How some see Karachi situation


    Comment by S.R.H. Hashmi:

    First, the article ‘Words of consequence’ by Syed Talat Hussain. (February 1).

    The writer basically makes two points. First, the North Waziristan operation, where he applauds the army chief for fair degree of success against terrorists. However, he claims that the success is not complete in a situation where eighty-five percent of the displaced population has been unable to return to its homes.

    And then he takes up Karachi operation, claiming that the objective behind it was not just to reduce the crime rate or catch high-profile criminals: it was to recast Karachi’s politics – for good. Gangs within the MQM and the PPP (in this order of preference and never simultaneously) were to be neutralized and a new leadership was to emerge to take charge of more civilized and corruption-terror-free parties. The space created by normal politics of urban Sindh was to be filled by parties like the PTI, PML-F and, in certain pockets, the Jamaat-e-Islami. The idea behind the original blueprint of the Karachi Operation was to make sure that this financial hub and economic nerve centre is reclaimed from the hands of brutal mafias who use politics as a cover to protect their vast underworld empires.

    Now, It would be most unfortunate if, after two earlier attempts to eliminate MQM, and clearly seeing the disastrous results of the armed forces misadventures into the unfamiliar territory of politics, they were to once again start a similar venture like redesigning the political landscape of Karachi. We ought to remember that the bright ones tried to give Pakistan ‘strategic depth’ by sponsoring Taliban and the like and ended up endangering whatever is left of Pakistan.

    Moreover, the three named parties have scant presence in Karachi. Also, PTI has not much of a track record and obviously a big, complex city like Karachi would have been far beyond it capacity to manage. And it would hardly make sense to ‘establish’ Jamaat Islami in Karachi when its leaning towards TTP and the like is well-known, and the nation is trying to curb intolerance, militancy, extremism and terrorism.

    Now about the article ‘Zarb-e-Azb in danger of losing its

    Way’ by Ayaz Amir. (February 2)

    He lauds army’s success in FATA.

    On the situation in Karachi, he declares that the problem was terrorism and the stranglehold of violence, and definitely not corruption or mis-governance of a corrupt administration.

    And he further narrows down violence to ethnic-based politics and the dominance, stretching back over the past 30 years, of a particular Karachi-centric political party.

    He has very conveniently ignored the earlier 38 years of Pakistan’s history. No mention at all of what a father-and-son team did to Karachi and Karachiites during that period. And no mention either of the various Ittehads (alliances) formed in Karachi to victimize Urdu-speaking community who were ultimately forced to organize themselves to ensure their security and survival.

    And seeing all of Karachi’s problems in its past 30 years history, and declaring corruption and mis-governance (of PPP) to be an undesirable, but sort of harmless activity, he expresses shock at Rangers taking on Peoples Party.

    Being shocked enough as the writer was about the arrest of Dr. Asim Hussain, he is in total despair at the arrest of Uzair Baloch, more so because in his own words, even if he (Uzair Baloch) has any beans to spill, one could safely bet that the beans will neither be related to the MQM nor the TTP. So, how come Rangers touch Uzair Baloch; his association with top Peoples Party leadership, his close association and patronizing by Peoples Party interior minister Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza, Amn committee and all that notwithstanding. And Zulfiqar Mirza’s proud boast of issuing 300,000 arms licences – and not for celebratory firing on weddings – of course had no implications for Karachi’s peace.

    Enough said for now.