Even a cursory look at these reports immediately suggests that they are more of confessional rather than investigative reports. The very narrative of these reports is based on transcription of the confessions of the alleged killers as evident from 1) “He disclosed that…” beginning to each alleged murder story as against a investigative narrative to such story, 2) the need for the alleged killers to be challaned, investigated and prosecuted for the confessed murders as asserted by the JIT itself suggesting that investigation is yet to be done.
Almost all of the target killers linked to the MQM interestingly have yet to be produced in court for perusal of cases against them. In cases, where counsel of such target killers themselves sought to expedite prosecution of his client, such counsels were assassinated to ensure the same could not happen as in the case of Zia Alam who was a counsel representing Ajmal Pahari and was killed while he was seeking court’s intervention to start judicial proceedings against his client.
Even in case of some of these accused killers whose case have been taken to courts, the police has ensured that these cases don’t go towards the point where the accused gives his statement in front of the court and his counsel. These facts seem to suggest that the government fears that such statement given by the accused will be entirely different from the coercion-based confessions to the police and JIT otherwise one fails to understand the reason for delay in prosecution of these alleged target killers. But of course if the statement of these accused persons in court clearly refutes their statement to the police then it would pretty much neutralize government’s bargaining chip vis-à-vis MQM and therefore the need to ensure that such statements don’t happen at all.
It is also important to note that the statement given by an accused to the police is by default considered to have been taken under coercion and the same is, as per legal standards, normally totally disregarded relative to the statement given in front of the court that is assumed to be free of coercion and as per accused’s free will.
Reports regularly published by the HRCP onKarachi’s target killing repeatedly identify MQM as the biggest sufferer of such killings. And yet only three target killers were from other parties while all the rest were from MQM. But of course, you cannot accept the government (both civil and military sides) to prosecute their own proxies.
The aforementioned use of JIT for political blackmailing reminds one of the 90s when similar JITs accused people affiliated with the MQM of spectacular crimes such as the conspiracy to create Jinnahpaur (as per the accusation, maps of Jinnahpur were found hanging on the walls of each of the party’s unit offices – one wonders why a conspiracy will be left hanging at hundreds of places in the city easily accessible for anyone in the public), attempt to contaminate with poison the water source of Karachi (which would have certainly killed all family and party-men of the accused persons as well, as they could be assumed to be residing in Karachi but the accused somehow stupidly didn’t realize this danger), killing of American National Union Texas employees (while also self-contradicting such accusation by portraying the accused as American agents as well). The lattermost accusation of course was meant to defame the MQM not only locally but also internationally.
However, interestingly, despite the MQM men confessing to such spectacular crimes to the police, they denied the same in front of the court and were also subsequently acquitted of such charges. In fact, for many of these spectacular crimes, the police never brought any charges against the accused for fear of their own insult and possible reprimand & counter-prosecution by the defense. However, video confessions of MQM men accepting commission of such crimes were nevertheless enough for the government then to defame the party both in local and international press with many failing to realize that these are confessions (and that also those given to the police) and not convictions.