Mustafa Kamal's plea for amnesty to MQM workers
Calling Mustafa Kamal's plea bizarre, the editorial says that the plea for amnesty should have been made to the civilian government - meaning Peoples Party in this case - and not the army chief.
However, we know that Bilawal recently declared gleefully that MQM was finished and his dad praised as a 'brave kid' encounter specialist, suspended SSP Rao Anwar who became Peoples Party favourite during the party's brutal operation against MQM, for specialists services rendered. And we saw CM Murad Ali Shah's passion for felling down over a hundred MQM offices for allegedly having been built illegally, while those of other parties were left untouched. Now, in these circumstances, would it make sense to approach Peoples Party government on the issue?
One should also remember that Urdu-speaking people were not ethnically minded, which is why they did not even think of projecting their separate ethnicity for nearly thirty years. Actually, they were forced to organize and stand up in self defence against an onslaught by Ayub Khan and son, which continued in various forms and by different alliances all along.
And COAS is connected with the issue by virtue of armed forces personnel occupying top position within Rangers which force is engaged in Karachi operation and, in a well-documented case, MQM's Aftab Ahmed died of torture in Rangers custody.
Also, unlike PPP government, COAS can afford to be be neutral in the matter which is not possible for a highly biased Peoples Party, especially on this issue.
I do admit that while responding to excesses committed against Urdu-speaking people, some MQM workers went too far and in time, made it their style. However, they have been thoroughly battered through various operations against them by Peoples Party government, the military and now Sindh Rangers. And now, they are definitely in no position to, neither will they want to adopt the old pattern again, having seen clearly what it did to them.
So what is wrong with "asking the army chief to grant a “one-time amnesty” to the youth of Karachi similar to the offers made to “militants in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa/Fata” - and to those who did, what they did to and in former East Pakistan and Bengalis - and have done much greater damage to Pakistan?