The War Within? Intra-Sunni conflict adds yet another dimension to Karachi’s war with itself.
By Massoud Ansari
Tension gripped Karachi and life in the city came to a grinding halt on Friday, May 18,when stick-wielding, turban-clad students from various seminaries took to the streets to demonstrate their muscle power. The protest came in the wake of the assassination of Maulana Saleem Qadri, chief of the rapidly growing fundamentalist organisation, the Sunni Tehreek.
Qadri, a high-profile Muslim cleric of the Barelvi school, was ambushed, apparently by a team of six well-trained assassins riding three motorbikes while he was on his way to Noorani Masjid in Rasheedabad no 7 for the Friday congregation. According to eyewitnesses, when the Maulana’s double cabin van slowed down due to a speed-breaker, the assailants sprayed it with bullets from three sides – right, left and front. Says an eyewitness, “They fired for at least seven to 10 minutes, after which they fled. No one had time to retaliate.”
Qadri and five others were killed on the spot, and three others, including his six-year-old son Bilal Raza, and eight-year-old nephew, Ahmed Raza, were wounded. The dead include Anis Qadri, 23, Mohammed Altaf Junejo, 40 (Qadri’s nephew and brother-in-law), Ibrahim Qadri, 30, van driver Abid Baloch, 30, and police constable, Hafeez Qadri.
Mysteriously, the corpse of one of the alleged killers, who was later identified as “Arshad alias Polka, an activist of the Sipha-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP)”, was also found in the vicinity of the Qadri killing soon afterwards.
salim khalid Says:
September 25th, 2008 at 12:59 am
This war in pakistan is being discussed on political chatshows from purely political point of view but I wish somebody starts looking at this war from the point of view of sectarianism. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan is a Deobandi organization. Lashkar-e-Islam is a Deobandi outfit too. And it’s head with a funny name Mangal Bagh is deobandi as well. It’s simply the extremist Deobandi Wahabi ideology at war with moderate majority ehl-e-sunnat State of Pakistan. For these Deobandi militants, both the state of pakistan and the Western World are infidels. Now the State of Pakistan has to decide whether it wants to team up with the West to kill the enemy within first. OR if they want to team up with the enemy within to fight against the West. The conventional wisdom says destroy the enemy within first. So I wouldn’t mind if Pakistan teams up with the West to kill the enemy within first for the simple reason: GHAR KA BHAIDI LANKA DHAYE. This enemy within is a greater danger to Pakistan than the Western World.