Saturday, 27 April 2013

Pakistan: Is the country pushed into anarchy?

The blasts taking place in Karachi during this week seem part of the grand conspiracy to plunge the country deep into anarchy and challenging writ of the government.  Bringing economic activities to grinding halt in Karachi is aimed at adding to the woes for the country facing serious balance of payment crisis.

The anti Pakistan forces, in a bid to sabotage general election scheduled on 11th May, have been attacking meeting of MQM, ANP and the latest victim is PPP. On Saturday election camps of MQM and PPP, two major parties of Sindh came under three bombings attacks in Karachi killing at least five people and leaving more than 40 wounded.

Earlier, at least two people were killed and more than 25 were injured in two separate blasts near the MQM election office in the city’s Orangi Town area. The first bomb exploded outside a MQM election office and the second one outside a nearby Shia Imambargah in the area.

The twin explosions were very loud and were heard far away and damaged the nearby buildings and vehicles. A complete blackout was reported in the area after the explosions. Saturday’s blast raised the number to five terrorist attacks in the metropolis, leading death at least 26 people in these attacks. This prompted observing Sunday as yet another mourning day and bringing industrial and commercial activities to grinding halt.

Although no group claimed responsibility of both the blasts but the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) vowed to target PPP, ANP and MQM. The banned outfit had claimed responsibilities of the Thursday and Friday attacks, targeting MQM and ANP. Around 11 people were killed and more than 50 injured when a bomb blast hit the election meeting of ANP candidate Bashir Jan in Karachi on Friday.

As I have been saying that the sole objective of perpetrators is to kill people, at least four people were injured when suspected militants lobbed a hand grenade at an election office of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in Sibi area of Balochistan on Saturday. Meanwhile, the militants hurled a hand grenade at the office of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) candidate in Panjgoor area of Balochistan.

The perpetrators want to ensure deferring election by undertaking killing and terrorizing people so that they don’t come out of their houses to cast their votes. Some of the fanatics have already termed casting vote un-Islamic and also warned those not following their instructions can face stern consequences.

When MQM announce to observe mourning day life in Karachi comes to grinding halt. It is true that the party loves its members and if a few are assassinated, it requests all to observe mourning day. Not only areas where it has a large vote bank, but where its followers live just don’t open shops and schools and public transport also remain off road. This is a great sign of unity but its darker side also needs to be looked at.

First and most important,when MQM workers and supporters are killed and educational and commercial activities in its areas of concentration also remain closed it is ultimate loss of its vote bank, mostly belongs to middle and lower middle class. Millions of people that worker on daily wages faces starvation. When factories remain closed no revenue is collected and disturbance in clearing of goods at ports, disrupt supplies throughout the country.

Historically, those sitting on opposition benches give strike calls but it does not suit MQM as it remained in power for nearly two decades and also enjoy access to power corridors. It should be influencing the district management and law enforcing agencies to ensure peace throughout the country. It has the largest ‘street power’ and youth which should be keeping a watch on criminals.

It is in common knowledge that criminals come to Karachi to accomplish tasks given to them. These include killing of people, undertaking blasts through improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and kidnapping of people for ransom. These elements have permanent hideouts in areas of ethnic concentration and also use residents of the areas as ‘human shield’. Once their mission is accomplished they go back to their home towns and wait for the next ‘assignment’.

It is also on record that arms are also brought into Karachi from up country and sold openly. To the utmost surprise there are ‘rent a weapon’ shops in certain areas. Ironically, law enforcing agencies are not allowed to undertake any operation in certain areas by the political parties, which draw strength from these unscrupulous elements. Even if a few are rounded up, their ‘godfathers’ arrange the bails and get them free. In the worst scenario if brought to courts of law, they are acquitted due to ‘non-availability of credible evidence’.

Strange is the attitude of law enforcing agencies that fail to arrest those claiming responsibility of blasts and killings innocent citizens, most notorious are Taliban, TTP and LeJ. It is on record that Taliban had said ‘we would free Karachi which has become hostage of MQM’ and have also claimed responsibility of killing MQM activists.

It is often said that now militant groups are embedded in law enforcing agencies and one has to believe that. According to some estimates from 25,000 to 50,000 people have been killed in Pakistan by these militants and extremists groups but hardly any killer has been hanged. Some cynics even go to the extent of saying that these accused remain in jail and spend most luxurious lives for years and are finally acquitted.

I one of the TV shows Faisal Abidi of PPP has raised a question why activists of PPP,MQM and ANP are being targeted and members of JI, PML-N and other religious parties are not being attacked. He himself also provided the reply that those parties not been attacked enjoy very cordial relationship with these banned outfits, which are also rewarded appropriately.

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