Zulfi Mirza vs the MQM

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has disowned Zulfiqar Mirza’s allegations after a meeting was held at the Presidency. The PPP suspended Dr Mirza’s basic membership. On Tuesday, Dr Mirza announced that he was quitting politics and lashed out at the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) once again. This time he chose Hyderabad as the venue. On the other hand, the MQM challenged Dr Mirza to provide proof to substantiate his allegations against the party. MQM leader Faisal Sabzwari said, “It is a lie that the MQM’s enemies have been narrating since the party was created, which is nothing new.” Mr Sabzwari further added that Dr Mirza’s “drama was carried out to divert attention from the suo motu hearing of the Supreme Court (SC) on the Karachi situation” and alleged that Dr Mirza wanted to create rifts between the Pashtuns and the Muhajir community. The MQM asked its workers to remain calm. The SC has expressed its dissatisfaction over a report presented by Inspector General (IG) of Sindh Police Wajid Durrani on the Karachi situation and directed the government to expose those behind the spate of violence. This should serve as a wake-up call for the law enforcement agencies. The apex court has done the right thing by pointing out its dissatisfaction with the report. It is time that the government comes clean about the real perpetrators of violence in Karachi regardless of their party affiliations.

The PPP is still wedded to its so-called policy of reconciliation and there are reports that the MQM may join the federal and provincial government soon. Explanations regarding Dr Mirza’s allegations are being called for left, right and centre – be it the Awami National Party (ANP), Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif or other political leaders. Responses and demands aside, whatever Dr Mirza has said merits serious consideration. The situation in Karachi has reached a critical stage. It is time that the government adopts a policy that will cut through the maze. Violence continues unabated in Karachi, the bhatta (extortion) mafia, land mafia, drug mafia, trafficking mafia and other such criminal activities have not yet stopped in the city. There is an entire political and ethnic mélange that has put the metropolis under constant siege. While the political parties keep playing politics on dead bodies and play their victimhood card, it is the common citizens who keep suffering. The surgical operation that has been launched in the city should be seen through to the bitter end. So far we have seen that the areas dominated by the MQM have not been touched. Since the PPP wants to keep the MQM on board in order to save its government, the PPP’s own constituency is being alienated. Prime Minister Gilani said, “The government cannot and would not allow the terrorists and gangsters to play with the lives of innocent people of Karachi.” Well, if he is really serious about getting rid of terrorists and criminals, his government should be expedient in carrying out justice instead of being politically partisan. The government’s credibility is already decreasing day by day. By carrying out an operation across the board, the government would not just save Karachi but would also add to its credibility. Here is wishing a peaceful Eid in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi.

(my editorial in Daily Times)

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