Karachi operation on cards, but who has all the aces

UKPakistani

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Karachi operation on cards, but who has all the aces

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Amir Mateen
Friday, August 30, 2013
From Print Edition




ISLAMABAD: The MQM seemed obviously trapped in its own rhetoric. It first sought army operation in Karachi invoking Article 245 of the Constitution but now wanted army to be called in aid of the civilians.


There was definitely some confusion in the MQM demand. The Rangers were already deployed “in aid of the civilians” in Karachi. The invocation of Article 245’s section 3 entailed handing over control to army after suspension of fundamental rights—a virtual Martial Law.

Obviously, the MQM wanted a selective army operation of its own choice.
The crux was: the federal government should simply bypass the provincial government and ask the MQM Governor to supervise the army operation against, ideally, the so-called Peace Committee in Lyari and ANP ‘goons’ in Pashtoon areas.

Dr Farooq Sattar cried himself hoarse protesting over rockets being fired on its people and its workers being targeted. “The Rangers and police have simply failed to maintain peace,” he shouted throttling his lungs to the fullest. And then led the MQM contingent, wearing black arm bands, to a token walkout.

But the PML-N was in no mood to grant the MQM its ideal wish. Chaudhary Nisar said “Yes” to the surgical operation. But make no mistake, he clarified, the team captain of any operation in Karachi will be Sindh chief minister. Secondly, the PML-N will not order any surgical operation without building a consensus.

It seemed the PML-N got the opportunity to do what it had been itching to do for over a decade, along with every other party—sort out you know who. Nisar did not miss the chance to score even with the MQM by defending the Rangers. “You can’t say that Rangers failed in Karachi; it’s the same force that you did not have a problem with for over 10 years in power; why has it become so incompetent in three months.”

The General, he said without specifying which one, had assured him that he could cleanse Karachi in weeks if specific operation is ordered with well-defined parameters. The Prime Minister will decide the parameters in a special cabinet meeting in Karachi after hearing all parties, including respected journalists and citizens. “But everything will be done in accordance with the Constitution and through the Sindh Government that holds the electoral mandate,” he re-emphasised while seeking help from other parties. He was not disappointed.

One party after another offered support to the PML-N on this. Naveed Qamar said the PPP had no objection as long as the Sindh Government was involved. The Jamaat-i-Islami and JUI were equally supportive. ANP’s Ameer Haider Hoti went a step further by saying that his party would not protect a criminal using its name.

But then this was a common concern: let no party cry foul if its members are found involved in crime. Such was the consensus that it was difficult to say ‘no’—even by those who knew that the noose was coming their way. In fact, it was funny that the political parties notorious for extortion and gun-running in Karachi were the loudest in thumping desks. Chor machai shor, as they say in Urdu.

The reasons for the MQM paranoia are obvious. The London trial is taking its toll; the party is going through internal power wrangling at a time when it is excluded from the power structure in Karachi as well as Islamabad. The MQM stands isolated from most political parties that feel betrayed at one time or another—not to forget its insecurity after PTI inroads in Karachi. Another motivation for the latest brouhaha is also the wooing of Kutchi voters in Lyari. But the PML-N insiders believe that the threat to life of senior MQM leadership was the real issue. The Interior Ministry is believed to have shared intelligence report of a possible attack on Dr Farooq Sattar, Nabeel Gavol and Faisal Sabzwari. Whatever the reason, Farooq Bhai was seen rubbing shoulders with Nisar showing him the same intelligence reports. Now, we don’t know whether the threat is from the rivals parties, criminals, Taliban or internal Bhai log. But we know that this has the top MQM leadership extremely nervous and most of them do not sleep in their houses. Also, this has convinced everybody for a cleansing operation.

It was a win-win situation for the PML-N. The credit for bringing peace to Karachi will come to the PML-N, if the things go well. This will also help improve the growth rate and investment. The discredit for its failure will, of course, rest with the MQM who asked for the army rule or for the PPP which will implement the operation.


And if things really turn out of control, the PML-N will still have the trump card of imposing the governor’s rule. After all, the PPP did that at a much smaller pretext in Punjab—but not necessarily under the same governor.


However, Nisar seemed a little over-confident in his powers to control the Rangers and the FC. He almost ridiculed Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah for saying that the Rangers were not under his control. He said he took the Rangers DG along to satisfy the Sindh CM. It’s easier said than done, goes the saying. Perhaps the politicians in Punjab have never had to deal with the Rangers in civilian jobs. Incidentally, a similar statement was issued by the PML-N allies in Balochistan also.

Dr Malik Baloch, too, has expressed his helplessness to control the ‘kill and dump’ policy. Why can’t Nisar take the DGFC in Balochistan along to re-assure Dr Malik. Or perhaps he should first give the blueprint for his road map for internal security for every province to follow. It’s not a question of what it says in the letter. It’s the spirit that matters in the end. Bhai Log will find it out soon.


thenews
 
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mrk123

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)

Yaar, its been all quiet on the London front.

Whats up with the happenings in London?

I have a very strong feeling that the spin masters started this 'shosha' of deployment of army to move the attention away from the unrelenting coverage of the cases in London. As expected the PMLn folks are being stupid and seem to be fully aiding the spin masters in their task. Some of it they are doing wittingly and some unwittingly.

I am going to tell you one thing, if this PMLn government stays in power for the full 5 years then the problems in Karachi will not go away even IF AH is convicted in the money laundering case. These imbeciles lack the will or the smarts to do anything substantive and by focusing exclusively on Punjab, which is akin to the ostrich strategy, they are digging their political grave themselves.
 
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UKPakistani

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Yaar, its been all quiet on the London front.

Whats up with the happenings in London?

I think people are getting the impression that somehow nothing is happening

It will all happen quickly and suddenly and soon

There will be several simultaneous arrests and many will be charged

It is not just about Altaf the Pig but the whole MQM set up in London and UK
 

mehwish_ali

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)

نون لیگ کی سازش کلیئر ہے کہ وہ کراچی میں امن کے لیے سنجیدہ نہیں، بلکہ عذیر بلوچ کے ذریعے کراچی کنٹرول کرنا چاہتے ہیں۔

عذیر بلوچ آج سے سال پہلے بھی خطرناک مجرم تھا جس وقت نون لیگ کے قائدین اس سے مل رہے تھے، اسکو اپنی پارٹی میں آنے کی دعوت دے رہے تھے۔


نون لیگ ہو یا عمران طرم خان۔۔۔۔ کراچی کی عوام ان دونوں کو جوتے ماریں گے اگر یہ فوج تعیناتی کی یوں ہی مخالفت کرتے رہے۔ اسکے بعد کہنے کو اور کچھ نہیں رہ جاتا۔


 

mrk123

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
I think people are getting the impression that somehow nothing is happening

It will all happen quickly and suddenly and soon

There will be several simultaneous arrests and many will be charged

It is not just about Altaf the Pig but the whole MQM set up in London and UK

I get all of that but I was wondering about complete silence about it in the media after 24x7 coverage for weeks.
 
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