KARACHI - Justice (r) Zahid Qurban Alvi, chief of the commission formed to ascertain the exact figure of the victims of targeted killing in Karachi in the year 2011, presented their first report to Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah on Wednesday. The report comprises suggestions and facts about the figure of the victims of targeted killing and terrorist activities. It was informed that the body chairman would soon submit a comprehensive report on this subject at a meeting of all major political groups. Heads of the parties would also be presented copies of the report. Home Department (Judicial) Additional Secretary Abdul Wahab Abbasi, who is also the secretary of the commission, was present at the meeting. The Supreme Court had, in its verdict on the Karachi situation, ordered the Sindh government to give financial compensation to the heirs of the victims of targeted killing. Later, the Sindh formed a commission to look into the authenticity of the figure. The body was also assigned to ascertain exact financial losses caused due to targeted killing. According to sources, the commission, in its initial report, confirmed that at least 400 people were killed in targeted killing in last year, and recommended the Sindh government to distribute Rs80 million as financial compensation to their legal heirs. The sources said the report found that at least 135 workers of the MQM were shot dead in the past year. The second highest number of killings of activists was of the ANP, another ally of the ruling PPP that also lost its 104 workers in 2011. The report further says at least 26 workers of the MQM-Haqiqi fell victim to targeted killing, 26 from the Jafaria Alliance, 12 of the Awami Tehreek, 26 of the Kachhi Rabta Committee, 19 from the Jammiat-e-Islami and 41 workers of the Sunni Tehreek were killed in the past year. In the report, the commission suggested a sum of Rs0.2 million for legal heirs of each victim of targeted killing. It may be mentioned here that the total amount of the previous financial assistance to heirs of each victim stood at Rs80 million. Over 100, 000 schoolchildren vaccinated in 2-day: As many as 103,365 schoolchildren were administered hepatitis vaccine during two days of February 20 and 21 in Karachi division. On first day, 42,160 and on the second day 61205 school going children were vaccinated under Sindh Chief Minister’s Initiative Program, an official report said on Wednesday. The district-wise breakup of vaccination is as follows: February 20: District Central: Liaquatabad Town 3510; Gulberg Town 1572; North Karachi Town 5694; North Nazimabad Town: 1333. Total: 12109. District East: Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town 864; Shah Faisal Town 3564;Jamshed Town: 4398; Korangi Town 3245; Landhi Town 2059. Total: 14130 . District West: Baldia Town 2400; SITE Town (Not Received); Orangi Town: 1952; Kemari Town 1173; Total: 5525. District South: Saddar Town (Not Received) and Lyari Town 4981. District Malir: Malir Town 2261; Bin Qasim Town 1552; Gadap Town 1602. February 21: District Central: Liaquatabad Town 5013; Gulberg Town 2955; North Karachi Town 7705; North Nazimabad Town 1554; Total: 17227. District East: Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town 1869; Shah Faisal Town 3576; Jamshed Town 5312; Korangi Town 3423; Landhi Town 2796; Total 16976. District West: Baldia Town 3031; SITE Town 1459; Orangi Town 2755; Kemari Town 1796; Total:9041. District South: Saddar Town 4108; Lyari Town5170; Total:9278. District Malir: Malir Town 3099; Bin Qasim Town 2095; Gadap Town 3489; Total:8683. REFERENCE: 400 shot dead in Karachi in 2011 By: Our Staff Reporter | February 23, 2012 http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/23-Feb-2012/400-shot-dead-in-karachi-in-2011
Classified By: CLASSIFIED BY CONSUL GENERAL STEPHEN FAKAN FOR REASONS 1 .4 b and d.
1. (S) Summary: The police in Karachi are only one of several armed groups in the city, and they are probably not the most numerous or best equipped. Many neighborhoods are considered by the police to be no-go zones in which even the 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.
MQM (Muttahida Quami Movement)
2. (S) The MQM is an ethnic political party of the Urdu speaking community (known as “Mohajirs,” which is Arabic for immigrants) that migrated from India at the time of partition; Mohajirs make up around fifty percent of the total population in Karachi. MQM is middle-class, avowedly secular, and anti-extremist (the only party to publicly protest the recent Swat Nizam-e-Adl regulations). It has a long history of clashes with the Pakistan People,s Party (PPP), which controls the Sindh province in which Karachi is located, and with the Awami National Party (ANP), which represents MQM,s rival ethnic Pashtuns.
3. (S) MQM’s armed members, known as “Good Friends,” are the largest non-governmental armed element in the city. The police estimate MQM has ten thousand active armed members and as many as twenty-five thousand armed fighters in reserve. This is compared to the city’s thirty-three thousand police officers. The party operates through its 100 Sector Commanders, who take their orders directly from the party leader, Altaf Hussain, who lives in exile in the United Kingdom. The Sector Commanders plan and monitor the activities of the armed elements. MQM’s detractors claim these armed men are involved in extortion, assassination of political rivals, shootings at campaign rallies, and the murder of people from other ethnic communities.
4. (S) Low to middle-ranked police officials acknowledge the extortion and the likely veracity of the other charges. A senior police officer said, in the past eight years alone, MQM was issued over a million arms licenses, mostly for handguns. Post has observed MQM security personnel carrying numerous shoulder-fired weapons, ranging from new European AKMs to crude AK copies, probably produced in local shops. MQM controls the following neighborhoods in Karachi: Gulberg, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Korangi, Landhi, Liaquatabad, Malir, Nazimabad, New Karachi, North Nazimabad, Orangi Town, Saddar and Shah Faisal.
MQM-H (Muhajir Quami Movement-Haqiqi)
5. (S) MQM-H is a small ethnic political party that broke away from the MQM in the mid-1980s. MQM-H has its strongholds in the Landhi, Korangi and Lines Area neighborhoods of the city. The MQM regarded these areas as no-go zones when it was in power during the Musharraf presidency. As a condition for joining the Sindh government in 2003, it asked that MQM-H be eliminated. The local police and Rangers were used to crack down on MQM-H, and its leaders were put behind bars. The rank and file of MQM-H found refuge in a local religious/political party, Sunni Tehrik
(see para 9). The local police believe MQM-H still maintains its armed groups in the areas of Landhi and Korangi, and that the party will re-organize itself once its leadership is released from jail.
ANP (Awami National Party – Peoples National Party)
6. (S) The ANP represents the ethnic Pashtuns in Karachi. The local Pashtuns do possess personal weapons, following the tribal traditions of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), and there are indications they have begun to organize formal armed groups. With the onset of combat operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in August 2008, a growing number of Pashtuns fled south to swell the Pashtun ranks of what already is the largest Pashtun city in the world. This has increased tensions between ANP and MQM.
7. (S) If rhetoric of the police and the ANP leadership is to be believed, these armed elements may be preparing to challenge MQM control of Karachi. In March, the Karachi Police Special Branch submitted a report to the Inspector General of Police in which it mentioned the presence of “hard-line” Pashtuns in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood. Sohrab Goth is located in the Northeast of the city.
8. (S) The report said this neighborhood was becoming a no-go area for the police. The report went on to claim the Pashtuns are involved in drug trafficking and gun running and if police wanted to move in the area they had to do so in civilian clothing. A senior member of the Intelligence Bureau in Karachi recently opined that the ANP would not move against MQM until the next elections, but the police report ANP gunmen are already fighting MQM gunmen over protection-racket turf.
ST (Sunni Tehrik – Sunni Movement)
9. (S) ST is a small religious/political group with a presence in small pockets of Karachi. The group has only managed to win a handful of council seats in local elections but militarily it is disproportionably powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen after the government crack-down on MQM-H (see above). ST has organized the party and its gunmen along the lines of MQM by dividing its areas of influence into sectors and units, with sector and unit commanders. ST and MQM have allegedly been killing each other’s leadership since the April 2006 Nishtar Park bombing that killed most of ST’s leadership. ST blames MQM for the attack. There appears to have been a reduction in these targeted killings since 2008.
PPP (Pakistan People’s Party)
—————————–10. (S) PPP is a political party led by, and centered on the Bhutto family. The party enjoys significant support in Karachi, especially among the Sindhi and Baloch populations. Traditionally, the party has not run an armed wing, but the workers of the PPP do possess weapons, both licensed and unlicensed. With PPP in control of the provincial government and having an influential member in place as the Home Minister, a large number of weapons permits are currently being issued to PPP workers. A police official recently told Post that he believes, given the volume of weapons permits being issued to PPP members, the party will soon be as well-armed as MQM.
Gangs in Lyari: Arshad Pappoo (AP) and Rahman Dakait (RD)
11. (S) AP and RD are two traditional criminal gangs that have been fighting each other since the turn of the century in the Lyari district of Karachi. Both gangs gave their political support to PPP in the parliamentary elections. The gangs got their start with drug trafficking in Lyari and later included the more serious crimes of kidnapping and robbery in other parts of Karachi. (Comment: Kidnapping is such a problem in the city that the Home Secretary once asked Post for small tracking devices that could be planted under the skin of upper-class citizens and a satellite to track the devices if they were kidnapped. End comment.)
12. (S) Each group has only about 200 hard-core armed fighters but, according to police, various people in Lyari have around 6,000 handguns, which are duly authorized through valid weapons permits. In addition, the gangs are in possession of a large number of unlicensed AK-47 rifles, Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers and hand grenades. The weapons are carried openly and used against each other as well as any police or Rangers who enter the area during security operations. During police incursions, the gang members maintain the tactical advantage by using the narrow streets and interconnected houses. There are some parts of Lyari that are inaccessible to law enforcement agencies.
13. (S) A Senior IB officer recently opined to Post that “All Pashtuns in Karachi are not Taliban, but all Taliban are Pashtuns.” The size, scope and nature of “Talibanization” and true Taliban terrorist activity in Karachi is difficult to pin down, but Post has increasingly received anecdotes about women, even in more upscale neighborhoods, being accosted by bearded strangers and told to wear headscarves in public.
14. (S) There has not been a terrorist attack against U.S. interests in Karachi since 2006. There are several theories about Taliban activity in Karachi and why they have not staged an attack in so long. One school of thought has it that MQM is too powerful and will not allow the Pashtuns to operate in Karachi, and this, combined with the ease of operating elsewhere in Pakistan, makes Karachi an undesirable venue. Another line of thinking claims Karachi is too valuable as a hiding place and place to raise money.
15. (S) In April, the police in Karachi arrested Badshah Din Mahsud, from their Most Wanted Terrorist list, known as the Red Book. It is alleged he was robbing banks in Karachi at the behest of Baitullah Mehsud, from the NWFP, and the money was being used to finance terrorist activity. There is a large body of threat reporting which would seem to indicate the equipment and personnel for carrying out attacks are currently in place in Karachi. In April, Karachi CID told Post they had arrested five men from NWFP who were building VBIEDs and planed to use them in attacks against Pakistani government buildings; including the CID office located behind the US Consulate. CID also claimed they had reliable information that suicide vests had been brought to Karachi.
16. (S) Comment: The importance of maintaining stability in Karachi cannot be over-emphasized. Traditionally, Karachi was at the center of lawlessness, criminal activity, and politically-inspired violence in Pakistan. But with the security situation in the rest of the country deteriorating, the megalopolis has become something of an island of stability. Nevertheless, it still has a number of well-armed political and religious factions and the potential to explode into violent ethnic and religious conflict given the wrong circumstances.
17. (S) The PPP,s decision to include MQM in coalition governments in Sindh Province and in the federal government has helped preclude a return to the PPP-MQM violence of the 1990,s. But the potential for MQM-ANP conflict is growing as Pashtuns challenge Mohajir 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. End comment. FAKAN REFERENCE: 2009: US assessment of Karachi violence 1st June, 2011 http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/2009-us-assessment-of-karachi-violence.html
Ethnic Politics of Death in Karachi - 1 (News Night with Talat - 3/4/12)
KARACHI: City Nazim Mustafa Kamal considers ethnic Pushtun a “threat” to Karachi and believes that they are plotting to take over the city. These opinions came to light in an interview with National Public Radio’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep who is in Karachi for their ‘Urban Frontier’ series. Daily Times reproduces the story, ‘Karachi’s Growth Fuels Demand for Illegal Housing’: Karachi is one of the world’s most populous cities and getting more crowded all the time. New neighborhoods are being built as quickly as people can pour the concrete. Near the farthest reaches of the Pakistani city, a cement mixer hums and spins in a dusty lot. A workman drops some of the concrete into a wheelbarrow. He then dumps that load into a metal frame and pulls down a handle. A steel mold stamps out eight concrete blocks for one more Karachi home. Many of these neighborhoods are built illegally on vacant land. Millions of people find homes this way. They generate an entire off-the-books economy. A few houses are under construction on this barren patch of desert. An Urdu-language banner advertises a model home for the equivalent of $5,000. A look inside one of the houses reveals a two-bedroom home with a tile-floor washroom. Before long, hundreds of houses likely will squeeze onto this dusty parcel of land in the desert. They’re built of a few simple materials, most of which can be purchased from a single dealer nearby. You could think of it as a sort of extralegal Home Depot. What it’s called locally is a “thalla,” and the boss is called the “thallawalla.” The boss of this thalla is named Wahab Khan, and he was dropping off a truckload of concrete blocks from his store. Khan is a newcomer to Karachi. He hails from northern Pakistan, in the tribal areas near the border. Half his family still lives there. Two years ago, he joined the other half of the family as they moved to the city. Now, he rents a tiny patch of dirt by the road, where he has set up a cement mixer. Khan’s employees are rural men who came to Karachi just a few months ago. They live under a little thatch roof a few feet from the cement mixer. The concrete blocks cost the equivalent of 14 cents each. A bag of mortar costs about $4. Throw in some concrete roofing material, hire some workers for about $3 a day, and you’re on your way to building and selling a house. Because most locals have no money saved, everything is sold on credit. The electricity, at least, is free. Khan demonstrates how nearby power lines are tapped and how those taps are temporarily removed when government officials visit. When asked about the danger of using hooks to tap into the lines illegally, he says, “What can we do? We have no choice.” Because the whole system is outside the law, builders here say they also have no choice in another matter. They say that police, who have a way of dropping by, will threaten to tear down an illegal house unless they’re paid a few dollars. Occasionally, a whole construction crew will be thrown in jail. It takes a couple hundred dollars to get them out. The provincial police chief, Inspector-General Muhammad Shoaib Suddle, was not surprised to hear the claims that his men take protection money. “Of course we all understand that without protection, these things cannot prosper,” he says. The inspector-general says he recently suspended three mid-level officers for their alleged involvement in land deals. It’s widely assumed that corrupt officials play a role in most of these deals. The illegal housing system in Karachi has its defenders. A leading urban planner says millions of poor people who otherwise might be homeless find shelter this way. Still, the new settlements have caused some anxiety. Many of Karachi’s new arrivals have come from the north — from the area bordering Afghanistan, a region that supports the Taliban. Karachi’s mayor, Syed Mustafa Kamal, considers these ethnic Pashtuns a threat. In his eyes, they are plotting to take over the city. “These Pashtuns means like fundamentalist — religiously fundamentalist, religiously extremist,” Kamal says. “They are coming in. When it comes to ethnicity, when it comes to Islam they all are ... the same.” The mayor gives a tour of the area, driving past squatter neighborhoods and Islamic schools. He passes the area where the journalist Daniel Pearl was found slain. And he points out the window at a bearded man. “The man who’s coming in front of you ... look at him, look at his face,” Kamal says. The mayor says he is convinced that Pashtuns are planning the locations of the illegal housing settlements. He says they are choosing strategic spots that block his own plans for the city. “It’s a very strategic location, you see?” Kamal asks. “The superhighway is there. They can control the whole highway. ... They had a master plan before me. And they definitely have a master plan.” Speaking with several residents of the city’s new settlements, it’s clear that not all are Pashtuns. And they seemed to have no master plan beyond their next meal. Two of the first residents in the desert neighborhood were outside on their knees cutting firewood. They hacked it out of scraggly bushes they’d found. Shinaz Begum and Razia Begum live side by side with their families. Between them, they have 16 children, none of whom goes to school. Their husbands are a fisherman and a fruit-drink vendor. Both women work cleaning houses, and they each earn about 2,500 Pakistani rupees per month, equivalent to $37. The monthly installment on each of their houses is 2,000 rupees, or just under $30. Look at our children’s faces, they say. Don’t you think they’re underfed? Even so, the women say their precarious existence on this sandy lot in Karachi is better than their past circumstances. REFERENCE: Pashtuns are plotting to take over Karachi, Kamal tells NPR Daily Times Monitor Friday, June 06, 2008 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\06\06\story_6-6-2008_pg12_1
Ethnic Politics of Death in Karachi - 2 (News Night with Talat - 3/4/12)
ISLAMABAD: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader Dr Farooq Sattar told the US Consulate in Karachi that along with some workers of the MQM, former President Pervaiz Musharaf, some landlords, the ISI and other parties were involved in the May 12, 2007 incident in Karachi, WikiLeaks has disclosed. According to the cable, Farooq Sattar agreed with the suggestion of deweaponsising the armed wing of the MQM and said his party would seriously consider this suggestion. According to a secret diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks, Charge d Affairs of US Consulate Peter Boday in a letter he wrote on May 17, 2007, said that he had a telephonic talk with MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar in which he told him that May 12 had damaged the MQM’s reputation, adding that an emergency meeting of the party had been convened in London to review the situation. The report said that Farooq Sattar claimed that some workers of the MQM were involved in the incidents of 12 May while it was worrisome that the armed wing of the MQM was more active, adding that Farooq Sattar agreed with the suggestion that his party should think about de-weaponising the armed wing. The report also said that in the 40-minute-long telephonic conversation, Dr Farooq Sattar said former President Pervez Musharaf, some landlords, the ISI and other parties were also involved in the May 12 incident. He claimed that he had tried more than once to contact Awami National Party leader Asfandyar Wali Khan. Meanwhile. Asfandyar Wali Khan on 16 May told the US Consulate that he had tried to contact Farooq Sattar on May 12 but had failed to reach him. The report says Farooq Sattar agreed with the suggestion to decrease tension and enmity with the ANP after the May 12 incident. According to the diplomatic cable, Farooq Sattar was worried about the decision of the emergency meeting of the MQM in London, adding that he had suggested that the MQM not support the protest rally of May 12 but MQM chief Altaf Hussain refused his suggestion. The report said another diplomatic letter written on May 16 by the US Consulate in Karachi said the British High Commission told the US Consulate that British diplomats tried to convince Farooq Sattar not to stage a protest rally in favour of President Musharaf, adding that Farooq Sattar clearly refused the suggestion. He said their protest would be peaceful because violence was not in favour of any party. The report said that another diplomatic mission on May 15 said Farooq Sattar was not informed about the planning of the violence on May 12. The MQM leader said the decision to hold a rally in favour of Pervez Musharaf was not made on his recommendation and that Altaf Hussain rejected his suggestion not to stage the protest. REFERENCE: MQM, Musharraf, landlords and ISI involved in May 12 incident: Sattar Tuesday, September 20, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8956&Cat=13
Ethnic Politics of Death in Karachi - 3 (News Night with Talat - 3/4/12)
ISLAMABAD: The Muttahidda Qaumi Movement (MQM) told the United States that the Mohajirs were outgunned by the Pashtuns in Karachi and talked of a conspiracy by the Pakistani establishment designed to keep Punjabis in power, claimed an April 2009 secret US embassy cable, released by Wikileaks. The wire, headlined MQM principles and conspiracy, covers a meeting of US Embassy Charge d’Affairs Gerald Feierstein with MQM leaders Farooq Sattar and Abbas Haider Rizvi. It said Rizvi became animated at the mention of his hometown. He reminded the US diplomat that he represented one of the most ethnically diverse districts in Karachi and, therefore, one of the most volatile. He claimed Taliban maintain safe houses and weapon stashes in Pashtun neighborhoods. Glossing over his own party’s reputation for political retribution, Rizvi claimed Mohajirs were outgunned by the Pashtun. Sattar and Rizvi again asserted the conspiracy of Pakistan’s establishment stoking ethnic rivalry, designed to keep Punjabis in power. The Charged d’Affairs met with Sattar and Rizvi to discuss their party’s stance against the recently signed Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, their ideas for a GOP (government of Pakistan) response and the potential for violence in the mega-city their party controls.
Sattar said he had predicted the failure of dialogue with the frontier militants and advocated a strong military response. He asserted that, though part of the ruling coalition, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had not confided any counter-terrorism strategic plans and surprised MQM (and apparently PPP members too) with an April 13 parliamentary resolution, endorsing the regulations. He suggested that all major political parties approach the Army to request immediate action against the Taliban. Rizvi complained that fellow coalition partner Awami National Party (ANP) was fanning Pashtun ethno-nationalism in Karachi, and still moving forward with plans for a controversial May 12 commemoration of 2007 intra-party violence. Sattar requested Embassy intervention to get the ANP to call off the day’s events. He was seized with the national-level extremist threat precipitated by parliament’s endorsement and President Zardari’s signing of the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation on April 13. He proudly noted that his MQM band of 25 legislators was the only bloc to walk out in protest, though many other parties’ MPs privately applauded MQM’s principled stand, he claimed. Their defiance against the majority brought the MQM into direct and public conflict with coalition partner ANP, he added, and made them all targets for militants’ reprisal.
Sattar said the militants felt emboldened to ignore the specifics of the deal, which brought Shariah to the Northwest Frontier’s (NWFP) Swat valley, was predictable. The GOP had re-created a princely state, relinquished its jurisdiction, and was groping for a plan. He admitted, however that his party was not privy to the latest discussions; though a coalition partner MQM “was not taken into confidence” before or since the April 13 resolution. Sattar’s focus on a national-level security response to the militant threat tracked remarkably with MQM Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal’s more parochial remarks to the Ambassador, made earlier. Turning to the security threats within the mega city his party controls, Sattar complained about the ANP’s planned demonstration on May 12, marking the second anniversary of inter-party violence. The Pashtun-based ANP was fanning ethnic tensions for electoral gains, he argued and repeated Kamal’s request for Embassy’s intervention with the ANP to cancel the event. Mounting yet another defence of his Mohajir-based party’s actions that day, Sattar concluded, “all parties should look forward, not back.” Sattar and Rizvi have been unequivocal and uncompromising on the floor of the National Assembly against the Nizam-e-Adl Regulation, and, if not before, then most likely now, their safety is at risk for such public stances. While their perspective is tinged with ethnic bias, their claims about what is happening just below the surface in Karachi are accurate, the cable said. Although the May 12 ANP demonstration was called off subsequently, the violent outburst on April 29 serves as an unneeded reminder of the potential for these ethnic tensions to boil over quickly. “Despite their claims of innocence, we expect the MQM, with its own violent history, is prepared for that possibility.” REFERENCE: MQM tells US they are outgunned in Karachi Tariq Butt Thursday, September 08, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=66625&Cat=2
Ethnic Politics of Death in Karachi - 4 (News Night with Talat - 3/4/12)
1. (C) On June 1, Charge met with Minister of Ports and Shipping (and MQM member) Babar Khan Ghauri to discuss the May 11-13 violence in Karachi. Ghauri said the Karachi violence had “killed” the MQM`s chances of gaining voters in Punjab province. The party was focusing on repairing its reputation in Karachi and Sindh. 2. (C) According to Ghauri, police and Sindh Rangers were stationed at key “buffer” points in Karachi on May 12, anticipating clashes between opposition and MQM activists. At around 2:00 a.m., the officers abandoned their positions. (Note: The Rangers, like the Karachi police, might have been under local orders not to intervene (ref A). End Note.) Ghauri reported that on May 13, after a phone call with Governor of Sindh Ishrat-ul-Ebad, President Musharraf ordered police and rangers onto the streets in Karachi. Ghauri also said Musharraf asked PML-Q coalition partners to maintain a public posture that would not cause undue political damage to the MQM. Regarding whether MQM head Altaf Hussain played any part in planning the violence, Ghauri said “No, absolutely not. We were trying to expand into Punjab; how would we have benefited from this?” (Note: Reliable Embassy and Consulate Karachi contacts believe that at the very least Hussain suspected there would be violence on May 12 and supported the MQM counter-rally in any case. End Note.)
3. (C) Comment: Ghauri confirmed what in-country MQM leader Farooq Sattar told us in a May 17 phone call (ref C): the events of May 11-13 in Karachi deeply wounded the MQM. Ghauri noted several times during the meeting that his party`s leadership felt “alone” and that they were worried the PML-Q would abandon them. Indeed, a number of PML-Q contacts privately tell us they believe MQM was culpable for the events, and the PML-Q should distance itself from the MQM to prevent damage to its own reputation. Nevertheless, President Musharraf and some other government officials continue to blame the opposition and Chief Justice for the May 12 violence. Given that much of the public and media believe the MQM principally responsible for the violence, Musharraf`s position could exacerbate his political problems. End Comment. BODDE. REFERENCE: 2007: Babar Ghauri said May 12 violence killed MQM`s chances in Punjab http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/31/2007-babar-ghauri-said-may-12-violence-killed-mqm-s-chances-in-punjab-2.html