Political re-engineering of Karachi

  • There have been allegations in the print and electronic media about the 'meddling' by the Sindh Rangers in the political scene in Karachi, and more so in respect of the recent drama about the coming together of PSP and MQM-P.

    However, the DG Rangers flatly denied that the establishment played any part (in the unsuccessful attempt) at the formation of an alliance between MQM-P and PSP, which is in quite a contrast to the clear-cut statement of Mustafa Kamal, and his version stands somewhat corroborated by the DG Rangers remark "a military official might have shared an opinion that an alliance would be in the interest of the city, but this is not our institutional policy."

    Quite obviously, the 'opinion sharing' would have been done by a senior official and if he was convinced of it, it is more than likely that he would have tried to shove it down the throats of leaders of concerned and cornered parties on other occasions as well. After all, Urdu-speaking community is the one that officials feel free to take liberty with, without fear of serious consequences. And the well-documented case of torture and death of MQM senior member Aftab Ahmed in Rangers custody - for which no befitting punishment has been announced - would not have occurred in pursuance of any 'institutional policy'.

    Moreover, we saw that when Sindh Rangers wanted to start Karachi-like operations in interior Sindh, they were stopped from doing so. And we know that Punjab government also did not allow them a free hand.

    The present DG Rangers also rejected Mustafa Kamal's assertion that MQM-P was formed in former DG Rangers office, saying "If MQM was created by the armed forces, would we still be pursuing cases against them?"

    The DG Rangers also stated "The cases registered against MQM leaders Farooq Sattar, Amir Khan and others, following the events of August 22, 2016, were still ongoing and our lawyers still appear before the court to pursue these cases."

    Rangers continue to hound MQM leaders in respect of a speech made by a drunk, lunatic Altaf Hussain over whom the MQM members in Pakistan had not control. And this despite their rejection of the speech, making a complete break from him and the London setup as well as presenting a resolution in the Sindh Assembly against it. What else could this be called except unfair pressure tactics? After all, Ayub Khan, who derailed the democratic process by setting the trend of martial laws, created circumstances for dismemberment of Pakistan through his mistreatment and deprivation of majority Bengalis, and did much the same to Urdu-speaking people, forcing them to realize their separate ethnicity about which they had not bothered about for three decades. Thus cornered, the Urdu-speaking community had no choice but to get organized in their self-defence and for survival against various ethnic alliances which were formed to corner them, and which circumstances gave rise to APMSO and MQM. And Ayub's nominee General Yahya presided over the dismemberment of Pakistan in the most shameful manner.

    And yet, neither Ayub Khan nor Yahya Khan were taken to courts.

    No doubt Pakistanis and more so Karachiites appreciate the efforts of Sindh Rangers and police who brought much-needed relief to Karachi, and in the process, gave many sacrifices. However, this success does not entitle them to take liberty with MQM-P members. Also, it is not a victory of such tremendous proportions that they should feel like reminding Karachiites of it every now and then because, after all, it is a 'victory' against a party whose members offered no physical resistance to them. After all, things are far from satisfactory in Balochistan - and this putting it mildly - despite best efforts by various groups of law enforcers.