Thursday, May 17, 2007

Karachiites on Events in Karachi

A lot of the discussion around what happened in Karachi starting on the 12th of May has been centered on the role of the MQM. I thought readers might appreciate reading the following exchange between a few people who, though they spend most of their time living outside Karachi, strongly feel and identify with the city. [At least one of them has written in "Karachi" under "Ethnic Background" on the US Census form.]

First, a comment from a person on a mailing list:

A dictator supporting another dictator

Time and again events have proved that MQM is not a political party; it is a core group of criminals and a large body of naive people gathered around a cult figure. The simpletons believe the party is working for their rights. The core group of ruffians makes sure there is no internal dissent to the Pir who in turn dishes out favors to this group. The people at fault are the naive of Karachi who neither have any political maturity nor a desire to come out of this quagmire.

To which I thought two responses were very instructive. Please read both. I found Saquib Mausoof's comment below one that really resonated, at least for me:

But first, from Umair Muzaffar of Pleasanton, California:

Before I begin ... I want to first clarify that I am not a member of any political or any ethno political party or any military institution, I am just a simple Pakistani who was raised in Karachi.

And now a few observations:-

Somehow this whole issue has been turned into MQM, the viability of MQM, need for MQM, all the evils because of the MQM and shifted the debate from the dictator Musharraf getting rid of an allegedly corrupt Chief Justice and that Chief Justice going berserk in political activism while still trying push his case through the supreme judicial council and the Supreme Court.

The reality is that MQM has always been used by Pakistani establishment to quell fingers from pointing at itself.

We may raise all the faults that exist at the MQM organization and justify by providing very real facts ... but the reality still is that MQM is no different from any other powerhouse that calls itself a political party. The other two parties PPP and Muslim League also have the same leadership for almost as long as MQM. Any dissent towards leadership in these parties has also been crushed in similar fashion as done by MQM.

The problem with MQM is that it, on most parts, represents an ethnic minority ... that until recently has been sidelined by other ethnicities in every aspect of the national or local affairs. Thus everyone, including us on this group starts to point finger at the MQM and what it allegedly represents.

Sometimes veiled and sometimes unveiled non-acceptance of what MQM represents is a norm ... specially from the non-Karaciite journalist institutions. This non-acceptance is at times similar to the non-acceptance of the East Pakistan based popular institutions before the 1971 debacle.

We have to realize that MQM is supporting what it claims is an elected President and his reference in the Supreme Court and the process that the
government claims is constitutional.

All the lives lost, either by-standers caught in the fire fight, opposition workers/fighters, MQM workers/fighters, law enforcement personnel and all
the others who lost their lives - lost it because of the STUPIDITY of everyone including the MQM, the Government, the opposition parties and YES the Chief Justice --- who is not willing to rely on the Supreme Court that he until recently was heading. Blaming these deaths solely on the MQM is as narrow minded as blaming the entire Israeli - Palestinian issue on the Palestinians or on the Israelis or on the Americans.

There were fighters on both sides ... both sides were shooting ... both sides were dealt casualties ... both sides killed. Everyone saw the video

Can we be a little objective here?

And now Saquib Mausoof:

Yes, it is a dictator supporting another dictator, however, the fact that you consider MQM not a political party but a core group of criminals reminds me the rhetorics on War Agianst terrorism when Taliban were declared 'enemy combatants' since they don't wear uniforms, and send them Camp X-Ray?

I think it is very easy to fall prey to jingoism when one's own city is hurt. Anyone who has visited Karachi has seen what the Musharraf years have done for the city. the goverment has been MQM and it has been good for business.

True MQM has demonstarted repeatedly their appetite for destruction, but instead of letting this movement mature democraticaly (BJP in India is a good example, they took leadership on democracy and become somewhat mainstream) we have a tendency to call them criminals.

I think this is a mistake.

However, this could have been controlled if the Federal Goverment had not allowed MQM free reign in the city and used them to do their dirty work. For this MQM will pay dearly and they should.
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Anonymous said...

Reporters Without Borders have voiced serious concern over threats issued to Pakistani reporters covering the causes and consequences of the 12 May tragedy in Karachi.

Threatening media personnel is not an aberration for MQM.

It is a persistence posture of intimidation evident for the past five years that MQM
is a coalition partner in Sind province and at the centre.

One example is Ban on The STAR. Published by the DAWN Group of Newspapers, the STAR, prior to suspending publication, in 2006, was Karachi’s leading evening

In February 2005, the MQM took exception to a story in the paper that raised questions about the death in custody of a suspect. Alleging defamation, the MQM instituted criminal proceedings against the STAR, despite the fact that lawyers acting on behalf of the STAR, offered as per the policy of the DAWN Group to publish their version of the said impugned article. The Court proceedings are still subjudice.

The efforts to intimidate the STAR peaked when the newspaper raises issues regarding the death in police custody of a suspect. The report is made the basis of criminal proceedings against the newspaper under the Defamation Ordinance 2002, and the matter is still subjudice.

How journalists are in effect paralyzed from performing their tasks is clear from the fact that
under the Defamation Ordinance, the presence of all cited persons is required at every court hearing. They must also seek the court’s permission every time they leave the city or the country; the reporter involved is restrained from
travelling on assignment; this constitutes harassment even before the verdict of whether defamation actually took place or not has been given.

See a summary of similar heavy-handed actions meted out by MQM to influence media by coercion:

Anonymous said...


Taliban would not be motivated to kill Benazir.

Musharraf is their bigger enemy who assisted the americans against them with tremendous logistical support.

Her brother was killed in Karachi by the MQM. They are the most callous, irreligious, and secular hardened killers, with no compassion just like Musharraf. For example, who killed the registrar of the supreme court, execution style ?

They are bonded to Musharraf by the Mohajir blood.

Musharraf is a stooge of America. His ONLY son in there and so are his brothers. He trusts them. He is being tutored personally by Negroponte. CIA provides free consulting to him and Negroponte personally tutors him. Ponte went there to tutor Musharraf on how to handle the JUDICIARY in a machiavellian fashion, by inflicting a mortal disabling wound , and that is exactly what Mush did.

The zionists and hindu are quietly watching because Mush and MQM is doing their job and you maintain pin-drop silence when your enemy is destroying itself.

This is the way to handle an islamic nuclear country by making it crumble from inside by putting a militant minority of biharis (who were the back-stabbers to their very neighbors and muslim brothers, the bengalis in 1971 on the basis of language and ethnicity) like the Kallu Mush, on top of the majority in the country. Being cornered, they will heartily and mightily fight and destroy each other with wanton and abandon.

Being cornered, they will heartily and mightily fight and destroy each other with wanton and abandon, AND MAKE NO MISTAKE, SRI-LANKA is a proven case of SAVAGE TAMIL HINDU TERROR. Biharis are temperamentally very much like that.

Musharraf and MQM believes that it is their historic opportunity to setup a Mohajir Caliphate - forever.

The goal of CIA, Mossad, RAW is to create Tamil-Sinhalese intensity and style hatred in Pakistan, and MQM is the perfect tool. We must guard against it and resuscitate a hero like Dr A.Q.Khan to serve as the bridge. It will kill many birds with one stone.

It will kill many birds with one stone.

It will kill many birds with one stone.

Musharraf and MQM dream has no feasibility, but their belief in it will indeed make the CIA/Mossad/RAW plan not only feasible but successful.

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