Sector commanders on the defensive


MPA (400+ posts)

Ayaz Amir
Friday, August 05, 2011

With increasing desperation they are watching this drama unfold and their anger only grows because they dont know how to respond. What is happening is new for them, outside the range of their vast experience.

The sector commanders, lords of Karachi for so long and still a formidable force to reckon with, have withstood army operations. They have a measure of the Rangers and the Frontier Constabulary. The Karachi police holds no threat for them.

True, the Karachi police, under Shoaib Suddles command, was the sword arm of Gen Babars anti-MQM operation in 1995. But when the tables were turned and Benazir Bhuttos second government was turfed out by President Leghari, backed by Gen Jahangir Karamat and perpetually-angry Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah, some of the police officers who had distinguished themselves in that operation were discovered thereafter in gunny bags....not just with a shot to the head but their bodies bearing the marks of brutal torture.

Waziristans killing fields may be more crude Gods own warriors using knives, often in the hands of barely-grown boys, on the throats of their victims but Karachis killing fields are no less chilling, the drill machine emerging as the leading symbol of enforcement and terror.

If the army, foolish enough to forget the lessons of the past, were to move in, the sector commanders would know how to deal with it, simply melting away into the urban jungle which Karachi is, and hiding their arms caches. Deweaponising Karachi is a pipedream, easier said than done. A surface calm would return to Karachi but in essentials nothing would change.

What is happening now is completely different: various civilian militias are being encouraged to snipe at the flanks and hit at vulnerable points. The ANP is part of this covert mobilisation, as are Lyari and other gangs, and even, if rumour is to be believed, remnants of the routed Haqiqi, the MQMs splinter faction, once promoted by the ISI, the bare mention of whose name is enough to set the MQM on edge.

The sector commanders have been used to two things: either outright operations against them, whether by the Rangers or the army; or governments in Islamabad and Karachi capitulating before their demands and currying favour with their leadership. But a combination of smooth words and the guerrilla warfare we are seeing, whose victims for the most part are innocent souls, hapless day labourers and the like, is something for which they have not been trained.

We can be reasonably sure that Liddel Harts Strategy, the Indirect Approach is available neither in the presidency nor the prime ministers house, their denizens having better things to do. But in Karachi what we are seeing is the indirect approach in action.

We can attach whatever value judgment we like to this happening. We can condemn its callousness and spin-off brutality. We can shed tears and cry over the victims whose fate, such is the way of the world, we really dont care about. But this takes away nothing from the central reality, which is the power struggle, the battle for turf and entitlement, the right to become kings of some of the richest real estate in the country, taking place in a city once of lights, now of darkness and unrelieved despair.

Karachi is several cities and its richer and poorer parts do not meet. When revolution broke out in Russia in 1917, with the storming of the Winter Palace in St Petersburg, the theatres were open, ballet and opera performances were taking place, and well-heeled ladies went about in their costliest furs. (The street-walkers too were conducting their business.) As killings occur on a regular basis in the lumpen, outlying areas of Karachi, where the less-privileged eke out their precarious living, we can be certain that the lunch routine at the Sindh Club, or the Gymkhana for that matter, is not disturbed. Nor the determined partying at night in the richer parts of town.

Determined because, as Pakistanis, we bring a grim determination to our pleasures. To see Pakistanis imbibing, as if tomorrow will never come, is a sentimental education in itself. We have to thank prohibition for this enthusiasm.

Perish the thought, however, that the wages of social constriction will ever be re-examined. Thats just not the Pakistani way. With soldiers it is a maxim, never to reinforce failure. With us it is almost a national motto to reinforce failure all the time. Call it a special kinship with failed experiments.

(Incidentally, when the Winter Palace was stormed, the Tsars cellars were broken open by eager rioters. John Reed in his classic account of the Bolshevik Revolution Ten days that shook the world informs us that some of the best wine in the world, vintage produce of years past after all, those were the Tsarist cellars flowed like water, leaving champions of the proletariat for days on end rolling in the gutters.)

The sector commanders are taking their cue from their top leadership. In years gone by the undisputed Quaid of Karachis discontent would have declared all-out war and brought the government, any government, to its knees. But it is a measure of the changed situation in Karachi, the ebb and flow of the new indirect approach we are seeing, that he is being alternately hot and cautious, not quite able to suppress his anger in his latest telephonic addresses to the party faithful gathered in Azizabad the faithful not looking too excited as they take in these extended speeches, but then, as an outsider, I could be mistaken but not altogether forsaking the language of peace and friendship.

True, the faithful have been called upon to stock up on rations for a month, which is reminiscent of the famous call given all those years ago to the people of Karachi to sell their television sets and buy guns instead. But the overall impression remains one of caution, as indeed befits a leader of the Supreme Guides experience and standing, because too much is at stake for the MQM to risk an all-out resort to arms.

The strategic equation has changed, not just in Karachi but across the country. Time was when in the list of enemies as prepared in the command headquarters of our strategic grandmasters, if India was at the top the PPP and Benazir Bhutto came a close second. In the domestic arena the guardians of security and ideology supported rightwing political alliances, while in Karachi they propped up Karachis largest party, rendering it virtually invincible.

Gen Asif Nawazs Karachi operation and later Gen Naseerullah Babars onslaught cut this strategic knot asunder. Especially after Babar, Karachis majoritarians were on the back-foot, licking their wounds and counting their losses. But Musharrafs ascent to power was a godsend for them. In return for their support the Haqiqi faction (heretics) were ousted from their Landhi and Korangi strongholds and the keys of the city, so to speak, were handed over by Musharrafs henchmen to the majoritarians.

Small wonder, for the MQM the Musharraf period were the golden years. Its leaders were masters of all they surveyed and none dared challenge their power.

Zardari had to abide by the terms of this reality when he arrived on the scene. Lacking a majority in the National Assembly he needed the MQMs support, without which he could not have formed the government at the centre. So cosy was this developing relationship that Altaf Hussein was the first leader across the country to propose Zardaris name as president. (It may not be out of place to wonder what he may be thinking of his impetuosity now.)

The alliance with the Q-League freed Zardari from the MQMs yoke, the necessity of keeping it always in good humour. This factor, above all, has been the catalyst setting in motion the new, dangerous dynamic on display in Karachi.

Still, like it or not, it is political forces which have to bring stability to Karachi. There is no other way, no other solution, the army certainly being no solution. From the Indian border to Waziristan it is over-extended. Even otherwise, it has no magic wand to settle the woes of Karachi. It remains to be seen what miracles the politicians, left to their own devices as they have been by fate and circumstances, can bring about.


Minister (2k+ posts)
May God damn and curse Zardari for setting Karachi on fire like this, and for what?? Two or three seats in the National Assembly?? And land whose value has fallen so drastically given the violence.. Allah curse him for all of his natural life.

As ever nearly all who die are innocent. Whether they be of MQM or PPP, or just apolitical citizens of the city like I once used to be. While their killers continue to roam free, seeking out their next targets, wetting their beaks in the criminal scams of the city.

I fear this will continue as long as this government lasts.


Minister (2k+ posts)
I agree with the last paragraph of this article if nothing else.

Altaf Hussain needs to get his head out of his ***, start using his brains, stop worrying about the Comissionerate system and force Zardari into peace. Because I am done wishing any good out of Zardari


Senator (1k+ posts)
You reap what you sow

You guys have used this method of putting bodies in bags

MQM being the most powerful and most organized group in Karachi, should show initiative and declare Karachi Arm free city and then expose the killers


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
You reap what you sow

You guys have used this method of putting bodies in bags

MQM being the most powerful and most organized group in Karachi, should show initiative and declare Karachi Arm free city and then expose the killers

اگر متحدہ اپنی بے گناہی ثابت کرنے کے لیے اسلحہ تو کیا اپنی جان تک نکال کر پیش کر دے تب بھی مخالفین خوش ہونے والے ہیں اور نہ غلط الزامات لگانے سے باز آنے والے ہیں۔

آپ کی یاداشت کو میں اب کیا کہوں۔۔۔۔۔ مہاجروں کے پاس تو اسلحہ کے نام پر ایک پستول تک نہیں ہوتا تھا، مگر پھر بھی قصبہ کالونی، علیگڑھ کالونی اور پکا قلعہ جیسے بڑے بڑے انسانیت سوز مظالم ہوئے۔ تو کیا کر لیا آپ نے؟ کیا کسی ایک شخص کو بھی انصاف ملا؟

تو اب جو آپ مشورہ دے رہے ہیں کہ ہتھیار پھینک دو، تو اس سے کونسا انقلاب آنے والا ہے؟ کاش آپ نے اپنا قد تو اتنا اونچا کیا ہوتا کہ ایسا مشورہ دینے پر کوئی آپ پر "بھروسا" کرتا۔

کراچی میں مہاجروں کے پاس اسلحہ آنے سے بہت پہلے سے کراچی میں ناانصافیاں جاری ہیں، صوبائی محکمے نااہل بغیر میرٹ پر بھرتی ہونے والے اندرون سندھ وڈیروں کے چمچوں سے بھرے جاتے رہے تو مرکزی محکمے مرکزی حکومت کے چمچوں سے۔ مہاجروں کے پاس اسلحہ تو بہت بعد میں آیا، مگر سہراب گوٹھ تو اس سے بہت پہلے سے علاقہ غیر بنا ہوا تھا، غیر قانونی مہلک اسلحہ کا کاروبار کر رہا تھا، ڈرگز میں ملوث تھا اور یہیں سے اٹھنے والا فتنہ تھا لینڈ مافیا جو یہیں کے اسلحے سے غریب لوگوں کی زمینوں پر قبضہ کر رہا تھا۔ تو کیا کر لیا آپ نے ان مجرموں کے خلاف؟

بخدا آپ لوگوں نے کچھ نہیں کیا، کوئی انصاف مہیا نہیں کیا سوائے اس کے کہ ہاتھ پیر باندھ کر معصوموں کو ان بھیڑیوں کے حوالے کرنے کے۔

آج آپ ہزاروں باتیں بنا سکتے ہیں، مگر اہلیان کراچی کو مزید بے وقوف نہیں۔

آج بھی آپ منہ کھولتے ہیں تو فقط "ہائے متحدہ" ہی آپ کے منہ سے نکلتا ہے مگر کیوں آپ کو وہ ہزاروں تڑپنے ہوئے کراچی کے معصوم یاد نہیں آئے جنہیں ان پولیس والوں نے جناح پور کے جھوٹے الزام میں حقیقی کو گود میں بٹھا کر ماورائے عدالت قتل کرتے پھر رہے تھے؟ آپ ایاز امیر کے اس آرٹیکل کو پھر پڑھ لیں اور دیکھ لیں کہ وہ نصیر اللہ بابر اور شعیب سڈل جیسے ملعون قاتلوں کو ہیرو بنا رہا ہے مگر اسکے منافق قلم سے ایک لفظ ان ہزاروں بے گناہوں کے متعلق نہیں نکلا جنہیں ان قصائیوں نے مار ڈالا اور ان سے کئی گنا زیادہ تعداد میں لڑکوں کو قانونی عقوبت خانوں (جیلوں) میں جا کر تشدد اور چیروں کا نشانہ بنایا؟

اور ایک ایاز امیر ہی کی منافقت کیا، اسی فورم پر موجود متحدہ مخالفین کی منافقت دیکھ لیں کہ پولیس کے قاتلوں اور حقیقی کے دہشتگردوں کا رونا روئیں گے، مگر ان لوگوں نے جو ہزاروں بے گناہوں کو قتل کیا اور اذیتیں دیں، اُسے شیر مادر سمجھ کر ڈکار مارے بغیر ہضم کیے جائیں گے۔

یہ منافقتیں زیادہ عرصے چلنے والی نہیں۔ آپ کراچی میں مہاجروں کو چن چن کر مار مار کر قتل کر دیں، مگر کراچی میں آپ جو آگ لگائیں گے، اس میں پورا پاکستان جلے گا۔

اللہ کرے آپ کو یہ باتیں سمجھ آ سکیں۔ امین۔


Senator (1k+ posts)
مجھے لگتا ہے کافی لمبے عرصے بعد ایم کیو ایم کو مار پڑنا شروع ہوئی ہے پہلے کتوں کے اس مقابلہ میں باقی کتے بندھے ہوتے تھے اور جرنیل کا پلا ہوا " ڈوگی" کاٹا کرتا تھا اب زرداری نے باقیوں کو بھی کھلا چھوڑ دیا ہے لیکن عجیب بات یہ ہے کہ ہر کتے کا پٹا بھی اپنے پاس رکھا ہوا ہے اور خوراک بھی ---- یہ جانور زیادہ سے زیادہ پٹا چھڑائیں گے لیکن کھانے کے لیے تو پھر زرداری کے پاس آنا پڑے گا ----- کیا ایم کیو ایم ' کیا حقیقی ' کیا اے این پی ' کیا سپہ صحابہ اور کیا سپہ محمّد --- حلیے اور نام مختلف ہو سکتے ہیں کرتوت ایک جیسے ہی ہیں _ ٹھیک کہتے ہیں انگریزی میں

Dogs of a same street, bark alike.



Minister (2k+ posts)
MQM is aproven terrorist organization but they cant take the beating. As soon as there guys start dying they start barking. They dont remember how many people they have killed. Its a good lesson for all the supporters of mqm. Good show.