Karachi Target Killing

Towards understanding the Real Game in Karachi

Is the ethnicity of the army general a key determinant of peace in Karachi or otherwise? – Beg and Musharraf were different to Karachi from Janjua and Kayani

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One analogy that I found very interesting is how Beg and Musharraf approachedKarachimuch different (almost diametrically opposite) than how Janjua and Kayani did. A better understanding of this could be a guide to one key reason forKarachiunrest. When Beg was in power, Benazir approached her to initiate a military action inKarachi. Beg of course sensed the political motivation behind this as he knew that the law & order situation in interior Sindh is far more alarming and yet Benazir wishes to do an operation inKarachijust to victimize its political opponents, MQM. So Beg tactfully turned down such request by seeking permission from Benazir to do a Sindh-wide operation and not merely one focused onKarachi. Benazir obviously didn’t allow that as she neither wanted to victimize not displease his vote-base in the interior of Sindh.

Similarly, when Musharraf was in power, he also had a different approach. In fact, in his period, he brought to almost cessation the proxy game that was unleashed and sustained by his predecessors, starting from Janjua, inKarachi. A clear evidence was how army itself partly clamped down on its own creation, MQM Haqiqi. Musharraf’s period was marked by trust of the ethnic majority inKarachiand by cessation of the bloodletting of the proxy gang war inKarachiand undoubtedly such approach was helpful asKarachisaw both unprecedented economic development and unparalleled peace during his tenure. He chose to giveKarachiback what it deserved in return for the whopping 67% revenues the city contributes. He positively facilitated MQM (the biggest political party in the city) to absorb in the mainstream national politics and this extracted one of the best periods in Karachi when MQM’s mayor Mustafa Kamal took out unprecedented infrastructure development in the city and give the city, for the first time, a proud sense of ownership.

But both Janjua and Kayani are very different from Beg and Musharraf when it comes toKarachi. Both Beg and Musharraf had a trust of the majority and most powerful ethnic community inKarachiwhereas Both Janjua and Kayani chose not to trust them and therefore the need to confront them and their representative party with proxy warfare.

Janjua was the proud and declared creator of MQM Haqiqi with his famous words on it that “if PPP and PML can have factions then why not MQM.” The violence that ensued in Karachi by elements within the MQM Haqiqi with patronization of Janjua and the following army operation against the mainstream MQM was in line with his strategy that similar to how the Muhajirs have been sidelined from national administration (after shifting of the capital to Islamabad) they must also not be allowed to get a stranglehold on the commercial capital Karachi and so he found it expedient to sow the seeds of endless violence by pitting Muhajirs against Muhajirs, by creating other proxy ethnic gangs such as Punjabi Pukhtun Ittehad and others who had no ideology or manifesto but were only purposed to confront MQM by words and deeds. This essentially was the seedling of political violence inKarachi, which certainly temporarily ceased during Musharraf’s term however seems to have resurfaced with far more intensity under Kayani.

Kayani, besides existing proxy forces, introduced the element of militant Pukhtun nationalists toKarachithe way it even doesn’t exist in the pukhtun heartland of KP and tribal areas and for this purpose he tactfully crafted two seats for the ANP thru a set of background maneuvers.


Written by karachitargetkilling

July 29, 2011 at 11:27 am

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