Karachi Target Killing

Towards understanding the Real Game in Karachi

JIT inquiry report (published by Umar Cheema in The News)

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Inquiry report: http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=29030 (report also produced towards the end of this post)

A careful look at this report indicates that unlike the stated objective of the inquiry, which was to identify the target killers and reasons for it in Karachi, the real objective was to focus solely on the MQM as the report mentions of only the MQM while using the phrase ‘political parties’ to refer to the other parties without naming them. One wonders what interest is served by only naming the MQM and hiding the identity of the other political parties. Even assuming the sincerest of intentions of the joint interrogation agencies, one has to conclude that the purpose of the report is not to find as to who is doing the target killing but to find whether the MQM is party to it or not? This of course could be for no other purpose but to blackmail MQM.

The methodology of the inquiry as explained also seems rather amateurish to put it very lightly. The report says that the committee invited affectees of target killing. This scribe personally checked with a few affectees and none of them were invited nor did they have any knowledge about any such inquiry. This suggests that either no such interviews were done or only a few people selected by the police were called who could easily have political motivations and this certainly is not a recipe for an independent inquiry otherwise the inquiry team could have conveniently sought viewpoints from anyone willing to testify as is normally the case with such inquiries. The methodology also refers to interviews with NGOs and ‘interested groups” without specifying them. One fails to understand that if the report was confidential and not meant to be leaked to public (and only came to light courtesy the connections of the journalist) then why were identities of such parties kept concealed.

The report refers to the land grabbing in areas such as Ghutter Baghicha, etc however points no finger on the relentless land grabbing known to every Karachiite that Zardari and his cohorts are party to in Karachi. This of course unequivocally establishes the independence of the report.

The report correctly diagnoses that political violence inKarachihas its seedling in the early 1990s when the Haqiqi was formed. However, the report seems to suggest as if Haqiqi emerged on its own and on the basis of some clash of interest with the mainstream MQM. This is in sharp contrast to public acceptance of General Asif Nawaz Janjua who proudly proclaimed his role in creation by Haqiqi by saying “if PPP and PML can have factions then why not MQM.” How Haqiqi was armed, brought in army trucks to occupy different areas are details that have often been discussed and need not be reproduced all over again.

Then, in column 3, the report says that MQM’s extension into areas like Jehanabad, Ghutter Baghicha, etc is creating resentment among the Baloch and Pushtun population. This assessment contradicts it own claim that MQM is primarily responsible for target killing since if Baloch and Pushtun are resented then it is they who should indulge in killings and not MQM. If MQM is swiftly achieving its goals then what reason for it to indulge in killings?

Also this report made in 2009 also confirms the apprehension of most Karachiites that the civilian and military establishment in coordination are trying to foment ethnic unrest in Karachi as the report presents a purely political conflict, that is a desired result of their own inaction and patronization (as explained in detail on this site), as an ethnic one by pointing towards clash of interest between different ethnic communities that was previously unheard in Karachi.

Further, the singular focus on MQM as detailed above clearly exposes the intentions of the report, which of course could be nothing else but to politically blackmail the MQM.

Official report blames MQM Altaf’s militants for target killings

By Umar Cheema

Subject: Report on Target killings inKarachi

1. Minister for interior constituted a committee under the additional secretary, Ministry of Interior consisting of members from Sindh Police, Special Branch, IB, ISI and Rangers to identify target killings which took place during the last six months inKarachiand investigate into the circumstances with a view to find its solution.

2. The committee invited affectees of target killings. The members of the committee assembled at NCMC office, Karachi and interviewed scores of affectees, interested groups and NGOs etc, home secretary, Sindh, DG Rangers, Sindh, IG Police Sindh, CCPO Karachi were also interviewed to assess the situation.

3. Politically motivated target killing inKarachiappeared in 90’s when MQM Haqiqi parted its ways with MQM Altaf and continues to stall the landscape ofKarachiwith varying intensity to date. It is a turf war going on amongst political groups to have their say in the affairs ofKarachi. MQM has won 17 out of 20 NA seats inKarachiand wants to keep its hold. ANP has for the first time won two provincial seats in Pakhtun dominated areas and wants to consolidate gains.LyariTownwith its Baloch population is a stronghold of PPP. Migration from Swat/Fata toKarachiis a cause of concern for the dominant ethnic group inKarachi. MQM is trying to expand its influence in Rehmanabad,JunejoTown, Khuda ki Basti, Gutter Bagheecha etc in non-Urdu speaking population by bringing in new settlement of Urdu speaking people in these areas. This is creating resentment in Pakhtuns and Balochs who feel that they will lose their electoral strength due to change in demography. New settlements also attract land mafia which further complicates the situation.

4. Eighty-three police officers involved in earlier operations against MQM have been eliminated in target killing which has adversely affected the morale of police force.

5. Political parties, specially the MQM, has its militant wing which at times is tasked to create law and order situation for achieving political ends.

6. Following proposals are formulated by the committee to address the situation inKarachi:

a) Conference of all stakeholders inKarachito work out code of ethics for mutual co-existence.

b) Formation of peace committee at provincial/zonal level headed by senior officers for identifying trouble spots in the respective areas and to address the issue before it flares up. Committees can be expanded to police station level.

c) Merit-based policing with institutional arrangements to insulate police from extraneous influence and its capacity building.

d) Media may be involved to highlight the suffering of families of the victims of target killing and to expose the elements involved in it.

e) Strict ban on conversion of amenity plots for residential purposes and removal of all illegal encroachments.

f) Registration of aliens.

g) De-weaponisation ofKarachi.

While the MQM was singled out in the report for having militant wings which were used at times, Dr Farooq Sattar vehemently denied it.

When asked by The News as to why the representatives of these agencies had highlighted the MQM’s involvement in target killing more than land mafia, Farooq Sattar said it could be an effort to distract attention from the land mafia.

He said the MQM has lost 140 workers in target killings in the space of one year. He said the Sindh chief minister has formed a law and order committee with representatives of all ethnic groups as its members. The committee would jointly work with anti-encroachment cell and meet every fortnightly to review the situation.

Another MQM leader, who requested not to be named, termed the allegations against the party in the report as totally baseless and having no link with reality. He said efforts to blackmail MQM were made in every period. The successive governments, however, made alliances with the MQM that proved that the party had no role in killings, he asserted.


Written by karachitargetkilling

July 29, 2011 at 11:19 am

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