Nadeem Paracha defends Ejaz Haider?

In keeping with an established pattern of voicing a racist, bigoted and pro-military establishment discourse, Ejaz Haider’s latest article in Express Tribune (Karachi: Welcome to Hell) is no different.  It is replete with racist stereotypes, half truths and omissions.

He starts his typically abusive screed like this:

“Karachi, today, is a violent urban jungle with an assortment of lowlifes keeping the population hostage to their bastardly instincts. Consider the list of culprits.”

And in the very next line specifically pinpoints “the scions of Baloch and Sindhi sardars and waderas”.

While reinforcing urban stereotypes in referring to the recent (highly selective) civil society outrage on the one murder of Shahzeb Khan’s, the rest of Ejaz Haider’s list of grievances suddenly becomes non-specific.  The non-specificity regarding the ethnic origins of Karachi’s diverse criminals should never have been the basis of any article.  The vicious and racist anti-Baloch/anti-Sindhi ethnic stereotypes that Ejaz Haider uses should never have been allowed by the editorial board at ET.

The racist generalizations by Ejaz Haider are even more cruel when examined in the background of facts of Karachi’s Sindhi and Baloch origins. That Karachi’s indigenous population, marginalized since Partition, are now reduced to racist ethnic stereotypes and selectively blamed for all its problems is a typical attitude found amongst the Migrant-Punjabi urban elites of Karachi.

However, such despicable behavior is par for the course for some celebrated and self-anointed “European Liberals” that are nothing more than the abusive mouthpieces for Pakistan’s military establishment.

On Twitter, dozens of Baloch, Sindhi and other activists took Ejaz Haider to task for his blatant racism and bias. However, some people, his usual promoters, affiliates and apologists remained unsurprisingly silent.  This is consistent with their previous pattern:

Ejaz Haider’s ethnic biases against the Pashtuns were exposed by Farhat Taj.  Further substantiation of Ejaz’s racist chauvinism can be gauged from the fact that aside from his crude ethnic stereotyping of Sindhis and Baloch, there is no reference to the Punjabi origins of Sipah Sahaba (ASWJ-LeJ Deobandi militants) that has made Karachi into the killing fields  with daily murders and massacres of Shias. There is also no mention of the target killers belonging to the ethno-fascist mafias of MQM – a party that represents some sections of the upper-middle classes belonging to the Settler  (Muhajir) migrant population segment of Karachi.  Crime and terrorism should not be defined in the crude ethnic stereotypes employed by Ejaz Haider whose selective bias is clear when he omits the primarily ethnic factionalism that lead to the formation of MQM and Sipah Sahaba by General Zia ul Haq.

Not surprisingly, MQM supporters of Ejaz Haider remain silent to his latest racist and selective diatribe

In his previous column in ET (Cutting the lying about the TTP) Ejaz Haider had once again sneakily propagated the false binary of Good Taliban/Bad Taliban by reinforcing the military establishment’s artificial distinction between the transnational Taliban that straddle the Pak-Afghan border.

“Some, let it be said clearly, are in the pay of hostile intelligence agencies. They are not the Afghan Taliban that Kabul wants to talk to and it is deceptive to put them in the same category.”

All the various groups within the Taliban publicly cede authority to the central figure of Mullah Omar and share the same violent, misogynist and bigoted Takfiri Deobandi ideology.  Their origins and their continued support and protection can all be traced back to Pakistan’s military establishment and Judiciary. To expect anything different from a  hack like Ejaz Haider-  former director of the Jinnah Institute that played a major role in reinforcing this lie -would be asking for too much.

So,  while Pakistan’s alternative bloggers and social media activists correctly pointed out this latest bit of obfuscation by Ejaz Haider, it was very disappointing to see a liberal writer and MQM supporter Nadeem Paracha jumping to the defense of this glorified ISPR mouthpiece.  For all his writings against religious extremism, it was surprising to see Nadeem fall for this jugglery by Ejaz Haider.


Does Pakistan army really need national consensus to take action against the Taliban! This lack of “consensus never stopped the same army (with support from its MQM) from undermining the current government on the Kerry Lugar Bill. Lack of “consensus” never stopped the Army from laying down the foundations and structure of religious extremism which continues with the DPC today. It did not stop the army from dismissing various elected governments or hanging Bhutto on trumped up charges.

Read Wusatullah Khan’s article on BBC Urdu:

Just like it is disappointing to see Nadeem not to take a stand on Ejaz Haider’s racist and selective propaganda on Karachi. However, given Nadeem’s uncritical support for the MQM -then again, is there any such thing as a critical supporter of MQM in the first place – it is not surprising to see him stay silent here.

The rest of Ejaz Haider’s article follows the same course of outright lies and omissions. So while the government is abused even if undertook two damaging operations in the PPP-dominated area of Lyari, there is no mention of the fact of how MQM regularly blackmails this weak central government to scuttle police operations against its vast criminal networks. There is no mention of how a weak PPP government cannot afford to lose MQM support in the assemblies and derail a transition to democracy.

Ofcourse, the only one to expose MQM’s criminality, the former PPP minister Zulfiqar Mirza is criticized – in keeping with the tradition of another pro MQM blog, the now defunct Café Pyala (also known as Café Jhangvi for its anti-Shia posts).

The best is reserved for last.

Like the rest of Pakistan’s deeply compromised media, Ejaz cannot help himself in gushing over the selective performance of the compromised Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry. The same judiciary that freed ASWJ VP Malik Ishaq Deobandi and MQM’s chief hitman, Ajmal Pahari, with nearly 200 murder cases between the two of them and whose organizations are the chief causes of crime in Karachi, is the hero in Ejaz’s article and the government is the villain. The PPP Government must be held accountable for its spinelessness and incompetence in many areas.  However, to present an unelected and even worst bureaucracy as the alternate and to omit condemning the MQM for the law and disaster in Karachi is a new low even for Ejaz Haider.

Ejaz Haider’s body of work is good enough to evaluate the dark places from where he comes. This is the same ISPR shill who advocated in favour of Hafiz Saeed and against Dr. Afridi.  This is the same person who abused an elected president while praising a dictator appointed Chief Justice. His anti-Pashtun, anti-Baloch, anti-Shia and now anti-Sindhi views come across clearly in his articles. His comparison of Pakistan’s most respected scientist and peace activist, Professor Pervaiz Hoodbhoy with a Pakistan army general is laughable and reflective of a very sick mind.

The division is very clear and it is both sad and shameful to see who is standing with Ejaz Haider.