Archive for July, 2011
The real game in Karachi – are Karachiites being killed to keep the federal and KP governments afloat?0
Ever wondered whyKarachiburns whenever PPP and PML-N are in power. Is it mere coincidence that in the recent history extending from 1988 to 2010, the only time whenKarachisaw peace and economic development was from 1999 to 2007, when PPP and PML-N were not in power? In other words, why doesKarachidescend into endless violence and why is development spending almost frozen for the city whenever these two parties are in power? And what is the real game behind the current violence inKarachi? Is it the security establishment creating an environment here that could be used to pre-empt deployment of the ‘feared’ great game? Is it the PPP, with covert to increasingly overt support from PML-N, using such turmoil to blackmail the MQM to stay in government? Is it because MQM uses violence, as per popular understanding, to bargain for its interests and destabilize the government at the behest of the establishment? Or is it really, as the government would want us to believe, a turf war between the MQM and ANP and representation of a larger ethnic strife? Let us examine each of these possibilities.
Ethnic strife in Karachi?: The theory of Karachi unrest being a result of a larger ethnic strife seems flawed because had such strife existed, it should have had at least some manifestation before this government came to power; the very fact that it only surfaced during the present government negates the existence of an intrinsic ethnic conflict in the city. Also the pattern of such unrest to occur in periodic bouts coinciding with political events is suggestive of a political as against an ethnic dynamic of such unrest. And also worth noting is how millions of common people from different ethnic communities daily work together with each other in complete harmony, which would have otherwise not been possible had some real ethnic polarization existed.
Turf war between the MQM and ANP?: This is certainly true, partially though, but with the material qualification of what exactly constitutes ANP inKarachi. Is it all pathans as one would assume it to be given that the party itself claims itself as a representative of pathans only? This question really carries the key to understanding the real game inKarachi. Let us examine two key strongholds of ANP inKarachi,RabiaCity in Gulistan-e-Jauhar and Micasa Apartments in Gulshan-e-Iqbal, to better understand the ANP inKarachi.
Visit Rabia city and you would find ANP plastered all over the places in semblance of flags, leadership portraits, party offices, etc. Of the nearly 2200 flats in this apartment’s complex reportedly around 300 flats have been illegally occupied. Gunfires, dacoities, thefts, extortion, drugs, etc are now a normal though tormenting phenomenon here. So much so, that the value of a flat here has eroded to almost nothing as no one in the city could be compelled to commit the suicide of living here except for those who are stuck here as they can neither sell nor rent-out their apartment and yet if they choose to vacate and shift to some other place in search of security and serenity, their apartment would be immediately occupied and no one can then vacate it, not even the police.
The above paints a very bleak picture of Rabia city but indeed this is what the reality is. However, the question that still remains unanswered is what constitutes ANP? It has to be pathans because that’s what the party represents. However, facts are the exact opposite. The majority of the dwellers in Rabia city are ethnic Sindhis and so are the majority of workers of ANP here. Also, a major and potent component of ANP here is the MQM-Haqiqi, which has resurfaced here under umbrella of ANP. Only a small portion comes from the pathans. Interestingly, there are at least two PPP offices in Rabia city and yet ethnic Sindhis, including activists of PPP, are now surprisingly part of ANP. So in reality, ANP is not all pathans here, as is the case for many places inKarachiwhere ANP manifests, but an umbrella entity for elements belonging to MQM-Haqiqi, PPP & some drug-racket operatives with Pathan ethnicity.
PPP’s proxy war in Karachi: The question arises as to why all such Sindhis and Muhajirs unnaturally tend to be part of ANP here, which only claims to represent pathans. The reason for such affinity apparently is the funding, which flows as monthly salaries for such elements thru the ANP, the exclusive mandate for such elements to freely extort from hotels and other stores in the Rabia city and of course the protective cover for them from any state action.
This manifestly criminal nature of such elements within ANP in Rabia city and other places in the city is indeed mind-boggling as to how these elements manage to indulge in such manifestly criminal activities without any fear from the law enforcement agencies. After all, the party has no NA seats from Sindh and only 2 provincial assembly seats, which make it almost irrelevant here. Even the PPP’s central government’s dependence on ANP is no answer to this as such dependence is fully neutralized by ANP’s KP government’s dependence on PPP. And why does Sindhis unnaturally become part of ANP and not PPP? And who has the power to engineer ‘Muhajir’ Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi to embrace ANP that only claims to represent pathans?
Given PPP’s dependence on MQM, Haqiqi could not operate independently and openly as MQM would certainly mount all pressure possible on PPP to stop it from doing so. This is how Haqiqi has been activated and patronized under ANP. Similarly, Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad (PPI), which was active during the 90s has also been reactivated.
The above elaboration of the situation in Rabia city is a reflection of the extremely close coordination between PPP, ANP, Haqiqi and others in the city. Such strong cooperation is evident in many other parts of the city and a interesting fact that bears testimony to such cooperation is that one can find either no or very few areas in the whole city where PPP (in the semblance of People’s Amn Committee – PAC) and ANP are both active in the same area – this despite the plurality of the ethnic makeup in many such areas. This suggests how secretly these parties have decided to operate under only one umbrella in one area and it is exactly in line with this decision that different areas have been distributed amongst them whereby the umbrella in one area is ANP, in another it isPAC.
Another testament of PPP’s patronization for ANP and PAC is the operations that were done in places like Pehlwan Goth and Dalmia. Let’s examine the operation in Pehlwan Goth where two different drugs rackets were feuding for long. One was the Mudassir chief group and the other was a Bangash group backed by the ANP that extends in influence to the Rabia city as well. As soon as the Mudassir group became a formidable opposition, a police-led operation was carried out that, instead of freeing the area of both these criminal groups, only dismantled the Mudassir chief group and handed over the whole area to the ANP-backed group as their fiefdom. Similar operation was done in Dalmia to liquidate a criminal gang opposed to the PAC for Dalmia to become the exclusiveterritoryofPAC.
While such proxy role of unelected entities like Haqiqi, PPI and others is understandable and nothing new but what could have compelled an elected entity, ANP, to adopt a proxy role for PPP? The mutual dependence of PPP and ANP, in terms of PPP’s federal government’s dependence on ANP and ANP’s KP government’s dependence on PPP, confi
gures these two parties as natural, committed and strategic allies. But more importantly, it is in the interest of both to keep MQM in the federal government as the potential turmoil that could trigger from MQM’s withdrawal from the federal government will not only topple the central government but also ANP’s provincial government in KP. Such is the strategic commonality of PPP and ANP’s interests, which also offers a lucrative proposition to ANP in terms of protective cover for land-grabbing, extortion etc. Additionally, such role of ANP serves both the interests of PPP as well as of ISI, which engineered ANP’s emergence on the political horizon of Sindh.
The fact therefore is that ANP Sindh acts as a proxy force of ISI and PPP as without such patronization, neither can elements within ANP fearlessly indulge in such manifestly criminal activities, nor can ethnic Sindhis become part of it, and nor can MQM-Haqiqi embrace the umbrella of ANP. It is knowing this exact fact, that MQM refuses to do any negotiation with ANP and considers it sufficient to only talk to PPP as it knows fully well that ANP works on the directions of PPP’s provincial leadership in Sindh. However, as already explained earlier, ANP is not the only proxy force being used by PPP against the MQM. It is general knowledge that PAC, even before its formal adoption by the PPP, was essentially a part of PPP. Similarly, parties, who had otherwise died, and were only active during the successive PPP and PML-N governments in the 90s like Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad (PPI) have also been reactivated. Also attempts were made to create new factions within MQM like the Behari Qaumi Movement in Orangi Town and in fact it seems that MP of MQM from the area, Raza Haider, was also killed in connection with this move so that PPP alongwith all its proxies and such BQM could put together a front against MQM in the elections on the seat of Raza Haider. That BQM refused to be party to this is maybe the reason why the person heading it got killed after the election.
ISI’s proxy game in Karachi: ISI seems to have adopted the same proxy strategy inKarachi as it did in the 1990s when it created and patronized anti-MQM proxies such as Haqiqi, Punjabi Pukhtun Ittehad and others. There are multiple factors influencing such strategy of ISI. One, there seems to be a significant contribution of the top army general’s linguistic affiliation to his outlook on the country and its different elements. No wonder, both Aslam Beg and Musharraf and even Kakar to a certain extent chose to deal withKarachi in a much different manner as against Janjua and now Kayani. The approach of Beg and Musharraf was based on trust of the Urdu-speaking majority of Karachi and no wonder it yielded clearly positive results, especially during Musharraf’s term, when Karachi saw both unprecedented economic development and unparalleled peace (except for a few one-off incidences) in recent history. As against Musharraf and Beg, both Janjua and Kayani’s approach is of clear distrust of the Urdu-speaking majority inKarachi and therefore the need to confront them covertly with proxy forces and then overtly with military operations, prejudiced JITs, etc. It is because of this role of linguistics that I am a firm believer that a Baloch general will deal with the Balochistan insurgency in a wholly different manner from the ruthless approach of the current general. But of course Balochis are not fortunate enough to be allowed a Baloch general and the majority of Karachiites are no less unfortunate not to have the likes of Musharraf and Beg but the likes of Janjua and Kayani in power. Another factor influencing Kayani’s strategy inKarachi is his ‘capability and not intentions’ doctrine. The army thinks that the MQM may or may not have the intention to embrace the great game against the interest ofPakistan inKarachi, however it certainly has the ability for it and therefore effort is underway eversince Kayani has taken over to pre-empt such ability.
When Kayani took over, MQM had peak popularity and almost absolute control ofKarachi. No matter the distrust, an overt military operation therefore was no possibility in such an environment against the MQM. Therefore, the military decided to confront the MQM covertly, reinventing the same old proxy game and using the same old proxy forces (Haqiqi, PPI) while also creating some new ones (ANP). Such proxies-to-be were then tactfully carved within a coalition configuration under PPP that also guaranteed PPP’s adoption of such proxy game as well. This has already been explained above in detail.
Such proxy forces were unleashed on the MQM while the police refused to act and such is how MQM was dragged into violence. While the actions of confrontation that was initiated by such proxy forces was ignored (including killings, relentless land-grabbing, forceful occupation of flats, etc), the whole effort of the security establishment was on framing MQM for the violence through prejudiced JITs, etc. One wonders why no JIT is made for continuing incidences in Orangi town and other places. With almost unabated violence for more than 3 years now, the military establishment feels it has both weakened the MQM (from its absolute control of Karachi in 2007), made it less popular by portraying it as the main source of unrest in Karachi, and thus have laid out the justification for a military action against it at anytime of its choice. With the foundation now laid, such military operation may be timed to the military’s choice. Whenever it wishes to do such an operation, it will engineer a fiercer bout of killings (killing 200-300 people in a day or continuously for a few days) and use such escalation and the accompanying public sentiment to start an operation, which could very well be timed to distract attention from US pressure for operation in NWA citing the emergency nature of the situation in Karachi.
Replay of the 90s in Karachi: And if you were to analyze the violent history ofKarachi in the last two decades, you would find such proxy game as the root-cause of unrest inKarachi, which in other words means that such violence can mostly be attributed as government-inspired as only governments can patronize and sustain proxies. A very interesting attribute of such proxies created and patronized successively by PPP and PML-N governments is that they are solely MQM-specific. Such proxies have no political ideology, no agenda and all of there activities in terms of words and deeds are focused on opposing the MQM. It is entirely due to this reason that these proxies die as soon as their patron, PML-N and PPP, are out of power and indeed it is due to this reason alone that violence then largely ceases to happen inKarachi.
But to be fair, the PPP and PML-N learned the art of proxies from the army, which, initially, during the 1992 operation, with political support from PML’s Jam Sadiq orchestrated creation of MQM-Haqiqi. And the army made no secret of its proxy game as the then Army Chief, Asif Nawaz Janjua, openly shared his goal behind creation of Haqiqi when he said that ‘if there could be factions within PML and PPP then why not MQM’. The dual-bloodletting was then unleashed when on one hand the Haqiqi was patronized to violently confront the MQM, killing many MQM activists in process, yet the army operation was directed at the MQM sparing only those who would change loyalties to the Haqiqi. That few did is how the majority of them got killed either by the Haqiqi or by the Army. This undoubtedly was the seedling of violence inKarachiand every successive PPP and PML-N government continued this tradition of activating the Haqiqi and other proxy gangs, like PPI, during their period to control, threaten and confront the MQM. Same is now being repeated, though at far greater intensity, when PPP has yet again assumed power.
Are Karachiites being killed to keep the federal and KP government afloat?: How does this strate
gy of PPP to proclaim itself as an ally of MQM and use such proxies against the MQM serve it? The reason for PPP strategy is simple – they can’t afford to openly oppose the MQM as also needs them as a partner and therefore are covertly patronizing creating and strengthening committed anti-MQM proxy forces in the city. Using such proxies, PPP has tactfully engineered the phenomenon of target killing in Karachi to blackmail the MQM of being framed & maligned for such killing and of being subject to yet another operation should it opts out of the federal government. Not surprisingly and certainly by no coincidence, such bouts of target killing initiate whenever PPP is doing negotiations with the MQM. Just take this last episode that initiated in and around the time Zardari was trying to convince the MQM to end the boycott of Sindh Assembly and reintegrate with the government.
PPP also uses the violence in Karachi to distract attention from its corruption and mis-governance at the center and has already successfully managed to camouflage other relentless criminal activities including extortion, land grabbing, illegal and forceful occupation of flats, proliferation in street crimes, robberies, dacoities, kidnappings for ransom, etc.
PML-N and PPP’s collaboration for Karachi: Of real and substantive help to this gory game of PPP inKarachi is the PML-N that lends more strength to this game by unqualified finger-pointing at the MQM. The PML-N does not want to assume responsibility at the center at this time when it fully well knows it will also fail like PPP to address the economic and security crisis. Additionally, the PML-N does not wish to see MQM in government either at center or especially in Sind when its turn comes around as it does not wish to see any real opposition to its federal government from the strategic Sind province (that could potentially come from MQM) but only friendly opposition from the PPP in return for its current friendly role towards the PPP. The PML-N therefore only wishes for this government to fall by way of a PPP-MQM clash in Sindh and not in any way thru any effort of PML-N itself. Subsequently, it wishes for formation of an interim government thru mutual agreement between the PPP and PML-N only (including a government of PPP’s choice in Sind), allow PPP to undertake requisite legislation in Sind near end of its current term to dismantle the local bodies system, regularize encroachments, register IDPs as voters and re-demarcate constituencies to its benefit in Karachi, Hyderabad, etc that would weaken the MQM and benefit the PPP and thus again help PPP gain either a simple majority or a coalition government with PML-N in Sind. In this way, PPP in Sindh will act as a friendly opposition to the PML-N government in center the same way and in return for the current friendly opposition role of PML-N.
Whose interest does the Karachi unrest serve?: The popular understanding that the MQM is directing such violence to destabilize the government does not make sense as, in the current parliamentary configuration, the MQM could very conveniently trigger such destabilization by withdrawing support of the federal government. With such convenience available, it hardly makes sense to kill and be killed. Additionally, such violence certainly does not provide the MQM the foundation it requires for exalting itself into thePunjab and other provinces that it is yearning for. Then the assumption that the violence is because the MQM refuses to accept other parties’ activities inKarachi also looks flawed because had this been the reason, the pattern of target killing should have been continual and not linked to the times PPP and MQM are negotiating. On the other hand, the PPP does seem to have a logical interest in theKarachi violence as it keeps up the pressure on the MQM to stay in government, which otherwise MQM would not do, especially when the government has become such unpopular. This is exactly why the bouts of target killing happen whenever the PPP is trying to regain MQM’s support. Also, unlike past, when the army could use theKarachi violence to topple the government and even intervene, the PPP is sure that an army takeover or other semblance of interference is not possible this time around.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani has had a telephonic conversation with Mr Altaf Hussain on Friday. Mr Gillani told Mr Hussain that the efforts made by him for establishing peace in Sindh particularly in Karachi were invaluable. Mr Gillani also welcomed the appeal made by Mr Hussain to all the religious and political parties and the public for the purpose of bringing back peace. Mr Gillani also thanked Mr Hussain for his appeal to the MQM workers and members of the public for making the PPP rallies successful. Mr Gillani said that his government also wanted to establish complete peace in Karachi at any cost because Karachi was the economic hub of the country. He added that the progress of the country was tied to the peace in Karachi.
Speaking to the Prime Minister Mr Hussain said that it was his utmost desire to restore peace in Karachi and he added that he was making is best efforts for the purpose. He said that the peace should be established so that the enemies of the peace could be exposed irrespective of their party affiliations. Mr Hussain assured Prime Minister Gillani that he will continue to extend full support to every effort for establishing peace in the country particularly Karachi.
ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE ARTICLE BY HAMID MIR PUBLISHED IN THE DAILY JANG ON 28TH JULY 2011
He was given a pre-written statement in his hand and told that he had to read that statement in a press conference. He was said that he would be released after that. When he read that statement it said he had been smuggling weapons to Karachi on the instructions of Altaf Hussain. It also said that he was responsible for the incidents of killings and mayhem on the instructions of Altaf Hussain. He was disturbed on reading the statement upon which he was told that there was nothing to worry about as after this confessional statement only a small case would be registered against him and his release would be obtained through bail.
He refused to hold the press conference. They started beating him with wet sticks after hearing his denial. One man pulled out a revolver and placing it upon his temple asked him to recite the kalima. Another man asked him to write down a last message for his family. He was given a pen and a paper. The only thing that he wrote was that he had not committed any crime. When they read this he was asked to take out his shirt. When he wavered he was badly beaten with sticks. He took out his shirt. Later he was asked to remove his trousers as well. When he refused to do this a number of men assaulted him and forcefully removed his trousers and started beating him with sticks.
When the helpless and denuded man lost consciousness while he was being beaten with sticks, they started hitting his soles to bring him back to consciousness. He sank again being hit continuously with the sticks. When he regained consciousness after several hours he wept bitterly after remembering his mother. This is the cruelty that Aftakhar Akbar Randhawa had to undergo in 1995. Aftakhar Akbar Randhawa has compiled the story of this brutality and cruelty in the form of a book “Riyasati Dehshatgardi”, the Tyranny of State.
Aftakhar gave this book to me nearly two years ago. I went through it in the first instance of my leisure and saved it after marking it at several places. Aftakhar was organizer of the Punjab chapter at the time of his arrest. He was arrested in Multan and brought to Islamabad where he was incarcerated and subjected to severe bodily torture for nine months. A few days ago I inquired of a retired intelligence bureau officer about the reasons for heartless torture on Aftakhar. He said that even though a large number of the MQM workers were arrested at that time and they were persecuted but Aftakhar was particularly beaten all the more so because he was organizing the MQM in the Punjab. I could not face Aftakhar after verifying his story from the intelligence officer. There was an inner feeling of having done something wrong in me. I thought that this man was being subjected to cruelty in the torture cells in Islamabad. He continued to weep after remembering his mother and his mother left this world in the grief of his son. But while all this was happening, all the well-informed journalists including me could not know anything as to what happened with Aftakhar Akbar Randhawa.
Aftakhar called me the day before yesterday. He was asking for my email address in a very humble manner as always because he wanted to send a letter to me. When I inquired after his well-being after giving him the email address he commented on my column of 25th July in which there was a criticism of the MQM. He said that I had written that the MQM had created a constitutional contradiction in Sindh. In Sindh the offices of the governor as well as the leader of the opposition belonged to the MQM. He said that I had forgotten to mention the Punjab where the governor as well as the leader of the opposition belonged to the PPP.
Aftakhar made his complaint in such a humble way that I avoided giving a direct reply in order not to hurt is feelings. I did not expect such an amiable and humble criticism from the MQM. Frankly speaking I had expected strong and hot words but the gentle demeanour of Aftakhar and some of his senior colleagues was a pleasant surprise for me. I would nevertheless like to submit that it is true that the offices of the governor and the leader of the opposition rest with the PPP in the Punjab as well but there is a difference.
Governor is the representative of the President. The president is also the co-chairman of the PPP so the situation is a little bit different in the Punjab because the president, the governor and the leader of the opposition belong to the same party. In Sindh the governor belongs to the MQM while the MQM has been accusing some ministers of the PPP of being responsible for the killings and mayhem in Karachi. There is no denying the fact that the governor must act on the advice of the provincial government and in the Punjab the PML (N) government has effectively emasculated the PPP governor. Keeping in view the example of the Punjab the MQM should have realized if it would benefit them or discredit them if the PPP government marginalized the governor of their party.
The leader of the MQM Mr Altaf Hussain has begged for peace from all political parties. I want to remind the leaderships all those political parties that you have all faced concocted cases and hardships of captivities. Asfandyar Wali of the ANP has told me several times that when he was arrested in 1975 on the charge of terrorism, he was hung upside down and beaten and the nails of his feet were pulled out. I have had personal meetings with President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik and several other leaders of the PPP in jails. I have written a number of times about what happened with Nawaz Sharif in Attack and with Shahbaz Sharif in jail. I have also written about the physical torture to Jawed Hashmi, Pervez Rashid, Khawaja Saad Rafique and Rana Sanaulla and other Muslim Leaguers in jails.
From Baluch and Sindhi nationalists to religious leaders all have suffered torture at one time or another. It is nonetheless unfortunate that our political leaders have not taken a lesson from this torture. Earlier they used to throw each other in jails and now they are stabbing each other in the guise of friendship.
I am saddened to say that the present conduct of the politicians has made politics and democracy terms of abuse. Today confrontation is being done with the superior judiciary for the protection of petty personal gains. Today the root cause of all the problems facing the country is the utter contempt for the supremacy and implementation of the law. The government has become the greatest threat for the law and the constitution and the officers implementing the orders of the courts are being side-lined as a way of punishing them.
Peace will not come in Pakistan as long as all political parties not get united for the supremacy of the law. The common man will continue to undergo the coercion of circumstances that people like Aftakhar Randhawa has to face in government torture cells.
Extending the hand of friendship to all political and religious, parties the Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Mr Altaf Hussain has appealed them to forget the acrimonies of the past for national security, protecting the lives of innocent people and for ensuring peace and stability in Karachi. He appealed to them to play their due role for peace, progress, prosperity and for promoting brotherly relations among the public. He said this while talking to a meeting of the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM in London and Pakistan.
Mr Hussain said that he was addressing every Pakistani irrespective of religion, sect, regional affiliation, language and nationality. He said that the country was Pakistan through the most critical juncture. Armed forces, defence institutions and internationally recognized research institutions were faced with very difficult situation because of the change in the attitude of international powers particularly the United States.
Mr Hussain said that the economic condition of the country was also very fragile. If all of the political parties and the general public did not get united, leaving aside their personal benefits, in order to pull the country out this perilous condition, then the very existence of the country and its security can become threatened.
Mr Hussain said that we must all make a resolve today that we are equal as Pakistanis. We should not only hold the interest of Pakistan above anything else but we should also assure the government that we are ready to face every difficulty but we would not trade out self-esteem and national honour at any cost. We are ready to sacrifice anything for the country and its honour.
Mr Hussain appealed to the public across the country to work for the security and existence of the country by rising above their political affiliations. He particularly appealed to the People’s Party and problem-hit people of Liyari to think for Pakistan.
Mr Hussain appealed to the Pakhtuns particularly the leaders of Awami National Party (ANP) to calm their people. He also appealed to the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM and each worker to show restraint and bear with patience in the current difficult situation.
Mr Hussain appealed to the leaders of the PPP and the ANP and all other political parties of the country to show unity for the sake of the country. He made an impassioned appeal to all linguistic entities, nationalities and followers of various religious persuasions to end the senseless killing and mayhem in Karachi. The life of everyone living in Karachi was precious. No one should take the life of another. People should get united and protect the life and property of each other.
Mr Hussain said that we must adopt peaceful democratic means to raise political and ideological differences in a civilized manner. We should adopt peaceful methods instead of pursuing the path of violence. Difference of opinion was the part of democracy. We should have differences of opinion but we must not give up peaceful and democratic methods at any cost. The world should also know that there was a peaceful, democratic and civilized way in Pakistan for registering political differences.
Mr Hussain also appealed to the owners of print and electronic media, anchor persons and editors to desist from holding incendiary talk shows and publication of provocative reports. The dangerous circumstances of the country called for dousing the emotions of the people instead of adding fuel to the fire.
Mr Hussain also appealed to the government to look after the people who had died in recent riots. He expressed his sympathies for all those who were killed in the riots and prayed for their eternal peace.
Co-ordination Committee of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has strongly condemned the murder of noted lawyer Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate and termed the dreadful incident as an attempt to destroy peace of the city. The committee said that the enemies of peace were doggedly after the peace of the city and the murder of Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate is also a vicious attempt to create sectarian tension in the city. The Co-ordination Committee extended its condolences to the bereaved family members of Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate and expressed sympathy and solidarity with the millat-e-jafriah. The committee demanded of the government to take notice of the killing of Mumtaz Bukhari Advocate and said that the killers should be arrested immediately. The committee also prayed for the eternal peace of the departed soul. The committee also appealed to millat-e-jafriah to defeat the wicked conspiracy to create disturbance in the city by showing patience and forbearance.
KARACHI- After a lull of hardly a week, Malir and Landhi areas where again in the grip of organised bloodbath on Friday as unidentified attackers claimed 14 lives and wounded another 22 while two houses were also set on fire in Karachi.
Police surgeon Dr Hamid Padhyar told that 10 bodies and 15 injured were shifted to JPMC, 2 dead bodies were shifted to Sindh Government Hospital, Malir and one body and four injured were brought to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital. The deceased were identified as Niaz Muhammad, Muhammad Ibrahim, Akram, Akbar Ali, Naseer Ahmed, Azeem, Jamshaid, Nadeem, Murtaza, Iqbal, Ikram, Khalid and Shafique, Nabi Khan and one unidentified person.
Eyewitnesses said over a hundred gunmen equipped with sophisticated weapons and walkie-talkies barged into different areas of Malir and Landhi and resorted to firing at different locations dominated by Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
The police high ups termed the incident as a clash between the rival organisation, MQM and Muhajir Qaumi Movement-Haqqiqi (MQM-H), but MQM workers and residents asserted that it was a planned attack and that most of the attackers were Balcohs and Pushtoons.
Police sources said that two activists of Awami National Party (ANP), Mustaqeem and Akram Khan, were killed in Landhi and Quaidabad areas while an MQM-H activist Iqbal alias Ballo was also gunned down in the Quaidabd area.
Eyewitnesses said that assailants, who were thought to be Layari gangsters, came on expensive four-wheel-drive vehicles including double-cabin Parados and motorbikes. They entered the Ghazi Town and Aleemabad areas of Malir after the dawn prayers.
“We believe the attack was an attempt to let the MQM Haqqiqi capture the MQM offices and dominate the area,” said a girl who reached JPMC along with his brother injured during the ambush. She said, “We saw armed men having guns and walkie-talkies showering bullets on the houses of MQM workers and offices.” She said the attackers appeared to be mostly Balochs, Pushtoons while some of them were Urdu speaking.
The attackers were moving forward to different areas of Malir and targeting MQM Unit and Sector Offices and killing people without any discrimination on the way. She said, “We believe it was an attack by MQM-H with the help of Baloch gangsters of Layari to regain the control of the area ahead of the arrival of detained Haqqiqi leader Afaq Ahmed.”
After an attack at MQM Unit 100 Office located in Aleemabad, the armed convey moved toward other areas of Malir including Khokhrapar, Saudabad, Ammar Yasir Society and the adjacent areas where they killed men standing outside their homes.
Some residents said that armed men came from slum areas of Malir and got back to the slums after the attacks. They spent the night in different Goths situated in the surrounding areas of Malir such as Bahoo Goth, Asoo Goth, Jhokio Goth and barged into Malir at around 6:30am.
They said the attackers also attacked the houses of MQM workers and killed some MQM workers including Nadeem, Niaz, Naseer and Azeem in the early stage of the attack. Another MQM worker Salman Ahmed was shot dead near Ajmair Tower in the Gulshan-e-Mamar.
The MQM Unit Offices attacked included those numbered 94, 95, 96, 97, 98 and 100 where gunmen stayed for around two to three hours and exchanged fire with MQM workers, who were backed the residents, till the arrival of law enforcers at around 11am. They fled the areas on arrival of the law enforcement agencies, but stayed in Jhokio Goth till the evening. Residents alleged that they pinpointed to the police and Rangers about the locations of the terrorists but they were reluctant to take any action.
Similar ambush began in the Landhi area where armed men also forced their entry into the MQM dominated areas and tired to capture the MQM Unit 89. But the attackers met heavy resistance from the MQM workers and three of them were wounded who died on the way to hospital.
Co-ordination Committee of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) has strongly condemned prolonged hours of load-shedding in Karachi and the attack by armed persons on Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) installation that has compounded the situation. The Co-ordination Committee called for easing the load-shedding and protecting the expensive installations of the KESC. In a statement the Co-ordination Committee said that armed groups were causing damage to the grid stations and other sensitive installations of the KESC which was resulting in huge financial loss for the company. The Co-ordination Committee said that on the one hand load-shedding continued without any respite and on the other hand the public was being subjected to untold misery on the pretext of dispute between the management and the labour union. The committee said that Karachi was the epicentre of industrial and business activities in the country and hence causing damage to the property of the KESC amounted to a conspiracy against the people of Karachi. The silence by the government authorities in the face of these attacks is a matter of grave concern for the people particularly the business community of the city. Such attacks, the Co-ordination Committee said, could only worsen the power crisis in the city. The Co-ordination Committee demanded of President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, Governor Sindh Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad and Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and Provincial Home Minister Manzoor Wassan to take serious notice of armed attacks at KESC installations and the damage to the property. The Co-ordination Committee also appealed to free the people of Karachi from the menace of load-shedding.
Members of provincial assembly of Sindh belonging to Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) have expressed their deep concerns at the closure of offices by Karachi Electric Supply Company (KESC) and the suspension of operations. The MPAs said that the citizens of Karachi were bearing the brunt of the unending dispute between the KESC management and the labour union. In a joint statement the MPAs said that the lives of the common people had already become miserable due to prolonged power outages and unannounced load-shedding. Business activities were also suffering greatly in the absence of normal power supply.
The MPAs said that the installations of the KESC and its staff were not being given protection despite the orders of the Sindh High Court. They said that the criminal negligence of the KESC had worsened the electricity crises to such an extent that people had to go without electricity for long hours at a stretch. Water crisis had also developed in several areas because of unavailability of power at the pumping stations. People had been forced to come out on street because of the agony that they were facing.
The MPAs said that because of the protest of the KESC the faults were also not being removed that has compounded the problem. They demanded of President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, and Provincial Home Minister Manzoor Wassan to take immediate notice of the closing of offices by the KESC. The MPAs said that the government should provide security to the KESC and its staff and take concrete steps for the solution of the dispute between the management and labour union.