Bitter truth

Sindh Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza is a loose cannon and, if rubbed the wrong way, will fire away. At the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), Dr Mirza was hit by a barrage of complaints by the city’s industrialists and traders for failing to give them adequate protection. Obviously stung by the criticism, he said that “people cast votes for extortionists; they should now talk to their elected representatives for law and order”. Dr Mirza pinned the blame for the deteriorating law and order situation mostly on the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). “Dr Imran Farooq was murdered in London, but buses of Pakhtuns were torched in Karachi. Did Asfandyar Wali kill Dr Imran Farooq?” asked Dr Mirza. He went on to allege that when “they [the MQM] want to kill any Pakhtun, Sindhi, Punjabi or Baloch in Karachi, they go about executing their plan methodically”. What Dr Mirza said is politically inappropriate given that the MQM is a coalition partner of the PPP government both at the Centre and in Sindh, but nevertheless is a well known truth. The timing may be wrong, his method of delivery may be unsuitable, but these charges against the MQM are neither new nor something that many can deny. The MQM is notorious for spreading violence in Karachi. In recent months, the security situation in the city has deteriorated and the heat is definitely on Dr Mirza since he is the province’s home minister.

However, Dr Mirza did injustice to the businessmen by saying that they were complicit in this regard because they pay extortion money to such parties. If truth be told, since the government has so far failed to protect the business community from the bhatta (extortion money) mafia, they are forced to pay ‘protection money’. The victims and the terrorisers should not be lumped in the same basket. The businessmen pay the money for their survival. It is the responsibility of the Sindh government to bring the culprits to book so that the people can breathe a sigh of relief. Dr Mirza was also wrong on another count when he tried to provoke the situation by stating that “the situation in Karachi will worsen and a large number of Urdu-speaking people will lose their lives if these ethnic groups [Baloch, Pakhtun, Sindhis and Punjabis] come forward and make an alliance”. This was not just irresponsible of the provincial home minister but could also lead to a political fallout. The PPP’s coalition partner, the JUI-F, pulled out of the coalition yesterday. The PPP is already facing a tough time getting the RGST bill through parliament and with this sort of provocation from Dr Mirza, the MQM may well threaten to pull out as well. On a number of occasions, the MQM has threatened to leave the coalition government but they always retreat from the brink, which suggests more pressure tactics than intent. The MQM has decided that a delegation would meet President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani after Muharram and protest at Dr Mirza’s provocative speech.

Karachi’s situation is already fraught with tension. The city has many armed groups present on its soil. The MQM is the largest political party in Karachi. How the MQM wins the elections and continues to terrorise the citizens, especially the Pakhtuns, is no secret either. Given the party’s penchant for violence, the PPP will have to tread more carefully in the future.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

Comments

Liaquat Ali said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liaquat Ali said…
"How the MQM wins the elections and continues to terrorise the citizens, especially the Pakhtuns, is no secret either. Given the party’s penchant for violence, the PPP will have to tread more carefully in the future."

It is fascinating how people write about the MQM as if they were first-hand witnesses to what the MQM does. As a researcher and a writer I have yet to find proof against the MQM. Maybe you will not disappointment me.

What is your proof for the above?
Anonymous said…
This is clearly a very biased write up. What the Home Minister did is unacceptable. He claims that he has information linking MQM to violence in Karachi, yet his party continues to work with MQM. If Mirza truly has any incriminating evidence against MQM, he should simply take MQM to court. Things like this need to be worked out in court, not on camera. Mirza and the PPP are inciting ethnic violence in Karachi.
Wasim said…
This write up just like many from the hate mongers is nothing but an organized gossip.
Change the skin, wash the heart, it will do your body good!
Jeevan said…
OMG… MQMphobia is at its peak, why don’t you stop writing things without proves …. Don’t write silly things look at the vote bank of MQM in Karachi. You wrote the words which are still the words, Please bring some proves, otherwise stop writing under a camp dedicated PPP against MQM
mehmal said…
I must say that the MQM has a very well-organised media presence all over the internet.

For proof, please ask any ordinary Karachiite how much bhatta they pay to the MQM and he/she will let you know. I have friends and family members living in Karachi, who have to live in constant fear due to the MQM. And the torture cells and everything else is well-documented. Please do some research on the internet and read up on the issue.

And just for your information, I am not from the PPP camp. My family belongs to the PML-N but I am equally critical of the PML-N too. If you only read up the other stuff I've written, you'll find out that I am not in the habit of making false claims.
Liaquat Ali said…
It does not matter how many baseless allegation your print against the PML-N or the PPP. They are not my areas of interest. The MQM is.

I continue to see baseless allegations against the MQM with more frequency in your newspaper than any other newspaper. Some articles have names and some go nameless.

Also, it does not really matter how well-organized the MQM's media presence is. What matters is when you put your name to a piece of writing, you must be able to substantiate it in a court of law.

The very least you should be able to do is to provide unchallengeable references to get printed in a reputable research periodical.

Are you suggesting in so many words that you don't have any proof except he-said, she said aka old wives' tales?
mehmal said…
If and when the MQM takes me to court, I will provide adequate proof there. My paper will not publish editorials/articles/news reports without substantiating the claims. We're a responsible lot and do not indulge in undue criticism just for the sake of it.
Liaquat Ali said…
Unfortunately Pakistani opinion-makers are used to monologues.

Either you have proof or you don't. If you do have proof, you should be able to provide it. I am challenging your credibility here and you want to wait for a lawsuit? Strange indeed!

There is an Urdu saying "na nou mun tail hou ga no radha nachay gee." That is to throw some wrench in an discussion so that until a fairly impossible happens the wrench thrower does not have to do much to justify her position.

If I wrote something and you challenged my credibility, I would not wait until being called into a court of law. I would provide proof.

Either you have proof or your have old wives' tales. They are mutually exclusive.
mehmal said…
I will give you a bibliography in a day or two... you will get your proof :)

[but then again, since you're such a staunch MQM supporter, you will even doubt the credibility of the authors, but owell...]
Liaquat Ali said…
Written old wives' tales are still old wives' tales.

I do like you courage to engage though. :)

So I am expecting reasonably unchallengeable proof to establish journalistic standards Daily Times works with.

I am hoping that you will not disappoint me.
Anonymous said…
keep writing: keep your Aqa Mola Zardari happy :-)after all he is " yaaron ka yaar"
Anonymous said…
Dear Mehmal, you never replied to me why is there a huge vote bank of MQM in Karachi? this is because MQM threatens the Karachites ? ha ha ha it seems too funny because anyone can say PML-N gets the vote because they threatens people in Punjab and PPP threatens people in Sindh. Public is not silly they know whatever is happening around. I challenge you here on this platform to bring the corruption of MQM's single leader. Contrarily you are definitely familiar with the leaders of PML-N and PPP... Now do not say MQM owns all the media channels in Pakistan or threatens these channels as well to show truth about the leaders like Mirza! last but not the least, in my opinion you are triggering the ethnic fasad in Karachi by supporting People like Mirza(Mirza's statements are on record)
Anonymous said…
Mr. Liaquat, i disagree with your approach of challenging the author's credibility. Its not her who's credibility's on the line, who knows her? she could be any other Dick & Harry out of Woodstock. Daily Times is the one needs squeezing for allowing such hate mongers on its pages.
IUR
Liaquat Ali said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liaquat Ali said…
Mehmal, it's been three days. Still waiting for the bibliography.
mehmal said…
Sorry Liaquat but this week has been a very hectic one for me, I haven't had time to compile that bibliography. You'll have to wait for a lil while :)
Liaquat Ali said…
Mehmal, it is been 8 days. Either you have the bibliography or you don't. Like I said above, I am challenging your credibility and you have not responded to me with the facts to substantiate statements in your editorial yet.
Anonymous said…
Siter Mehmel , please stop spreading hate against MQM , Liqaut Bhai , please chore , jaane den . Because some people are so jealous of MQM , unhe hazam hi nahi hota sach.
Liaquat Ali said…
@Anonymous, it is not a matter of "please chore , jaane den."

Unfortunately, this is how issues are "resolved" in the land of the pure.

Someone makes a baseless statement. Another person challenges that baseless statement and supposed "well wishers" suggests "chore, jane den."

The baseless statement then reappears somewhere else because of the law of inertia. That is:

"A baseless accusation will continue in motion or remain stationary until and unless a force is applied to it."

Such force is applied by challenging the baseless statements. The accuser is asked to provide his/her sources. When the sources are provided then the validity of the sources is ascertained.

Then either the baseless accusation is found to be not so baseless and should be accepted. Otherwise, it needs to be retracted by the accuser.

This is how scholarship is evolved while the truth and falsehood are separated from each other.
Liaquat Ali said…
13 days and counting. :(

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