Sindh Minister, Dr. Zulfiqar Mirza in a fiery and emotional outburst on 13th December, 2010 at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry had indicated who is responsible for target killing in Karachi for the last 1 year or so. He pointed fingers at MQM as the cause of the menace facing Karachi, where extortion and ransom of businesses has reached highest possible levels. He had also mentioned that 26 target killers had been arrested and majority of those arrested belonged to a political party that rules Karachi. Off course he didn’t name the party nor the arrested killers. One can see the video of Dr. Mirza’s emotional outburst.
The MQM which was already planning to destabilize the government, used this as an opportunity to settle scores with Zulfiqar Mirza, even complaining to President Zardari that the home minister in Sindh will be responsible if the coalition breaks up.
The MQM later on firstly resigned from the federal cabinet, then decided to leave the coalition and only after Salmaan Taseer’s murder, something beckoned them to join the coalition back.
However, there was eerie silence on the 26 target killers. It seems the Joint Investigation Team formed by representatives of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Special Branch, and the Crime Investigation Unit (UNIT) have released the list in The Nation on 21st January, 2011.
The names of 24 arrested (instead of 26) revealed in The Nation resport that 13 of the arrested killers belong to MQM, 3 to MQM-Haqiqi, 6 to Sipah-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, 1 to ANP, 1 to Sipah Mohammad.
Though this is the first step, one has to commend the intelligence agencies for doing “their job” of providing surveillance and ensuring the people of Pakistan remain safe instead of being involved in promoting their own vested interests.
As far as MQM is concerned, you need to get rid of the ghunda element amongst you. This same ghunda element could have been responsible for killing Imran Farooq, just a few steps away from the MQM International Secretariat. The message could have been to Altaf Bhai that your days are numbered. Instead of blackmailing governments, MQM has to become party that it actually aspires to be.
A joint interrogation team set up by the federal and Sindh governments to interrogate the accused arrested on the charge of being involved in targeted killings in Karachi, has finalized the list of 26 hardcore “killers” involved in ethnic and sectarian killings during last one year in the metropolis.
The JIT comprising representatives of Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), Military Intelligence (MI), Intelligence Bureau (IB), Special Branch, and the Crime Investigation Unit (UNIT), unanimously finalized the list and sent it to the federal and provincial governments a couple of months ago.
It merits mentioning that this is the list that has often been mentioned by the Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza , however he never revealed the names of the detained target killers and their affiliations.
The names of the detained target killers and their affiliations are as follows, Habib-ur-Rehman s/of Majeed-ur-Rehman (MQM-A), Murad Akhtar Siddiqui s/of Minhajuddin Siddiqui (MQM-A), Jamal Abdul Nasir (MQM-A), Waseem Ahmad alias Barudi s/of Samiullah (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), Mohammad Abdullah alias Taimor s/of M.Riaz Shahid (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), Tahir Ali alias Topchi (MQM-A), Imran alias Irfan Lamba s/of Mehboob Ali (MQM-A), Shariq Nafees alias Sherri s/of Mohammad Nafees Shaikh (MQM-A), Atif Rasheed alias Gohar s/of Abdul Rasheed (MQM-A), Imran alias Akoo s/of Habibullah (MQM-A), Anas Bin Haroon s/of Haroon Rasheed (MQM-A), Syed Abu Irfan alias Urfi s/of Syed Abu Asad (MQM-A), Mohammad Ishtiaq alias Salman alias police wala (MQM-A), Mohammad Yaseen s/of Abdul Haq (MQM-A), Rizwan Mahmood alias Khalid chamber s/of Mehmood Khan (MQM-A), Maqbool Hussein alias Maqboola s/of Ali Hassan (MQM-Haqiqi), Hafiz Ikhlaq s/of Pervez Akhtar (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), Asif Rasheed alias Dumba s/of Haroon Rasheed (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi), Nasir Qadri s/of Abdul Qadeer (SSP), Mohammad Shoaib s/of Mohammad Ali (SSP), Mashwar Nawaz alias Mashwari s/of Anwar Khan (ANP), Syed Ali Mehdi alias Suleman s/of Syed Jaffer Ali (Sipah-e-Mohammad), Azhar Ali alias Uncle alias Babu s/of Abdul Rehman (MQM-Haqiqi), Abdul Aziz Ansari s/of Abdul Naseer Ansari (MQM-Haqiqi).
According to the JIT, these target killers, who were either arrested red handed or on tip-offs, have confessed to killing their rivals in different parts of Karachi.
Majority of the target killers who were apprehended and investigated by the Joint Interrogation team belong to MQM-A. They have confessed of getting orders from their high ups.
It has also been accepted by the culprits that most of the killings were due to petty issues such as refusal to pay for party fund or having any kind of links with their rivals.
“They are in the custody of law enforcing agencies, however when they would be presented before the media and tried in the courts, that is upto the government”, a member of the JIT told Online news Agency wishing not to be named.
“ Until and unless there is the policy of reconciliation, I don’t think they (killers) would be tried or presented before media”, he maintained.
Political circles often blame the PPP government for not taking the culprits involved in target killings that have engulfed over 1000 lives during last couple of years, just to save its fragile rule in center and Sindh.
Many other target killers have reportedly been released by the law enforcing agencies in recent past due to political pressures.