Karachi, Fire Rages On – by Saif Ali Azad

Karachi, the unfortunate city is once again burning; the current wave of bloodshed, target killing and terror rattled the city once again. It is presenting like wore torn city, bullet riddled bodies, corpses, fire engulfed vehicles, buses and buildings. This is not the first time, the people of Karachi witnessed it a regular drill. After coming across the current reign of terror you can not differentiate that you are watching a live show or some Indian movies on the pretext of Mafia and Dons. There are several questions that are holing in the minds of people. Why the people of Karachi facing the music? Who is behind target killing and brutal butchering of innocent citizens? Who is settling personal score killing innocent citizens? How long this butchering will continue?

All these questions are not a riddle; they are not so tough to answer, Every single child and citizen of Pakistan know who is behind these gruesome incidents. Gone were the golden days when Karachi was a peaceful city, but it was the era before 1984. However after inception of MQM, The people of Karachi did not inhale a single sigh of relief. Peace departed, tranquility vanished and harmony lost. There is no reason, not to blame MQM for terrorist activities. Muhajir Qaumi Movement was created, because of Zia-ul-Haq’s interest in encouraging the MQM and providing it with training and firearms was two-fold. First, it was seen to be a counterpoise to the Pakistan People’s Party in the big cities of Sindh. Second, it aimed to divide Sindh on ethnic lines. Supported by Zia and criminal mindset, this organization was associated with extortion, gun smuggling and South African crime networks. Despite the allegations of terrorism, political opposition and Operation Cleanup, MQM survived and continued to appeal those who believed in its roots. MQM resorted to urban terrorism which soon transformed Karachi and Hyderabad into cities violence, looting and murder. MQM had created a sizeable group of hardcore criminals amongst its members who with the support of its leaders, terrorized, murdered and looted with impunity.MQM also introduced the bhatta system to which Mohajir shopkeepers, businessmen and industrialists were obliged to contribute. Refusal to pay or a sign of dissent in MQM stronghold could result in torture, loss of property or even loss of life. The MQM has also frequently called strikes in Karachi and other cities in Sindh province and used killings and other violence to keep shops closed and people off the streets. During strikes, MQM-A activists have ransacked businesses that remained open and attacked motorists and pedestrians who ventured outside. The MQM raises funds through extortion, narcotics smuggling, and other criminal activities. In addition, Mohajirs in Pakistan and overseas provide funds to the MQM through charitable foundations. It is MQM that turned a peaceful city into a hotbed of terrorism, target killing and murder. Blaming PPP is just calling the kettle black. PPP has a clean and fair history not tainted one like that of MQM.

Coming back into recent spat of bloodshed, the blame game is one. The same old rhetoric of MQM that PPP is behind this unrest and pandemonium that left Karachi weeping and mourning. Zulfiqar Mirza was the prime target because he always called spades a spade against MQM. He was becoming a nightmare for the hooligans of MQM. Mirza is being lambasted, maligned and vilified. Of course, no sane person backs Zulfiqar Mirza’s recent statement about Urdu speakers in Karachi, His meeting with Afaq Ahmed, leader of MQM Haqeeqi, facing fabricated cases like President Asif Ali Zardari and His candid declaration about Afaq Ahmed. However, facts remain facts, how much you distort. The statement of Zulfiqar Mirza was not a party statement, it was his personal opinion. Not only party but Mirza himself apologized for his sentiments ushered statement. Now coming on recent meeting of Mirza with Afaq Ahmed, there is no second opinion that Afaq Ahmed was one among the founders of MQM, he was the man of that caliber who could run MQM much better than Altaf Hussain. Infact, Altaf Hussain, axed him, because he knew until Afaq Ahmed is there, he could never become the kingpin of MQM. Leaving aside the role of Afaq Ahmed, one should confess that all the charges against Afaq Ahmed are politically motivated and engineered at the behest of MQM, because he poses a real threat to the existence of MQM.
The reaction against the statement of ex-home minister Zulfiqar Mirza was not unusual. Whenever a statement or decision annoys MQM, the poor people of Karachi face the music. Their properties are torched, their homes are burnt and their lives become more insecure. Playing havoc with the lives of citizens is a predicted response by MQM in such cases. This situation is de ja vu. MQM wants Karachi under their power, thus in tug o war, they spare no brutal tactics to threaten people. MQM should confess, their vote bank is just because of use of the barrel of the gun and nothing else. If the people do not vote in favor of MQM, they are simple butchered clueless, I am sure when people succeed to get rid of this paranoia, MQM will hardly get few hundred votes.
MQM is constantly failing to realize that the era to contain people using coercion is over. Karachi was a litmus test for MQM and it badly failed in restoring law and order situation in Karachi. On the other hand MQM is flexing it muscles to the other cities of Pakistan including all the metropolitans. After power showdown in Karachi by MQM, not even a single citizen from other parts of Pakistan would vote MQM. Hitherto MQM appeared as an ethnic group labeled with terrorists, murderer, extortionist and violent group. This is not the way to attain the status of National Party, for this purpose MQM would have to pursue politics of national interests. MQM would have to abandon all the criminal activities, this is the only way forward, otherwise it will become relic of the past.



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