LONDON: MQM chief Altaf Hussain on Friday kept the entire country on edge for hours as he addressed his workers and journalists from London, complaining about conspiracies to eliminate him and breaking up Pakistan but repeatedly offered the services of his party to the Pakistan Army and ISI to help save the country. In detail, Altaf Hussain, went through various articles and books written mainly by authors linked with various US think tanks and organisations writing so-called research papers about the ‘anarchy’ in Pakistan and also the Balkanisation of Pakistan on ethnic lines. Altaf Hussain emphasised that he wanted to share the anti-Pakistan information with the nation to take the nation into confidence over what conspiracies were out there against Pakistan and how serious and actual the threat was. US gave Wali millions of dollars to win polls - KARACHI: MQM chief Altaf Hussain said on Friday that the United States gave Asfandyar Wali Khan millions of dollars to ensure the success of the ANP in the 2008 general polls. Addressing a video press conference, he said he had no documentary proofs in this regard. “My party is not against the Pashtu speaking people,” he said, alleging ANP Sindh chief Shahi Syed, on the order of Asfandyar Wali, had ordered the ANP activists to open direct firing on their opponents on May 12, 2007. DAWN: A dash of religion was added now and then. To add gravitas to the press conference, books and articles written by journalists and think-tanks and half-baked political analyses of little-known authors were quoted as well as shown to the audience – highlighted and marked with notes. But their significance remained well hidden as it was difficult to follow the grand sweep of the narrator’s views. The gist of the press conference was that Western powers were plotting the dismemberment of Pakistan, but the Muttahida had resolved to foil the design. Repeated assurances were made to the armed forces, the Inter-Services Intelligence as well as the nation that the MQM was against conspiracies being hatched against the country. REFERENCES: MQM at beck and call of Army: Altaf Murtaza Ali Shah Saturday, September 10, 2011 http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=8679&Cat=13&dt=9/10/2011 MQM in the way of plot against Pakistan: Altaf By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque | From the Newspaper September 10, 2011 (4 days ago) http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/10/mqm-in-the-way-of-plot-against-pakistan-altaf.html
WASHINGTON, Sept 13: Pakistan has been an unreliable ally of the United States in the war against Al Qaeda and other extremist organisations, US Vice President Joe Biden told CNN in an interview aired on Monday night. Mr Biden, who spoke to CNN on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, said Pakistan had failed “on occasion” when forced to choose between the US and Al Qaeda. The price of Pakistan’s choices has been the “loss of life of American soldiers in Afghanistan”, he said. But he also admitted that Islamabad had “been very helpful in other times”. This, however, was “not sufficient. They have to get better. We need a relationship that is born out of mutual interest. And it’s in their interest that they be more cooperative with us.” The US, he said, was “demanding” such a relationship. Mr Biden said that despite troubles in Pakistan and elsewhere, the US was “getting close” to bringing about an end to organised, legitimised terrorist activities. “We have done great damage to… Al Qaeda,” he said. “Satellite organisations” have emerged in Somalia and elsewhere, he said, but “they are less coordinated” and “less capable”. “And we’re relentless in pursuing them,” he added. As a result, Americans are safer today than they were a decade ago, Mr Biden asserted. REFERENCE: Pakistan unreliable ally, says Biden By Our Correspondent | From the Newspaper (17 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/09/14/pakistan-unreliable-ally-says-biden.html
Cooperation between CIA, MI6 and Gaddafi
With the Gadhafi regime in tatters and the Libyan leader on the run, secret files in Tripoli have come to light which detail the depth of cooperation between the US and UK with Libya on the rendition of terror suspects. The United States and Britain face embarrassing questions after reams of confidential documents discovered in Libya's External Security agency headquarters exposed the depth of cooperation between the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the UK's foreign intelligence service MI6 and fugitive dictator Moammar Gadhafi's secret service. The documents, uncovered by officials from the Libyan transitional authority and researchers from Human Rights Watch during a sweep of government buildings, show that both the US and British intelligence services developed very close relations with Gadhafi. This cooperation took place even before the former Libyan leader was rehabillitated in the wake of his pledge to help in the war on terror and his renouncing of nuclear-weapons in 2004. Documents recovered from the offices also show that the CIA was using Libya as a location for its "special renditions," the US policy of sending terror suspects to third countries for interrogation, from as early as 2002. The files show that the CIA flew terror suspects to Libya for questioning by Gadhafi's secret police and even provided the Libyans with the questions that should be asked. "After 9/11 the CIA seemed to be involved in various North African countries; training forces and supplying small arms in the name of stopping al Qaeda and the spread of terrorism," Patricia DeGennaro, professor of international security at New York University's Department of Politics, told Deutsche Welle. "It is well known that there were rendition camps in several countries including Morocco. Since Libya is so isolated and got so little international attention, it was easy for the CIA to use this location and be in essence under the radar." "No one on the international stage ever took Gadhafi seriously so it was unlikely that anyone would question him about rendition facilities," she added. Cooperation was so deep that the George W. Bush administration considered establishing "a permanent presence" in Libya, possibly a CIA-run secret prison or a covert CIA field office, where terror suspects could be incarcerated and interrogated. Documents show that this "presence" was set up in 2004 after Gadhafi had come in from the diplomatic cold.
One letter sent from the CIA to Libyan intelligence, dated April 15, 2004, cited "recently developed agreements" between the US and Libya and asked the Libyans to "agree to take our requirements for debriefings" into consideration in regard to an unnamed terror suspect. The letter also asks that the Libyans to "guarantee that [the suspect's] human rights will be protected" while in custody. The documents indicate that eight prisoners in total were captured and put on CIA "rendition" flights back to Libya between 2004 and 2007, although US cooperation with Libya continued until at least 2009 - according to embassy cables released by WikiLeaks - with senior senators such as John McCain and Joe Liebermann meeting with Gadhafi to assure the dictator that "the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its security." "The US stepped back from its relationship with Gadhafi when President Obama took office," said DeGennaro. "At that time Obama was against this idea of rendition and intended to close Guantanamo and end the reputation for torture that the US had gained through these clandestine places of illegal incarceration." Before that change in administration, however, the CIA had consolidated its presence and expanded its activities in Libya. In another of the Libyan documents from 2004, the CIA asks Libyan intelligence to let its agents interview several Iraqi scientists who were living in Libya in a bid to determine the fate of Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction. Another document details growing US concern over a suspected "operational" terror cell in Libya, suspected of being in contact with al Qaeda operatives in Iraq. The main contact between the CIA and Libya throughout this period of intense cooperation appears to be Moussa Koussa, Libya's then-intelligence chief and the man suspected on coordinating Libya-backed terror activities in the 1980s. Koussa, who defected from Gadhafi's government in March, is shown in the documents as being on first name terms with Stephen Kappes, second-in command at the CIA's clandestine service and a key negotiator in the 2004 nuclear deal with Libya. He is also shown to have cultivated significant ties with some British intelligence officials.
A number of documents show that the British domestic security service MI5 traded information on British-based anti-Gadhafi Libyans in exchange for updates on the disclosures made by suspected terrorists being questioned in Libya under "extraordinary rendition." The British were acutely aware of Libya's reputation for torturing prisoners and appear to have been unconcerned by the practices employed to extract the information they received, suggesting the UK's complicity in and knowledge of torture. MI6, the foreign intelligence service, is also revealed to have worked with the CIA on renditions of terror suspects to Libya, including the Libyan rebel's security commander in Tripoli, Abdul Hakim Belhaj. Belhaj, who is considering suing the US and UK governments over his allegedly brutal treatment, was a leading dissident member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an organization listed as a terror group by the US because of its suspected links to al Qaeda. One document records an exchange between a senior MI6 officer and a Libyan counterpart in which the MI6 operative boasts about how British spies provided Belhaj's French and Moroccan aliases and his location to US and Libyan intelligence, eventually leading to his capture in Bangkok on March 6, 2004. Belhaj alleges that the CIA tortured him and injected him with truth serum before flying him back to Tripoli for interrogation where he claims he was first interrogated by MI6 officers and then transferred into Libyan custody. "MI6 would have been seeking to gain access to detainees associated with the jihadi movement in Libya, in order to obtain information about, firstly, known and suspected Libyan terrorists and, secondly, known and suspected terrorists of other nationalities who the Libyan jihadists may have come into contact with in Sudan, Algeria and Afghanistan," Alia Brahimi, a Middle East expert and author, told Deutsche Welle. In another damaging revelation for the British, one document reveals that Saadi and Khamis Gadhafi, two of the dictator's sons, were invited to visit the headquarters of the Special Air Service (SAS), Britain's top Special Forces regiment, and its navy counterpart, the Special Boat Service (SBS) in July 2006, although the visit never went ahead. Both Gadhafi sons would have met with high-ranking British military officials during the visit and were scheduled to hold talks with representatives of Britain's largest arms manufacturers while in the UK.
UK torture inquiry
The revealing documents have come to light at a time when the British security services are under increased scrutiny ahead of an inquiry into the UK's role in rendition and the security services' knowledge of the torture and mistreatment of terrorist suspects. The Gibson Inquiry has announced that it will "be considering allegations of UK involvement in rendition to Libya as part of our work" and has been backed by British Prime Minister David Cameron who welcomed a wider investigation into the "significant" accusations that that MI6 and MI5 became "too close" to Libya. "What these intelligent organizations did was illegal and inhumane," said DeGennaro. "David Cameron is right to start an investigation and the Obama Administration and Congress should not hesitate to follow suit." "Unfortunately that would probably implicate members of Congress and the former administration. Powerful senators like John McCain, who probably knew very well what was happening, won't ever allow this." REFERENCE: CIA, MI6 under scrutiny after secret files reveal Gadhafi rendition deals Author: Nick Amies Editor: Rob Mudge Arab World | 06.09.2011 http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15365413,00.html
Condoleezza Rice Meets Gaddafi
WASHINGTON — The Central Intelligence Agency has inserted clandestine operatives into Libya to gather intelligence for military airstrikes and to contact and vet the beleaguered rebels battling Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces, according to American officials. While President Obama has insisted that no American military ground troops participate in the Libyan campaign, small groups of C.I.A. operatives have been working in Libya for several weeks as part of a shadow force of Westerners that the Obama administration hopes can help bleed Colonel Qaddafi’s military, the officials said. In addition to the C.I.A. presence, composed of an unknown number of Americans who had worked at the spy agency’s station in Tripoli and others who arrived more recently, current and former British officials said that dozens of British special forces and MI6 intelligence officers are working inside Libya. The British operatives have been directing airstrikes from British jets and gathering intelligence about the whereabouts of Libyan government tank columns, artillery pieces and missile installations, the officials said.American officials hope that similar information gathered by American intelligence officers — including the location of Colonel Qaddafi’s munitions depots and the clusters of government troops inside towns — might help weaken Libya’s military enough to encourage defections within its ranks. In addition, the American spies are meeting with rebels to try to fill in gaps in understanding who their leaders are and the allegiances of the groups opposed to Colonel Qaddafi, said United States government officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the activities. American officials cautioned, though, that the Western operatives were not directing the actions of rebel forces.
A C.I.A. spokesman declined to comment.
The United States and its allies have been scrambling to gather detailed information on the location and abilities of Libyan infantry and armored forces that normally takes months of painstaking analysis.“We didn’t have great data,” Gen. Carter F. Ham, who handed over control of the Libya mission to NATO on Wednesday, said in an e-mail last week. “Libya hasn’t been a country we focused on a lot over past few years.”Several weeks ago, President Obama signed a secret finding authorizing the C.I.A. to provide arms and other support to Libyan rebels, American officials said Wednesday. But weapons have not yet been shipped into Libya, as Obama administration officials debate the effects of giving them to the rebel groups. The presidential finding was first reported by Reuters.In a statement released Wednesday evening, Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, declined to comment “on intelligence matters,” but he said that no decision had yet been made to provide arms to the rebels. Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who leads the House Intelligence Committee, said Wednesday that he opposed arming the rebels. “We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them,” Mr. Rogers said in a statement. Because the publicly stated goal of the Libyan campaign is not explicitly to overthrow Colonel Qaddafi’s government, the clandestine war now going on is significantly different from the Afghan campaign to drive the Taliban from power in 2001. Back then, American C.I.A. and Special Forces troops worked alongside Afghan militias, armed them and called in airstrikes that paved the rebel advances on strategically important cities like Kabul and Kandahar. In recent weeks, the American military has been monitoring Libyan troops with U-2 spy planes and a high-altitude Global Hawk drone, as well as a special aircraft, JSTARS, that tracks the movements of large groups of troops. Military officials said that the Air Force also has Predator drones, similar to those now operating in Afghanistan, in reserve.
Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint eavesdropping planes intercept communications from Libyan commanders and troops and relay that information to the Global Hawk, which zooms in on the location of armored forces and determines rough coordinates. The Global Hawk sends the coordinates to analysts at a ground station, who pass the information to command centers for targeting. The command center beams the coordinates to an E-3 Sentry Awacs command-and-control plane, which in turn directs warplanes to their targets. Lt. Gen. David A. Deptula, who recently retired as the Air Force’s top intelligence official, said that Libya’s flat desert terrain and clear weather have allowed warplanes with advanced sensors to hunt Libyan armored columns with relative ease, day or night, without the need for extensive direction from American troops on the ground. But if government troops advance into or near cities in along the country’s eastern coast, which so far have been off-limits to coalition aircraft for fear of causing civilian casualties, General Deptula said that ground operatives would be particularly helpful in providing target coordinates or pointing them out to pilots with hand-held laser designators. The C.I.A. and British intelligence services were intensely focused on Libya eight years ago, before and during the successful effort to get Colonel Qaddafi to give up his nuclear weapons program. He agreed to do so in the fall of 2003, and allowed C.I.A. and other American nuclear experts into the country to assess Libya’s equipment and bomb designs and to arrange for their transfer out of the country. Once the weapons program was eliminated, a former American official said, intelligence agencies shifted their focus away from Libya. But as Colonel Qaddafi began his recent crackdown on the rebel groups, the American spy agencies have worked to rekindle ties to Libyan informants and to learn more about the country’s military leaders.A former British government official who is briefed on current operations confirmed media reports that dozens of British Special Forces soldiers, from the elite Special Air Service and Special Boat Service units, are on the ground across Libya. The British soldiers have been particularly focused on finding the locations of Colonel Qaddafi’s Russian-made surface-to-air missiles. A spokesman for Britain’s Ministry of Defense declined to comment, citing a policy not to discuss the operations of British Special Forces. REFERENCE: Ravi Somaiya contributed reporting from London, and David E. Sanger from Washington. A version of this article appeared in print on March 31, 2011, on page A1 of the New York edition. C.I.A. Agents in Libya Aid Airstrikes and Meet Rebels By MARK MAZZETTI and ERIC SCHMITT Published: March 30, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/world/africa/31intel.html?_r=2
ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner in Islamabad Adam Thomson on Monday said there is no truth in reports regarding the attempt made by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain to move out of UK besides the news of his arrest in London is also unfounded, Geo News reported. Talking to media men here, the British HC described the present political scene of Pakistan as very interesting and that he was enjoying how the developments were unfolding. To a question, he said investigations into the murder of Dr. Imran Farooq were underway. When asked if Altaf Hussain had written any letter to the former British prime minister Tony Blair, he said had no knowledge of it nor 'do I know of any letter written by (MQM's) Nasreen Jalil. British HC says reports of Altaf arrest unfounded Updated 2 hours ago http://www.thenews.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=21737&title=British-HC-says-reports-of-Altaf-arrest-unfounded
Altaf Hussain not under arrest: British High Commissioner
Statistics compiled by the HRCP Karachi chapter shows that a total of 1138 people have been killed in the city during the first half of 2011, with 490 of them falling prey to targeted killings on different grounds including political, sectarian and ethnic basis. “Karachi has been under the influence of political parties for the past several months and continuous surge in killings in the city reflects the government’s inefficiency to cope with the mounting threat of insecurity,” said Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson HRCP while sharing statistics during the press briefing at their office. For appeasing the ruling coalition partners, she noted, the government had failed to take any decisive action against culprits causing unrest in the city. Of the 490 victims of target killings, 150 were killed apparently for their association with various political, religious and or nationalist parties, 56 for their ethnic background and eight on sectarian grounds. According to the HRCP report, as many as 65 women were killed during first six months of this year – 24 of them were killed by relatives, 26 by unidentified culprits, four were set on fire, three killed on railway tracks, 2 each killed by robbers and Lyari gangsters, three on the pretext of Karo-Kari, while one woman was killed by police. Meanwhile 37 men lost their lives in the ongoing Lyari gang war this year. The report listed 56 ethnic killings which were reported this year. Of those targeted, 51 of the victims were male, while one female and four children were killed. The figure shows that 250 people with no political affiliation were also killed in Karachi this year while 139 killings were reported during the corresponding period of last year. This indicated a rise of 179% in the killings this year. The report detailed names of parties (political, religious, nationalist and banned organizations) or groups and the number of their activists assassinated during the first six months of 2011. It said 77 target killing victims belonged to Muttahida Qaumi Movement; 26 to Pakistan People`s Party; 29 to Awami National Party; 16 to Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi; 7 to Sunni Tehreek; 9 to Jamaat-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat; two to Jamiat-e-Ulema Islam; one to Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N); one to Jamaat-i-Islami (JI); one each to PML-Functional, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, and Punjabi-Pakhtun Ittehad and four to Sipah-e-Sahaba (banned). During the first six months of 2010, the figures were comparatively low as MQM-H had their 34 activists killed; MQM 22; PPP 11; PPP-S 2; Punjabi Front 1; ANP 16; Sunni Tehreek 4; PML-N 1; PML-Quaid-i-Azam 1; PML-F 1; JI 3; Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam 2; JSQM 2; PPI 1; Sipah-i-Sahaba (banned) 3; and Tehreek-i-Taliban (banned) 1. REFERENCE: HRCP report indicates rise in killings this year By PPI Published: July 6, 2011 http://tribune.com.pk/story/203309/hrcp-report-indicates-rise-in-killings-this-year/
“Reports claiming Altaf Hussain arrested are false and investigation of Imran Farooq’s murder case will be completed soon,” said Thomson. ISLAMABAD: The British High Commissioner Adam Thomson said Monday that MQM chief Altaf Hussain is a free citizen and no restrictions have been made on his movement, DawnNews reported. “Reports of Altaf Hussain’s arrest are false whereas Imran Farooq’s murder case investigation will be completed soon,” said Thomson (MQM assails reports on Farooq’s murder By Our Staff Reporter | From the Newspaper Yesterday . http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/28/mqm-assails-reports-on-farooqs-murder.html ) Thomson said that the Scotland Yard is proactively investigating Imran Farooq’s murder case and will soon reach a final conclusion. When inquired about the letter sent to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair by the MQM chief he replied “you should ask Altaf Hussain about it” whereas he said he cannot comment on MQM member Nasreen Jalil’s letter (MQM, PPP take row to diplomats By Amir Wasim | From the Newspaper August 26, 2011 (3 days ago http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/26/mqm-ppp-take-row-to-diplomats.html ) . “We wish to see Pakistan developing and stable at every step and Britain should not be dragged into Pakistan’s internal affairs but it’s true that the political situation in Pakistan is interesting,” said Thomson. Separately, the Interior Minister Rehman Malik while speaking to the media said that MQM chief Altaf Hussain is not anti-Pakistan. REFERENCE: No restrictions on Altaf Hussain’s movement: British HC DAWN.COM (49 minutes ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/29/no-restrictions-on-altaf-hussain%E2%80%99s-movement-british-hc.html
ISLAMABAD: Finding no way out of the Karachi quagmire, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have taken their fight to the Diplomatic Enclave in the federal capital, Dawn has learnt. Former MQM senator and member of the party’s coordination committee Nasreen Jalil has written letters to the embassies of the United States, the United Kingdom and China, informing them about the situation in Karachi and accusing the PPP of trying to “push them to the limit”. In the letters, copies of which are available with Dawn, sent to the consuls general of these countries last month, Ms Jalil had cited a news article which alleged that the PPP was behind a “conspiracy” to “pit the ANP against MQM” in Karachi. Diplomatic sources told Dawn that PPP leaders, particularly those belonging to Sindh, had also been presenting their viewpoint to the diplomats in response to the MQM letters. The sources said Sindh Minister for Local Government Agha Siraj Durrani visited the US Consulate in Karachi on Thursday afternoon and passed on his party’s concerns over the situation in the provincial metropolis where more than 100 people lost their lives last week in incidents of target killings. Ms Jalil said in a letter: “In the first week of July 2011, terrorists of land mafia, drug mafia, extortionist mafia and religious extremists under the protection of the ANP carried out indiscriminate firing from Kati Pahari at the residents of Qasba Colony and Orangi Town” taking lives of more than 100 people and keeping the area residents “hostage for five days till the Rangers came to their rescue.” She added that the “MQM fears that the violence in Karachi is instigated under the protection and patronage of the PPP”. Through another letter written a day after Senior Sindh Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza made controversial remarks against MQM chief Altaf Hussain and the Urdu-speaking community, Ms Jalil informed the diplomats that her party believed that Dr Mirza had done it at the behest of PPP Co-Chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari. “Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, acting on the instructions of his boss, in collusion with ANP’s Shahi Syed and terrorists of PPP Aman Committee expressed his intent in clear terms on July 13, 2011, night to the media,” she wrote. “No condemnation has come from the PPP leadership which demonstrates President Zardari’s tacit approval. This alone is more serious than the mere statement of Dr Mirza. It is the biggest threat to the stability of the region and particularly Karachi.” Dr Mirza has always been in the news for his outspokenness and verbal attacks on the MQM and it was because of one of harsh remarks and his open support for the now disbanded peace committee that the MQM had the first time quit the ruling coalition in December last year. “It is for you to understand who is the culprit in destabilising Karachi/Pakistan,” Ms Jalil said in her letters. When contacted, the MQM leader defended her action and said her party had written the letters only to brief them on the situation. “We are a political party. We want them to know what is happening and don’t expect anything from them and nor do we want them to get involved,” she said. She said these countries were interested in stability and peace in Karachi. Therefore, she said, they ought to know what really was happening in the city. PPP’s Agha Siraj Durrani could not be contacted. Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar expressed his ignorance about the letters written by the MQM or PPP members to the diplomats. When asked about Mr Durrani’s visit to the US Consulate General in Karachi, he said politicians’ visits to embassies and consulates were a routine matter. There has been a huge trust deficit between the PPP and the MQM despite the fact that the two parties have been continuously holding talks with each other for over three years. Each party claims to have “solid proof” of the involvement of the other in incidents of target killing in Karachi. REFERENCE: MQM, PPP take row to diplomats By Amir Wasim | From the Newspaper Yesterday http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/26/mqm-ppp-take-row-to-diplomats.html
ISLAMABAD: British High Commissioner in Islamabad Adam Thomson on Monday said there is no truth in reports regarding the attempt made by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain to move out of UK besides the news of his arrest in London is also unfounded, Geo News reported. Talking to media men here, the British HC described the present political scene of Pakistan as very interesting and that he was enjoying how the developments were unfolding. To a question, he said investigations into the murder of Dr. Imran Farooq were underway. When asked if Altaf Hussain had written any letter to the former British prime minister Tony Blair, he said had no knowledge of it nor 'do I know of any letter written by (MQM's) Nasreen Jalil. REFERENCE: British HC says reports of Altaf arrest unfounded http://www.geo.tv/Pakistan.htm Updated at: 2015 PST, Monday, August 29, 2011
Karachi violence: SC adjourns hearing till Tuesday KARACHI: The Supreme Court’s Karachi registry began hearing the suo moto case regarding the security situation in Karachi, Geo News reported. The case is being heard by a five-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. The Chief Justice asked what steps were taken by the government over the violation of fundamental rights and who was backing killers in Karachi. The apex court also summoned reports from intelligence agencies from the attorney general. During proceedings, IG Sindh Wajid Durrani informed the court that 306 people had been killed during July 24 and August 24. 25 bodies were recovered, 17 of which were recovered in gunny sacks. 332 cases were also lodged. The Chief Justice asked the IG if he had investigated where the abducted people were taken and that he should have recorded the statement of at least one of the abducted. The IG informed the court that 20 criminals had been arrested but those abducted had failed to identity anyone due to fear. In his defense the IG told the court that those abducted on August 19 had been recovered. In his remarks, the Chief Justice said the protection of life and property lay with institutions. He asked why SHO’s were not aware of crime in their jurisdiction. To this, IGP Sindh Wajid Ali Durrani replied that police and ordinary citizens were not allowed entry in no-go areas of Karachi. He also informed the court that extortion was a problem which was plaguing the city for the last 10-12 years. Durrani informed the court about weapons which were present in the city, such as rocket launchers and anti-aircraft guns to which the Chief Justice asked where were these weapons coming from? The Chief Justice asked the IG where torture cells had been discovered, to which Durrani replied that the police had not found any. The chief justice formed two benches for hearing cases at the Karachi Registry on August 29 and 30. The first bench is headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry while the second bench will be headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali. The families of the victims of target killings were also asked to volunteer their appearance before the apex court and may also submit any evidence, if available. The court has adjourned the hearing till Tuesday. REFERENCE: Karachi violence: SC adjourns hearing till Tuesday Updated at: 1215 PST, Monday, August 29, 2011 http://www.geo.tv/8-29-2011/85539.htm
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 ofMQM 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/126.96.36.199/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/188.8.131.52/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
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 http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/armed-gangs-outnumber-police-in-karachi.html
About the presence of armed groups in the city, the US assessment mentions many parties. It says that the MQM’s armed members, referred to as “Good Friends”, are the largest non-governmental armed element in the city and that “the police estimate MQM has ten thousand active armed members and as many as twenty-five thousand armed fighters in reserve.” According to the cable, the local police believes that “MQM-H still maintains its armed groups in the areas of Landhi and Korangi, and that the party will re-organise itself once its leadership is released from jail. MQM-H had broken from the main MQM and its strongholds in Landhi and Korangi were regarded as no-go zones. It was in 2003 that the MQM, as a precondition to join the government, asked for the elimination of the MQM-H. 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,” the assessment reads. The cable goes on to note that the “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 disproportionately powerful because of the influx of MQM-H gunmen. ST has organised 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”. REFERENCE: ‘Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi’ By Idrees Bakhtiar | From the Newspaper (18 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/armed-gangs-outnumber-police-in-karachi.html
About the PPP, the US diplomat comments that “traditionally the party has not run an armed wing, but the workers of the party do possess weapons, both licensed and unlicensed. With PPP … having an influential … Home Minister, a large number of weapons permits were currently being issued to PPP workers.” He quotes a police official as having said that he believes, given the volume of weapons permits being issued to PPP members, that the party will soon be as well-armed as MQM. The Awami National Party (ANP), says Mr Fakan, “represents the ethnic Pashtuns in Karachi” and has begun to “organise formal armed groups.” Karachi’s Pashtuns, he continues, “do possess personal weapons, following the tribal traditions of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). … 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. “If rhetoric of the police and the ANP leadership is to be believed, these armed elements may be preparing to challenge MQM’s control of Karachi,” the cable adds. “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.” This report, according to the cable, said the neighborhood was “becoming a no-go area for the police” and claimed “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.” REFERENCE: ‘Armed gangs outnumber police in Karachi’ By Idrees Bakhtiar | From the Newspaper (18 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/23/armed-gangs-outnumber-police-in-karachi.html
2009: US assessment of Karachi violence
203530 4/22/2009 11:52 09KARACHI138 Consulate Karachi SECRET “VZCZCXRO6005OO RUEHLH RUEHPWDE RUEHKP #0138/01 1121152ZNY SSSSS ZZHO 221152Z APR 09FM AMCONSUL KARACHITO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1042INFO RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 0499RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL PRIORITY 0271RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0314RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1861RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE PRIORITY 2720RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR PRIORITY 4603RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITYRHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITYRHEHAAA/NSC WASHINGTON DC PRIORITYRUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITYRUMICEA/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITYRUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY” “S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 KARACHI 000138
E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/22/2019TAGS: PTER, ASEC, PGOV, PKSUBJECT: SINDH – THE GANGS OF KARACHI
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 KARACHI 00000138 002 OF 003 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 KARACHI 00000138 003 OF 003 streets and interconnected houses. There are some parts of Lyari that are inaccessible to law enforcement agencies.
Pashtun Terrorists——————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”
2009: US assessment of Karachi violence
WIKI LEAKS MEMO:)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/22/2018
TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PTER, PK
SUBJECT: MQM LOOKING FOR RESPECT
REF: ISLAMABAD 405 ISLAMABAD 281
Classified By: Anne W. Patterson, for reasons 1.4 (b)(d)
2. (U) Ambassador, Consul General and Polcouns met January 25 with Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) mayor Mustafa Kamal and hosted MQM leaders Farooq Sattar and Haider Abbas Rizvi for dinner. Ambassador also met in Karachi with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Zardari (Ref A), the American Business Council, Farooq Hassan, Chief Executive of the Management Association of Pakistan, and former President of the Supreme Court Bar Association Munir Malik (septel). REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/28/2008-mqm-told-us-stop-ignoring-us.html
Former US Ambassador to Pakistan Ms. Anne W Peterson with MQM Leaders
Young, Activist Mayor
3. (C) At age 36, Mustafa Kamal is a young mayor overseeing an ethnically diverse population of over 16 million people in a city with enormous infrastructure challenges (see also Ref B). Kamal proudly recounted his rise from modest middle-class roots through the MQM party structure. Upon election, he was told by MQM leader Altaf Hussain that he must be the mayor for “all of Karachi, not just for MQM supporters.” Kamal seems to have taken this advice to heart by providing basic water and sewer services to neighborhoods of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and others who have long been neglected by their own parties’ leadership. Kamal boasted that Karachi now provides 68% of all GOP tax revenues.
4. (C) Kamal replaced the traditional revenue maker of a land selloff for the elite with new public-private partnerships that lease land to those willing to develop it to expand the city’s tax base. He collected taxes dating back forty years by publishing the names of tax evaders, although he lamented that he had to give the revenue to the federal government before he received his share of collections. He pushed through development of new highways and overpasses to ease traffic congestion and razed houses that encroached on city property to expand public parks.
5. (C) Ambassador asked why Karachi had such a bad reputation despite infrastructure progress. Kamal said the PPP under Benazir Bhutto had embarked in the 1990’s on a series of extra-judicial killings that exacerbated ethnic tensions in the city. MQM’s popularity grew as the population increasingly wanted law and order and protection from violence. He claimed MQM’s disciplined party organization and its practice of delivering services without discrimination was responsible for its growing electoral base. But the bad memories persist. REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/28/2008-mqm-told-us-stop-ignoring-us.html
US Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Cameron Phelps Munter with MQM Leaders
City Nazim Karachi Syed Mustafa Kamal giving lecture to the students of Harvard University
WIKI LEAKS MEMO:)
Don’t Ignore Us
7. (C) Sattar and Rizvi repeated that same ‘please don’t ignore us’ theme during dinner at the Consul General’s residence. They pointed out that MQM was avowedly secular and had repeatedly supported USG policy but was treated like a terrorist group. In fact, Sattar asked for USG assistance in convincing the Canadian immigration service to stop listing the MQM as a terrorist organization; Ambassador responded that we knew that the Canadian policy was affecting some asylum cases in the U.S. We would examine what might be possible on outreach to Ottowa on this question.
8. (C) Sattar both defended Musharraf and complained about the Pakistan Muslim League’s (PML) continued dependence on feudal politics that the MQM has abandoned. He noted that MQM had supported Benazir’s return, and Altaf Hussain was one of the first to offer Zardari condolences on her assassination. Still, he made it clear that MQM could work with either a PML- or PPP-led coalition government after the elections. He predicted that MQM would win 20-25 seats in Karachi, but agreed that plans to expand the party’s base had been undercut by blame over the May 12 riots. Sattar admitted it was perhaps not wise to have organized a countervailing demonstration to the one organized for the former Chief Justice. But he argued (unconvincingly) that the decision not to intervene and stop the rioting would have caused additional violence. Sattar pointed out that 14 MQM party members had died in the violence that left approximately 40 dead. REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/28/2008-mqm-told-us-stop-ignoring-us.html
US delegation visits MQM headquarters
WIKI LEAKS MEMO:)
Altaf Hussain Returns?
9. (C) Kamal, Sattar and Rizvi all confirmed that Altaf Hussain had expressed an interest in returning to Pakistan, but this idea had been rejected by the party. They feared that another assassination attempt would be made and they would be left leaderless. Nevertheless, while leaving dinner, Sattar indicated that Hussain could, in fact, be induced to return with the right deal for inclusion in a coalition government. (Note: According to press reports, President Musharraf met with Hussain in London this week.) The National Reconciliation Ordinance signed by Musharraf to give Bhutto and others immunity from prosecution reportedly benefited many MQM members; if Musharraf extends the NRO, this may increase Hussain’s willingness to return from self-imposed exile.
10. (C) Comment: Despite some continuing evidence of thuggery, MQM is making progress in emerging as a popular grass-roots political party, and it clearly is improving city life in Karachi. As Musharraf’s visit to Hussain demonstrated, PML very much wants to keep MQM in its coalition corner. But the PPP’s Zardari (Ref A) also believes a coalition with MQM would be possible. Like some of Pakistan’s other small parties, MQM also sees itself as a possible kingmaker in forming the next coalition government. REFERENCE: 2008: MQM told US ‘stop ignoring us’From the Newspaper (14 hours ago) Today http://www.dawn.com/2011/05/28/2008-mqm-told-us-stop-ignoring-us.html