Karachi Target Killing

Towards understanding the Real Game in Karachi

Stoking ethnic tensions for national security

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Read how the military establishment is trying to divert the insurgents from the risky and less lucrative insurgency in Balochistan and Tribal areas to a highly lucrative, state-directed & state-patronized ethnic conflict in Karachi.

Read how those killing or facilitating killing of Baloch and Pakhtun in thousands in Balochistan and KP & tribal areas are conspiring to pit Baloch and Pukhtuns against the Muhajirs in Karachi.     

Eversince the Kayani, Pasha duo has taken over, there has been a consistent focus on creating and strengthening of proxy militant forces in theKarachicity. In this context, pre-poll rigging and arrangements were made to enable ANP to win two seats whereas such party has no history of political successes in the province. Afterwards, through a carefully orchestrated plan of provocation, killings of pukhtuns were initiated in the city to win-over public sympathy for ANP as a pukhtun nationalist force. This was followed by diverting elements from different mercenary militant elements in tribal areas through better monthly payments inKarachiwith further incentives of extortion within their areas of influence. Ask any pukhtun and he will tell you that ANP makes open offers of PKR 8-10,000 of monthly salary plus the highly lucrative proposition of 50 to even 100% of extorted sums in the respective localities to lure pukhtuns to join the party. The establishment feels this strategy has served the dual purpose of 1) weakening the resistance from such mercenary militant groups to the security forces in tribal areas by diverting them to Karachi and 2) strengthening anti-MQM proxy challenge of ANP in Karachi. The reason for confronting the MQM is that the establishment distrusts and dislikes MQM and the Muhajir community associated with it, as much as they dislike the Balochis and apprehends, as per their own perverted sense of national security, that the MQM and Muhajirs may be dragged into a great game against the Pakistani federation inKarachi. This entire apprehension is based not on intentions of the respective party and community but their capability given their strong presence inKarachi. And of course, as our beloved army chief himself narrated, they base their defense strategy not on intentions but on capabilities.

To further strengthen the ANP challenge and to add local knowledge to the militant challenge, elements of MQM-Haqiqi under control of ISI (Afaq Ahmed group) were given protection cover under ANP to add to their strength. This is evident from the fact that the few dozen such Haqiqi elements are either based in Sherpao Colony in Landhi, which otherwise is a 100% pukhtun locality and is an ANP stronghold, or in Malir Cantt. Also reports suggest, that pukhtun elements within different Taliban factions, previously experienced in ISI’s proxy fights in Kashmir and Afghanistan, have also been embedded in ANP and were a key player in the Orangi and Qasba colony mayhem (in the first week of July 2011) along with the mercenary militant elements of the tribal areas. Insiders say that such proxy challenge has been purposedly structured within ANP as the party otherwise has secular credentials therefore it will be difficult to prove role of militant elements from tribal areas in theKarachi mayhem (as such elements are working under cover of ANP). It is because of this that knowledgeable people are of the opinion that Shahi Syed is merely a figurehead and it is covert state agencies who are essentially working to create and manage different gangs camouflaged within the ANP as without involvement of such agencies, MQM Haqiqi (Muhajir nationalist) could not be made to embrace ANP (a pukhtun nationalist party).

The establishment’s interest is in painting the Karachi violence as an ethnic conflict so the choice of Orangi and Qasba colony as these areas have previously seen many such state-inspired episodes of ethnic killings including the one after the 1985 Bushra Zaidi case. The logic in presenting the conflict as an ethnic strife is to 1) present the conflict as purely between citizens with no involvement whatsoever of the state, 2) stifle the connection between tribal areas and Karachi (as explained above, that the military establishment is diverting pukhtun mercenary militant elements from tribal areas towards a more lucrative mercenary militant role within ANP in Karachi) and 3) to use carefully orchestrated ethnic violence to defame the MQM as an ethnic militant force responsible for Karachi violence and therefore prepare the ground for the army to move in with popular support in Karachi.

In addition to the ANP, the establishment has also orchestrated creation and/or strengthening other anti-MQM proxy forces. In order to further strengthen the concept of ethnic conflict, the establishment has also carefully pit the People’s Amn Committee (mostly comprising Balochis) against the MQM. This also serves another strategic interest of the establishment, which is to keep the two most potent forces in the city, MQM and Baloch, from joining hands. Apart from the Urdu-speaking ethnicity, the other most disliked and distrusted ethnicity of the security establishment is the Baloch as evident from the gruesome series of extrajudicial killings, at the hand of agencies, of innocent Baloch in Balochistan. Since both these communities have been repeatedly subjected to military operations and state-sponsored mass killings therefore the natural affinity between them.

With this in background, sympathetic elements from both communities including the MQM have made repeated efforts to forge together the two communities and to stifle the PAC’s aggression against the MQM under pressure from the PPP. It is exactly to unnerve such efforts that Abdul-Rehman Baloch was then extra-judicially murdered by PPP as he refused to play the proxy role against the MQM. Such murder was meant to give a stern message to the rest of the elements within PAC from refusing to toe the PPP line. So their only guarantee of survival now is their acquiescence to be used against the MQM. Interestingly, how the military establishment and the PPP collaborate towards this aim to tame the PAC in an adversarial role against the MQM is how the rangers (essentially under control of army) and police (under control of PPP) play a ‘good cop-bad cop’ game against thePAC.Rangers have at least thrice used their discretionary powers in the city to take limited, symbolic actions against the PAC only to be rescued by the PPP and the police. This is again meant to give clear signal to the PAC that only PPP can shelter them from the ranger’s wrath and therefore be compelled to toe the PPP line.

It is only after concluding that the PPP and the ISI have been able to fully absorb the PAC in their influence that the MQM then had to exert pressure on them and use their bargaining position in the national assembly to have PAC declared banned. This, in PPP and ISI’s view, was beneficial for them in the long-term as it would help to further estrange the PAC from MQM.

Another active political entity within the Baloch is the Balochistan separatist elements. Under pressure from the ruthless oppression of the military, many of these elements escape to Karachi to seek shelter only to be trapped in another gruesome game of the establishment, which in simple is “Become part of PAC or ANP or you will meet the same body-bag fate here as well.”  Those, deeply committed to the Baloch cause, who dare to decline, their body bag is found inKarachiin the same manner as it’s found in Balochistan. The rest become reluctant fighters withinPAC.And those who through around such body bags however make sure it is in an area of MQM’s influence so as to further conspire to pit the Baloch against the MQM.

The elements within PAC are also reluctant to fight against the MQM as they know that if MQM is again able to come into government in a MQM-led collation (like from 2002-2007) then they will have to face the wrath. However, despite such pressure on the PAC, the PPP still thought that the PAC and the MQM were somehow bluffing the government as whenever a clash were to happen between the two, either the MQM or the PAC will make a retreat and they would just not engage in a head-on conflict for long. This further strengthened the state’s impression that the PAC was still reluctant to take on the MQM therefore they have now deployed another anecdote to such reluctance by embedding some pukhtun ethnicity agents, recruited reportedly thru the IB, with each PAC deployment just to ensure that they do put up a serious fight. This embedding however is being presented, as you must have noticed in the recent media reporting on the conflict in the trans-lyari area, as a joint ANP-PAC offensive against the MQM.

In addition to pit stoke ethnic tensions between Muhajirs and the pukhtun & Baloch, the establishment is also conspiring to create fissures within the Muhajir fraternity. With MQM-Haqiqi pretty much a dead phenomenon logistically, the new plan is now to use Afaq Ahmed as a figurehead and deploy mercenary elements of Jamaat-e-Isami (ISI proxy Hizbul-Mujahideen) and Sunni Tehrik as Afaq Ahmed’s workers. This is meant to create divisions within the Muhajir community by pitting these proxy elements against the MQM. For this purpose, different incentives have been offered to the Jamaat-e-Islami and Sunni Tehrik including parliamentary seats fromKarachiand in the local bodies’ elections. It is because of this incentive that the hypocrite Jamaat-e-Islami, which only a few days back was making hue and cry about central government’s corruption, is now completely silent and has even extended support to the restoration of the commissionerate system, which it otherwise was dead opposed to. It is also because of this that the hypocrites even sabotaged the effort for formation of the grand alliance by announcing that they will not become party to such move of PML-N and MQM.

As for Sunni Tehrik, they mostly comprise of elements that previously belonged to Haqiqi and before that to the MQM. This is why Sunni Tehrik’s presence is mostly found in areas that were previously strongholds of Haqiqi like Shah-Faisal Colony, Lines Area, etc. With Amir Khan’s recent embrace of MQM, the party, especially Amir Khan and other people who have joined MQM, are making efforts to bring all the people previously associated with the MQM back in its fold. This also includes elements that had taken refuge in Sunni Tehrik. However, in order to sabotage such efforts, the government with approval of the Sunni Tehrik leadership arrested at least half a dozen activists of Sunni Tehrik (reported in mainstream media) right after the release of Amir Khan. Interestingly, all these people were previously part of the Haqiqi and close confidantes of Amir Khan. It is therefore not difficult to conclude that they were arrested to prevent them from joining the MQM and also to give signal to a majority others to refrain from any such move or else they will be subject to state oppression. Such is Sunni Tehrik’s dependence on the government to keep itself intact. Additionally, the government also keeps the sword of Sipah-e-Sahaba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi hanging on the Sunni Tehrik and no wonder a recent episode in Ghodra New Karachi was meant to message the Sunni Tehrik to toe the line of the government or be ready to face the assault of SSP and LJ.

So essentially, it is not any foreign hostile agencies but our own state and its overt and covert security institutions that are conspiring to stoke ethnic tensions in the city and other gory proxy games. It is these same institutions that are trying to reduceKarachito ashes as per their own perverted sense of national security (based on distrust and dislike of some ethnic communities) and vested political interests. May Allah saveKarachiand its citizens from the curse of these conspirators.

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Written by karachitargetkilling

July 29, 2011 at 11:13 am

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