS - DR IMRAN FAROOQ London - 1 July 2001
London - 16 May 2001 - An extraordinary and historical meeting of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Coordination Committee was held yesterday. Members of the MQM Coordination Committee present in London and Pakistan, including MQM Deputy Convenor Senator Nasreen Jalil (Mrs), attended the meeting over the telephone. The meeting was presided by MQM Convenor Dr Imran Farooq. The issue of Local Bodies Elections was discussed in detail in this session and important decisions were made. It was noted in the session that though the MQM has been presenting its point of view regarding the Local Bodies Elections to the public through the press, however, some elements are trying to create misunderstandings amongst the public. The session, therefore, decided that a detailed policy statement of the MQM Coordination Committee must be issued to inform the public and the party workers of the background and the reasons behind the decision of the MQM Coordination Committee and to prevent the anti-people elements from creating misunderstanding amongst the public. Following policy statement has been issued after the session of the MQM Coordination Committee:
The MQM Coordination Committee has unanimously decided that the Muttahida Quami Movement would not participate in the coming Local Bodies Elections nor it would support any candidate or group. The Coordination Committee has also appealed to the public and workers to once again display their unity by keeping completely detached from the unconstitutional and illegal Local Bodies Elections being conducted under the supervision of the present unconstitutional government. The reasons for not participating in the forthcoming Local Bodies Elections are:
(1) The MQM believes that the present Military Government is illegal and unconstitutional. This illegal and unconstitutional Military Government blatantly violated the Constitution of Pakistan and unconstitutionally and illegally took over control of the country. The present unconstitutional and illegal Military Government, therefore, has no right to impose its self-made Local Bodies System over the public and to hold Local Bodies Elections under that system.
While the MQM believes that the present Military Government is unconstitutional and illegal then how could it agree to the Local Bodies System, which is being imposed upon the public by the Government and take part in such Elections?
MQM believes that if the present Military Government would have been sincere in restoring true democracy in the country then instead of providing legal cover for its illegitimate rule through fake Local Bodies Elections, it would have paved the way for the election of a Constituent Assembly on the basis of equality of nations, to formulate a new constitution according to the spirit of the 1940 Pakistan Resolution.
(2) MQM is a democratic party and formulates its policies according to the democratic norms. Whereas, the unconstitutional Military Government has re-demarcated the electoral boundaries and established several Towns in Karachi for the Local Bodies Elections in a dictatorial manner with an aim to break the MQM's vote bank. MQM does not accept this. Furthermore, MQM considers this act a heinous conspiracy against the Urdu and Sindhi speaking people and a blatant interference by the Federal Government in provincial matters. The demarcation of the electoral boundaries should only be carried out according to the democratic norms and with the consensus of the people of the province and their elected representative political parties. The MQM considers the new delimitation of the electoral boundaries to be prejudiced, unjust and a conspiracy against Sindh and other smaller provinces.
(3) Karachi is the capital of Sindh Province. As part of the conspiracy to occupy Karachi, under the guise of Delimitation and City Government Plan, Karachi is being divided into 18 different towns. This heinous act is against the Sindh Province and its permanent citizens, who live and die in this province, spend whatever they earn in this province, are born and buried here.
One of the major reason for this non-party and undemocratic Local Bodies Elections is to eliminate the popular and prominent political parties, who have their roots in the masses, through conspiracies and unconstitutional actions. Furthermore, by placing their touts in position of power the Government wants to perpetuate the Military Rule. For the urban areas of Sindh, particularly Karachi, a separate Local Bodies system has been designed to divide the city into 18 parts. This system would encourage friction instead of promoting national harmony. None of the democratic parties, therefore, would support this devious system.
(4) It is the fundamental right of the people of smaller provinces and their elected representatives to formulate a system for the Local Bodies and conduct the Elections accordingly. The Federal Government must not meddle in provincial matters and have no right to unilaterally impose their system upon the provinces. MQM considers this Federal action a blatant violation of provincial autonomy. It is in fact devolution in reverse, as the Federal Government is taking over the little bit of authorities leftover with the smaller provinces.
(5) MQM believes that the purpose of the forthcoming Local Bodies Elections is certainly not to provide representation to the people or to delegate the authority and allow them to run their affairs. Instead, the sole purpose of these Elections is to legitimise the present unconstitutional and illegal Military Government. In other words, provide legal protection to the unconstitutional and illegal Military Government in the eyes of the world. It is for this reason that the Government rejected all the recommendations forwarded by the people and their representative parties and goes on to design such a Local Bodies System that would serve its ill-conceived designs. The entire State machinery and intelligence agencies are utilising all their resources, employing every means and tactics to get their favourite candidates elected and achieve the desired results. The Government is holding the Local Bodies Elections in phases, to utilise all the State machinery for achieving the desired results. For this purpose, the Government has gerrymandered the electoral boundaries. The purpose of the Government to hold the Local Bodies Elections is to get their touts "elected" for the ratification of their illegal and unconstitutional rule and to misguide the world that the present unconstitutional and illegal Military Government enjoys the legal and democratic support of the public. Under such circumstances, the MQM believes that its participation in such sham Local Bodies Elections would not benefit the public instead; it would benefit the Military Government.
The MQM Coordination Committee in its policy statement has drawn the attention of the people of Pakistan, the democratic circles and particularly the people of Sindh province towards the role of those political and religious parties, who visibly seem to be advocating for democracy, are against the Military Government and portray themselves as the champions of democracy, but clandestinely, the so-called democratic parties are openly participating in the Local Bodies Elections organised by the unconstitutional and illegal Military Government. They are, therefore, legitimising the Military dictatorship. The democratic circles and the people of Pakistan should decide whether these parties are sincere to democracy? Are they against the Military dictatorship or not?
Finally, the MQM Coordination Committee stated that the decision of not taking part in the Local Bodies Elections does not imply that the MQM is quitting the democratic process. MQM is a peaceful and democratic party, which firmly believes in democracy and the democratic process. MQM will continue its struggle for the sustenance of democracy, the establishment of just system in the country according to the spirit of the 1940 Resolution and for the achievement of full provincial autonomy.
The present Local Bodies Elections are totally undemocratic. They are being held to provide protection to the Military dictatorship and to snatch away whatever provincial autonomy has been left with the smaller provinces. Therefore, the MQM would not cooperate with the Federal Government in stealing the provincial autonomy of the smaller provinces. MQM would also like to point out that because of the continuous and courageous struggle of the MQM and its Founder and Leader Mr Altaf Hussain, the vote bank of the MQM has increased manifold throughout the country and particularly in the Sindh province. If free, fair and unbiased elections are held today under the United Nations supervision then the MQM would practically prove this claim. The MQM Coordination Committee once again appealed to the people, workers and particularly the righteous people of Sindh to show their unity by keeping themselves away from the present Local Bodies Elections and thus prove to the world that today, as in the past, we stand united. REFERENCE: MQM WOULD NEITHER PARTICIPATE IN THE COMING LOCAL BODIES ELECTIONS NOR IT WOULD SUPPORT ANY CANDIDATE OR GROUP - MQM COORDINATION COMMITTEE London - 16 May 2001
The people of Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas Divisions today delivered a referendum in favour of the MQM by boycotting the sham local Bodies Elections in Hyderabad Division and Mirpurkhas Divisions and a devastating blow to the Military Regime by rejecting its appeal to participate in the polls. Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) had called on the people to distance themselves from the farcical Local Bodies Elections in the Hyderabad Division and the Mirpurkhas Division staged by the unconstitutional and illegal military government. The independent NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations), national and international media monitoring the polls reported that turnout was almost negligible. The polling booths presented a deserted look in the whole of the Hyderabad and Mirpurkhas Divisions. Reliable sources disclosed that the state intelligence agencies and the establishment were stamping the ballot papers during the late night after the closing of the polls to manipulate the turnout. REFERENCE: BOYCOTT OF LOCAL BODIES POLLS BY THE PEOPLE A REFERENDUM IN FAVOUR OF THE MQM AND AGAINST THE MILITARY GOVERNMENT London - 31 May 2001
The Haq Parast candidates have achieved clear majority in the By-Elections for Local Bodies in Sindh, including Karachi. According to unofficial results, 231 Haq Parast candidates have won including 14 Nazims and Naib Nazims. A large number were elected unopposed, which clearly portrays the popularity of MQM in interior Sindh. From Karachi, out of 17 seats of Nazims and Naib Nazims; and 111 councillor seats contested by Haq Parast candidates, they won 13 Nazims and Naib Nazims; and 103 councillor seats, whereas 19 councillors were elected unopposed. One of the lady councillors was elected unopposed on special seats for women from Union Council Kalakot in Lyari Town. From Hyderabad, Haq Parast candidates contested elections on 72 and won 62 seats, whereby 32 were elected unopposed. From Larkana, Haq Parast candidates contested elections on 17 seats and won 5 seats, whereby 2 were elected unopposed. From Dadu, Haq Parast candidates contested on 18 seats and won 2 seats. From Ghotki, Haq Parast contested on 7 councillor seats and won 5 seats, whereby 2 were elected unopposed. From Sukkur, 8 Haq Parast councillors were elected, whereby 3 were elected unopposed. From Thatta, Haq Parast candidates contested from 16 seats and won 9 seats, whereby 2 were elected unopposed. From Jacobabad, Haq Parast candidates contested from 3 seats and won the seat of UC Nazim unopposed. From Mirpurkhas, Haq Parast candidates contested elections from 12 seats and won 9 seats, whereby 8 were elected unopposed. From Naushero Feroze, Haq Parast candidates contested from 12 seats and won 4 seats. From Nawabshah, Haq Parast candidates contested from 6 seats and won 5 seats. Similarly, from Badin, Haq Parast candidates contested from 6 seats and won 5 seats. REFERENCE: BY-ELECTION RESULTS FOR LOCAL BODIES IN SINDH HAQ PARAST WON 231 SEATS INCLUDING 14 NAZIMS AND NAIB NAZIMS – SEVERAL CANDIDATES ELECTED UNOPPOSED Karachi – 29 March 2004