Karachi’s Avatar

Akhtar BalochKarachi, Sindh has been home to a long, red history of communists, Avatar Hangal is one of them. Akhtar Balouch, Blogger

BY AKHTAR BALOUCH

Every time the generous people at Dawn publish one of my blogs, I start receiving phone calls from friends in the dozens. Write about this, one would say, as another would insist on a different topic.

Many complain: why haven’t you written about this or that so far? Why did you miss this or that great personality from Karachi?

It always pleases me to receive these messages and calls, while at the same time I am saddened by the limitation of resources. But as our dear Hasrat Mohani said:

Hai mashq-e-sukhan jaarii aur chakkii kii mushaqqat bhi
[As the pen’s labour continues, so does the labour to survive.]

A senior journalist and a serious human rights activist Zaman Khan phoned me from Lahore, asking me to write about A.K Hangal. He was also kind enough to forward me an interview with Mr Hangal.

The name might not be as well-known in Pakistan, but the face would certainly look familiar to many. Hangal was seen in more than 300 Bollywood films, playing supporting roles. Apart from being an actor, Hangal was also a staunch communist.

He wished to see India transform into a communist state after the Partition. Because of his views, he had to spend two years in jail in Karachi. He also spent some time in the Hyderabad Central Jail, Sindh.

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Russia to invest $2 billion to build natural gas pipeline in Pakistan

pipeISLAMABAD: Russia will invest a whopping $2 billion in Pakistan to build a 1,100-kilometre pipeline from southern port city of Karachi to Lahore to transport liquefied natural gas.

“Pakistan and Russia have finalized an LNG pipeline deal in a recent meeting in Moscow and the two countries will sign a government-to-government basis deal next month,” petroleum minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune.

Abbasi said that in return for the investment, Russian companies will be awarded the contract to build the pipeline.

News courtesy: THE TIMES OF INDIA
Read more » http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/international-business/Russia-to-invest-2-billion-to-build-natural-gas-pipeline-in-Pakistan/articleshow/46970624.cms

MQM’s Amir opened fire on ‘Mohabbat-e-Sindh’ rally

KARACHI: A Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) worker in an investigation report presented in court confessed opening fire over Mohabbat-e-Sindh rally in Karachi, ARY News reported.

According to details, a report of investigation with MQM worker and the party’s administrative committee member Amir alias Sarphata was presented in Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) on Wednesday.

Sarphata, who was arrested during the Rangers raid on Nine Zero, confessed firing upon ‘Mohabbat-e-Sindh’ rally in Karachi, which killed six people and injured 22 others.

The confessional statement says that MQM’s then administrative committee in-charge Hammad Siddiqui ordered him to sabotage the rally which he accomplished with the help of other party workers namely Mubashir, Faisal, Manzoor alias Majjoo, Amir, Kamran Kala and Shahzad.

Related: MQM leader Amir Khan’s revelations

Amir Sarphata was arrested from MQM headquarters ‘Nine Zero’ along with a lot of other suspects in a Rangers raid on March 11. He was employed in Health Department in 1997 and was made party’s sector in-charge in 2012.

The court after the hearing, granted remand of Amir Sarphata to Rangers till April 7, 2015.

News courtesy: ARY News Tv
Read more » http://arynews.tv/en/mqms-amir-opened-fire-on-mohabbat-e-sindh-rally/

Pakistan MQM member arrested in London for money-laundering

London: (Reuters) – A member of one of Pakistan’s major political parties, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), was arrested in London on Wednesday on suspicion of money-laundering, the party said.

Mohammed Anwar, a member of MQM’s Central Coordination Committee, was arrested at his home in north London and was currently being questioned, MQM said in a statement.

“MQM firmly denies any suggestion of money-laundering,” the statement said.

London’s Metropolitan Police said in a statement officers had arrested a 64-year-old man as part of an ongoing investigation into money-laundering.

Five other men previously arrested in connection with the investigation remained on police bail while inquires continued, the statement said.

The party’s leader Altaf Hussain, who has been living in self-imposed exile in Britain since 1992, is one of those. He was arrested and questioned last June, leading to protests which led to a lockdown in Karachi.

MQM is the most influential party in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi, its commercial capital and home to 18 million people.

In 2010, Imran Farooq, a founding member of MQM who was on the run from Pakistani police, accused of involvement in murder and other serious crimes, was stabbed to death in London.

British detectives have made a number of arrests and named suspected they would like to question, but no one has been charged with his murder.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; editing by Stephen Addison)

News courtesy: Reuters

MQM Is a Mafia. They are Militant and Have Kiilled Hundreds of People. Former MQM member tells BBC

Former Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) member Naim Ahmed has said that MQM is involved in killing of hundreds of people. He was givinginterview to UK’s BBC Two programme ‘Newsnight.

Naim Ahmed said: “you know I cannot count but hundreds of people. They (MQM) are not peaceful party. They are militants group and they are like bunch of mafias”. When he was asked did you ever commit act of violence Naim replied: “no, it was not my job, If I like the violence why I leave the party (MQM). It’s ideal party for violence”.

“I left the party because of violence, because of militancy” said Naeed. He said that those who were killing people always said that they are directly getting order from London”.

News courtesy: Siasat.pk » BBC » DailyMotion » AwamiPolitics » ZemTv
Read more » http://www.awamipolitics.com/former-mqm-member-naim-ahmed-accuses-mqm-of-killing-people-13869.html
More » http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?332281-MQM-Is-a-Bunch-of-Mafias-They-are-Millitant-and-Have-Killed-Hundreds-of-People-Former-MQM-MP-tells-BBC
More details » http://www.zemtv.com/2015/03/22/mqm-is-the-idol-party-for-violence-former-mqm-party-member-in/

Shocking revelations: MQM chief ordered KESC director’s assassination, claims Saulat

By Web Desk / Irfan Ghauri / Shezad Baloch

Just hours before his execution, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s (MQM) convicted worker Saulat Mirza alleged in a supposed video confession that he killed former KESC Director Shahid Hamid on the directives of party chief Altaf Hussain.

According to video released by the Geo TV late on Wednesday, Mirza alleged that he received the order for the ‘hit’ from Altaf at MQM leader Babar Ghauri’s residence.

Mirza revealed that orders were given on telephone by the party chief himself. Usually, the party chief would either give orders himself or through the likes of Bababr Ghauri.

He further alleged that people whom the party wanted to save from police torture are provided protection in police stations through Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan. Even during the PPP’s government, he was facilitated in jail and allowed to meet family members in separate rooms.

In the video, shot apparently on death row in Mach Jail, shows Mirza claiming that Altaf would not let anyone to rise in the party, adding that the MQM chief ordered the murder of Azeem Tariq when he started rising within the party ranks. Similarly, when former Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal started getting popular among masses, he was disgracefully thrown out of the party.

Mirza in his video message appealed to the co-party workers to take heed from his fate, of how he was used and then later discarded like ‘used tissue paper’.

The death row convict said earlier he was afraid for the safety of his family.

Saulat said he was not appealing to commute his sentence, but was asking to delay it.

Read more » The Express Tribune
See more » http://tribune.com.pk/story/855524/shocking-revelations-mqm-chief-ordered-kesc-directors-assassination-claims-saulat/

What Some Muslims Are Doing For Hindus In Pakistan On Holi Will Make You Stand Up & Applaud Humanity

By Rohit Bhattacharya

The National Students Federation of Pakistan, a platform to redirect the thinking of students and others alike from the inept politics of the ruling powers, has proposed an event that is as heartwarming as it is heart wrenching. They want to form a human shield for the Hindu Holi revellers, to show solidarity with their brothers and sisters.

Read more » Scoop Whoop
See more » http://www.scoopwhoop.com/inothernews/hindus-on-pakistani-holi/

In Karachi, a human shield for Hindus celebrating Holi

By DAWN.COM

KARACHI: The National Student’s Federation (NSF) organised the formation of a human shield at the Holi celebrations at Swami Narayan Temple today to show solidarity with and protect Hindus in attendance.

The demonstration is an attempt to promote interfaith coexistence and cooperation among different religious and ethnic groups in Pakistan. The NSF leveraged social media to spread information about the event, extending e-vitations to others who share their outlook on religious tolerance and wish to participate in the demonstration.

Also read: Mithi: Where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows

A member of the NSF describes it as a “progressive leftist organisation” dating back to the NSF of the Ayub Khan era. The organisation experienced a revival in 2006 – 2008.

Read more » DAWN
See more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1167564/in-karachi-a-human-shield-for-hindus-celebrating-holi

– – – – – – —
More » The Times of India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Human-shield-to-protect-Hindus-celebrating-Holi-in-Pakistan/articleshow/46475072.cms

Nation should stand united against Altaf Hussain says Imran Khan

It’s time to stand against terrorism of Altaf Hussain, says Imran Khan. The language of the press conference is in Hindi/ urdu language.

News courtesy: SAMAA TV » DailyMotion »» ZemTV
http://www.zemtv.com/2015/02/09/imran-khan-press-conference-against-altaf-hussain-9th-february-2015/

Karachi experiencing a demographic earthquake, moot told

By Saher Baloch

KARACHI: Carving out new provinces is not a solution to the administrative issues faced by Sindh, speakers said on the first day of a two-day peace conference held here on Saturday.

The conference titled ‘Exploring peace and reconciliation alternatives: towards a Karachi for all,’ is being held by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler).

With a variety of noted speakers for the day having three sessions, the opening speech and introduction to the conference was given by executive director of Piler Karamat Ali. He said the aim of the conference was to bring together people from various fields and classes to speak and debate about ideas they felt closest to them.

He spoke at length about the initial migration in the city, how it further developed when people started inviting more people to work here and how the situation deteriorated over the years, making labourers one of the most vulnerable groups in the city at present.

“We need to remember while shunning another person on the basis of ethnicity that they are willing to do the work that we look down upon. We need each other,” Mr Ali said.

Next in the line was Dr Kaiser Bengali, senior economist and adviser to the chief minister of Balochistan. In his presentation on ‘Karachi: a city in transition’, Dr Bengali raised pertinent points about the present demography of the city, the growing differences between various ethnicities inhabiting it and its solutions. Presenting statistics, he said, starting from a Sindhi city to a Mohajir city, Karachi was now in the middle of what he described as a “demographic earthquake” and on its way to become a Pakhtun city in the future.

“Its reason is that there is an exodus of Pakhtuns from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to a high birth rate, increase in household size (meaning number of people per home) and lack of employment in that province, which means that by 2045, Karachi will be dominated by the Pakhtun population.”

He pointed out that the Seraiki-speaking population was also increasing in the city, mostly migrating from south Punjab. “In the future, the Seraiki speakers with their almost 80 per cent population will be the next in line to demand their rights and an electoral seat,” he added.

Explaining further, he said: “This demographic earthquake is bound to create a conflict in the city and our job should be to manage the conflict. Creating a province does not seem like a solution to counter the conflict, but one that might further complicate the situation.”

Read more » DAWN
Learn more » http://www.dawn.com/news/1152134

‘I realised if we wore a Sindhi cap, we would be killed’

It was the summer of 1987. I was in Kalhora colony, Hyderabad at my uncles’ place during school vacations. One morning when I got up and went to buy milk from the dairy of Chacha Deenu Soomro Shikarpuri, I found blood on the wooden gate of my uncle’s house. There was a printed note on the door fixed with glue – Jeay Muhajir. 
When I moved ahead, I found that almost all houses were carrying the same bloody note. I told this to my maternal uncle while handing over the milk-cane to my aunt. He said MQM (Muhajir Qomi Movement at that time, which is now Mutahida Qaumi Movement) wants to kill Sindhi. Later on, we came to know that if we wore Sindhi cap or Sindhi Ajrak (shawl) while visiting bazaar in Hyderabad and Karachi, we would be killed by MQM terrorists since dozens were killed until then due to that cultural weaning alone.
One of my friends had acquaintance with Khalid Bin Waleed. He was said to be the head of MQM militant wing. He was also known for his pro-Sindhi stance within MQM ranks and files. After Musharaf’s military coup, MQM patched up again with  the military establishment of Pakistan. The day MQM’s Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad took oath, Khalid Bin Waleed was killed. I was freelance journalist in Karachi at that time.
Later, we were shocked when MQM terrorists embossed MQM stamps on the chests of Sindhi girls from Soomra para (settlement) of Hyderabad, while many others were pierced through the electronic drill machines. It was a period of nightmare of us all. Terrorists apologize In 1998, I was a senior sub-editor at the OPED pages of daily Ibrat. MQM had tendered apology to Sindhi of what they did in late 1980s. Now they want to bridge the gap between Sindhi speaking Sindhis and Urdu speaking Sindhis. In a talk with MQM supremo Altaf Hussain by Sindhi journalists, I asked him his views on freedom of Sindh. He replied that in a free Sindh, Sindhi and Urdu speaking Sindhi would live together like Cubecs and the rest in Canada. Meeting with terrorists

In 2000, I was a contracted Sindhi translator with the Jaffer Brothers Pvt. Ltd. Karachi. I found many MQM persons among my friends circle. We use to take early morning tea at Café Piyala near Nagar Chorangi and have Sunday evening snacks at MQM outlets in various parts of Karachi.

I came to know one claiming to be the nephew of Rehan Kana, a notorious MQM terrorist involved in the killing of hundreds and was living in Pili Kothi near Dak Khana in Lalu Khet, Karachi. I heard many stories from his nephew about Kana’s encounters as well as terrorist actions, albeit in a heroic way.

Once I met some Urdu speaking Sindhis from outside Karachi, who were settled by MQM in Karachi and were being trained in “urban warfare” (terrorism). I was asked by MQM Karachi’s senior person to join the party, which I refused. 
 
Killing their own

One of my friends had acquaintance with Khalid Bin Waleed. He was said to be the head of MQM militant wing. He was also known for his pro-Sindhi stance within MQM ranks and files. After Musharaf’s military coup, MQM patched up again with  the military establishment of Pakistan. The day MQM’s Sindh Governor Ishratul Ibad took oath, Khalid Bin Waleed was killed. I was freelance journalist in Karachi at that time.

One of Urdu speaking journalist in Karachi told me that Waleed was killed by MQM itself on the demand of establishment after the patch-up because military establishment wanted to aside Sindhi-friendly MQM cadres.

Who formed MQM?

General Ziaul Haq in one of his speech said that he has given a gift to Sindhis. He also said that the time will come when Sindhi people would remember him, whenever they will see his gift. Sindhi political parties read this gift as MQM.

Pakistan: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari leads first PPP rally

Tens of thousands of Pakistanis have attended the first mass rally held by the son of murdered Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

By Shahzeb Jillani, BBC News, Karachi, Sindh

Karachi has not seen such a huge PPP rally for years. The party is trying to show that it still has mass appeal, and can compete with other opposition politicians such as Imran Khan. It is, after all, a party that has fought military dictatorships in Pakistan time and again over the last four decades.

Read more » BBC
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29673493

Madonna’s ‘dream school’ opens in Karachi, Sindh

SINDH – KARACHI: Pop icon and social activist Madonna took to Instagram on Monday to announce the opening of  her ‘dream school’ in Karachi that she pledged to help build last year.

“The Revolution of Love continues in Pakistan! The Dream School is finally finished. 1,200 kids attending. Knowledge is Power! #rayoflight #livingforlove,” read her caption.

Last year, Madonna announced that she is raising money to expand a school in an impoverished area on the outskirts of Karachi, according to a press release on her official website.

The starlet went on stage at a live concert in London and publicised that she is supporting girls’ education in Pakistan through her Ray of Light Foundation, and urged people to support her cause.  She was joined on stage by Humaira Bachal, an education activist from Karachi.

Madonna has long spoken about her admiration for Humaira Bachal, a Pakistani woman who has campaigned for better education for young girls.

Speaking at the Chime For Change event in London last year, Madonna said, “Let’s help Humaira build a bigger school in Pakistan! How ‘bout this? You build the first floor, I’ll build the rest of the school. Let’s do this together!”

The Dream Model Street School is located in Mawach Goth, Karachi and was founded by the Dream Foundation Trust (DFT), a Pakistani non-governmental organisation.

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/768771/madonnas-dream-school-opens-in-karachi/

Karachi ruled by everyone, run by no one

By Vaqar Ahmed

Here’s the routine for most people in Karachi:

They wake up in the morning and get ready for work. The lucky ones have enough water to take a bath but most have to make do with much less. If there is some gas, the stove is switched on, and some tea and bread is prepared for breakfast. Then, it is off to the bus stop with the hope of finding transport to make it to work in time. When the bus arrives, the object called human body is stuffed into it like a sardine joining other sardines in a tin box.

The same routine happens in reverse at the end of a long day. Also, during the day, those who went out for work and those who stayed at home need electricity to do their jobs or carry out the various tasks at home; if they are lucky, they will get it for a few hours.

Read more » DAWN

Sindh Assembly passes resolution against division of Sindh

By Agencies

KARACHI: In the absence of members of the opposition and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the Pakistan Peoples Party on Thursday managed to unanimously pass a resolution in the Sindh Assembly against the division of the province or formation of new administrative units.

The resolution was jointly moved by Sohail Akbar and other PPP members in the backdrop of a recent demand by the MQM to create more administrative units in Sindh.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1134279/sindh-assembly-passes-resolution-against-division-of-sindh

Marsoon Marsoon Sindh na desoon resolution  passed by Sindh Assembly

Parties reject Altaf’s demand for new provinces in Sindh

KARACHI: A multi-party conference on Tuesday rejected a call of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement to create more administrative units in Sindh and resolved that everyone living in the province irrespective of their ethnic background would not allow the division of Sindh.

The conference, titled ‘Administrative provinces and demand for dividing Sindh is a conspiracy against Sindh, country and peace’, was jointly organised by the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan and the Qaumi Awami Tehreek.

Besides two former chief ministers, representatives of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, PML-Functional, Jamaat-i-Islami, National Party, Awami National Party, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl, Balochistan National Party, several Sindhi nationalist parties and members of civil society and minorities attended the conference.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1133885/parties-reject-altafs-demand-for-new-provinces-in-sindh

Dockyard attackers planned to hijack Navy frigate

By Fahim Zaman | Naziha Syed Ali

KARACHI: While the Navy continues to remain tight-lipped about the attack on its dockyard in West Wharf on Sept 6, having issued a bare-bones statement 48 hours after the incident, further details have been obtained by Dawn that reveal the extent of radicalisation within the Navy.

According to informed sources, the attack was carried out entirely by serving Navy personnel, along with Owais Jakharani, a former Navy cadet who could have been given access inside without too much trouble.

“It seems the intention was to hijack PNS Zulfiqar [a frigate purchased from China and inducted in July 2009],” said one of these sources. “The group of would-be hijackers, led by a senior officer, was even saluted by the guard at the bottom of the gangway, before another became suspicious of their intentions and alerted other personnel.”

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1131654

A wake-up call

By Ayesha Siddiqa

It was the first time on Monday morning that I breathed a sigh of relief that the PTI and the PAT dharna is there and continues to attract attention. Just imagine if the media was not focusing on them they might have taken the trouble of sniffing out the drama which was unfolding in Karachi on September 6. A Chinese manufactured F-22P frigate of the Pakistan Navy, PNS Zulfiqar, came under attack by the Taliban. It is not confirmed as yet if the ship was at sea or docked at the naval dockyard. The story was kept under wraps for two days and disclosed on September 8. It was not that people were not warning others. A friend from abroad had even inquired on Saturday about what was happening in Karachi to which I had no answer as nothing was being reported on television except the Imran/Qadri roadshow. But I am still happy no one reported the story because the last time someone tried to dig out facts about infiltration of militants and ideologues inside the navy it ended in tragedy.

Gladly, the brave sailors and officers saved the day. However, the attack on PNS Zulfiqar, for which the Taliban took the responsibility, proved yet again the vulnerability of the country’s security. What we are always scared to talk about is the support from inside as had happened in the attack on PNS Mehran, PAC, Kamra and other places. Given the fact that little is known about militant penetration, it is difficult to ascertain the threat. This is about men caught by the demon of disbelief of their state and society. Glance through the literature on state making and you can find how monopoly over violence and making sure it stays that way is one of the many characteristics of a viable and efficient state. However, here is the issue of men, who join a profession to guard the state then turning away, because they suddenly suspect the state is not legitimate. The whole concept of jihad or takfir is not a simple issue of people becoming devil-like but erosion of their faith in legitimacy of the state. They begin to desire a perfect Islamic state which can only be brought about by fighting the existing system. Penetrating an armed force becomes an attractive option since achieving such objective tantamount to a force multiplier. A well-trained and oiled war machine can take you places.

Just imagine a situation where militants would try to rebel and take control of a vessel while at sea. Notwithstanding many of the earlier claims that all three services were cleaned during the Musharraf regime, these attacks suggest otherwise. Various religious groups have always had access to men in uniform under one pretext or the other. If it is not the militants then it is Deobandi or Salafi reformation movements such as the Tableeghi Jamaat or Al Huda that are allowed to access military personnel and their families. Reportedly, the households of one of the two smaller services were opened up for Al Huda by the senior leadership. The problem here is not with increased interest in religion but the fact that after a while these families and their men begin to get totally confused about where does duty to religion end and to the state begin. Not that they want to kill innocent colleagues and other people but they are blinded by their understanding of dogma to believe that they have to bring suffering in order to improve the world as ordained by God.

The PNS Zulfiqar attack is yet another reminder that things are getting serious. We need to look at this development in the backdrop of the expansion of militancy and extremism in the form of IS and the al-Qaeda’s Qaedatul Jihad in Indian Subcontinent (QJIS). While many analysts tend to see IS and QJIS from the lens of internal competition amongst militants, especially Zawahiri’s need to build up his strength, some observers argue that the two forces may have different tactics and partners but similar strategic objective. They both want to consolidate and establish a caliphate. In this regard, other existing organisations like the Hizb-ut-Tahrir also have the same desire.

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, September 11th, 2014.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/760623/a-wake-up-call-2/

Tsunami could ‘wipe out’ Karachi

By AFP

KARACHI: Pakistan’s largest city Karachi, home to around 18 million people, could be “wiped out” by a tsunami, officials said Wednesday after a drill simulating a major earthquake in the Indian Ocean.

The test, and one carried out a day earlier simulating another quake off Indonesia, were designed to check an early-warning system set up after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami which killed more than 230,000 people.

The exercise organised by the United Nations was based on a hypothetical 9.0 magnitude quake in the Makran Trench, where the Arabian and Eurasian tectonic plates meet, off the coast of Pakistan.

“This would create waves of 0.9 to seven metres high that could reach Karachi in one and a half hours,” Tauseef Alam, the chief meteorologist who was supervising the tests, told AFP.

“This could wipe out the city as the waves would be immensely powerful.” Karachi was hit by a tsunami in 1945 that killed at least 4,000 people, Alam said.

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All aboard: Karachi’s metro bus project to run along same way as Lahore

Karachi: … On Thursday, the prime minister announced that they would launch the Metro Bus Project in the city and will have Rs15 billion set aside for it. “We have decided to take over the green line project in the city,” he said. “The metro bus service will start on the same pattern as Lahore.”

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://tribune.com.pk/story/733869/all-aboard-karachis-metro-bus-project-to-run-along-same-way-as-lahore/

Pakistan and Terrorism; Rocket Science?

By Omar

Terrorists attacked Karachi Airport today. Fortunately the airport security force managed to keep them away from the passenger terminal and the army responded effectively and now claims to have killed all the terrorists with relatively limited damage to the airport.

This is not the first major terrorist attack in Pakistan and unfortunately it will not be the last.  Efforts to blame India for the attack have moved ahead remarkably quickly (both ARY news and Express News are highlighting that the weapons used by the attackers are of Indian manufacture).
Alhamdolillah, the script has not changed.

NOTHING it seems can ever change the script. Pakistan is always the innocent victims of conspiracies launched by RAW, MOSSAD and CIA. We are caught in someone else’s war. Yadda yadda yadda. You know the drill..
Who are we to challenge the geniuses who make policy in Pakistan, but is it possible that there could have been a different script? Let us try the following script (and dear Paknationalists, do take my word for it, its in YOUR interest to think about this version, it sounds harsh, but in the long run, it will help…a lot):

1. Pakistan was the base for an international operation directed against the Soviet/pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan. For this operation we happily cooperated with the CIA, Saudi intelligence and others. We invited highly motivated mujahideen from all over the Muslim world to please come and join this effort. We provided them facilities, we provided them training and we provided them weapons. To improve the flow of Islamic fanatics, the CIA, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan spared no expense, building international networks of the same and building a network of thousands of Islamic seminaries across the length and breadth of Pakistan. In 1989, the Russians left Afghanistan and in 1992 the pro-Russian regime there collapsed and “our boys” won…and proceeded to rape and pillage across the length and breadth of the country. America having accomplished its mission of bleeding Russia and “avenging Vietnam”, left the place, but Pakistan’s strategic planners were not done.

2. The vast jihadist infrastructure created for the Afghan war was reoriented to Kashmir and towards internal “Islamization” in Pakistan, and continued to expand. More terrorists were trained in the 1990s AFTER the CIA had left than were trained during the Afghan war. An alphabet soup of terrorist organization was created and operated openly throughout the 1990s. Some of them went beyond the call of duty and attacked Shias in “settled areas” (attacking Shias in tribal areas was never a high-priority crime) and also attacked some “brother Arab regimes” (e.g. the Egyptian embassy). Such rogue elements were targeted by security agencies to various extents, but NO attempt was made to slow down (much less reverse) the larger Jihadi effort.

3. By chance or planning or both, a pro-Pakistan regime under the Taliban was established in most of Afghanistan and became a refuge for various groups of Islamic terrorists. Some of them were approved of, some were left alone, some were considered hostile by us. Details remains murky and confused.

4. In 2001 America was attacked in New York and Washington DC. The mainstream opinion is that this attack was launched by Islamist terrorists whose group was headquartered in Afghanistan. The US decided to invade Afghanistan to clear them out. Whatever other motivations the US may have had (let us assume there were some), it does seem that the US became more or less anti-Jihadist (at least in the Afpak region) at that point. Pakistan publicly announced it was switching sides and would henceforth support the US operation in Afghanistan and would no longer allow Jihadists to operate freely from Pakistan.

4. If various people who write about Pakistani security agencies are to be believed, we did not actually switch sides. In fact our president (Musharraf) even made a speech to the nation in which he gave the example of “sulah e Hudaybia” (a pact the prophet of Islam made with his enemies in Mecca, but which was followed a few years later by the complete defeat of the Meccan pagans; the link was EXPLICITLY made that we are making a similar deal with America; our aims remain unchanged, but we will adjust course temporarily). Instead of truly switching sides, our “strategic geniuses” decided to keep Afghanistan “simmering but not boiling” (to quote the most recent “authoritative” article by Waj Khan). We continued to support “good Taliban” in order to make sure the new regime did not stabilize in Afghanistan. We continued to maintain Kashmiri terrorist organizations in some sort of cold storage (these are not controversial claims. Bona fide patriotic strategic thinkers have said all this and more at various points). We cleared some areas of some terrorists but not all areas of all terrorists. We continue to try and separate good jihadis from bad jihadis etc etc.

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Pakistan’s Karachi airport under attack: officials

Karachi (AFP) – Heavily armed militants attacked Pakistan’s busiest airport in the southern city of Karachi Sunday night, forcing the suspension of all flights, officials said.

Senior police official Rao Muhammad Anwar said the militants were armed with automatic weapons and grenades and were exchanging gunfire with security officials.

“Exchange of fire is continuing. We don’t know the exact number of the attackers but suspect four to six terrorists have attacked the airport,” he said.

Read more » Yahoo News
http://news.yahoo.com/pakistans-karachi-airport-under-attack-officials-191503030.html

Coming back?: Britain has frozen my bank accounts, says Altaf

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain revealed that the British government has frozen all his bank accounts in the United Kingdom.

In an interview with a private news channel on Saturday, he said, “I face money laundering and other cases, which have not been presented in court so far. And without any proof, the British government has sealed all my bank accounts.”

The MQM chief admitted that the British authorities had conducted raids at his house and at his office. “No lawyer is willing to come forward because they are afraid of the British establishment. But I will continue to fight and face everything alone.” He said the British government can put him in jail and kill him but he will ‘continue to speak the truth’. “If I have to die, then why not in Pakistan?”

Regarding his national identity card, Altaf said he has warts on his legs and feet and therefore, cannot walk properly. However, he managed to come to the MQM’s secretariat in London where Nadra officials carried out the procedure.

“Now they are saying the data has gone corrupt? Do the prime minister and the interior minister want me to beg for my Pakistaniat (Pakistani identity)? I don’t want this charity from them.” He said he was disappointed with the Sindh governor for remaining silent in the recent meeting with Nawaz Sharif. “They were putting false accusations on us, but the governor did not say anything and remained quiet.”

Courtesy: The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2014.
http://tribune.com.pk/story/709892/coming-back-britain-has-frozen-my-bank-accounts-says-altaf/#.U3g8o8v9QJQ.facebook

Call to give Karachi coast under Sindh authority

THATTO: Former Sindh minister for culture and tourism Sassui Palijo has called for strengthening the Sindh Coastal Development Authority and said Karachi coast should also be brought under the authority as there is no need to set up a separate body for the metropolis.

Read more » DAWN
http://m.dawn.com/news/1106065/call-to-give-karachi-coast-under-sindh-authority

Keti Bandar What? Who? Where?

by Alan Jhons

Keti Bandar is a small fishing village situated about 150 kilometers east of Karachi. It is nestled in one of the many thousands of creeks, rivers and dykes which make up the mouth of the Indus River, It was one of the richest ports of the region. The residents of Keti Bandar proudly claim that this port granted a loan to Karachi Municipal Committee during nineteenth century. This is no more in operation since 1935. Now not even the ruins of the port are visible due to sea erosion. Most of the inhabitants believe that Keti Bandar is actually the port of Debal where Muhammad bin Qasim along with his army arrived through ships from Iraq. Dibla tribe settled at Keti Bandar which justifies their claim to some extents.

The ports of coastal belt of Thatto are Keti Bandar, Bagan, Kharo Chhan etc. and are located 160 kilometres south east from Karachi. Keti bandar was once a thriving river port in the indus river delta in southern pakistan, with impressive public buildings, a customs office and warehouse for exports. Today it can barely stay above water. Sea waves lash against its protective embankments on three sides, leaving only a thin, 2km long isthmus by way of a land bridge to the mainland. And the water levels keep rising. Two years ago, the high tide barely came up to the ruins of a rice mill located just outside the town. Now that has been completely submerged.The signs of a prosperous past are still visible,such as the crumbling pillars of a vast villa that belonged to a Hindu village head. But all the remains on island today are a few hundred fishermen’s huts, made of straw-mat walls and thatched roofs.

The area is low and sparse. Sparse in all ways, by which I mean little to no vegetation due to the saline waters, few people due to the simple fact there is nothing there to sustain them except fishing and flat like all delta regions. Even the drinking water is trucked in. There is also evidence of some power lines. Two lines, one had collapsed and a one was being built.

The only access to Keti Bandar is by road from Sakro or of course fishing boat. We did also see evidence of a helicopter pad marked out on the road. We suspected this was for military purposes as we are only about 100 kilometers from the Indian Boarder.

Given what I have just said I was surprised to see an asphalted road at all, I had been preparing myself for a long haul over rough terrain, being bumped from side to side for what would surely have seemed like hours. In fact we took an hour getting out of Karachi (that’s 20 kilometers !) due to traffic and here in the delta we were batting along at 120 plus!

Courtesy: http://www.pgfa.org/Articles/Keti_Bandar_Karachi_Sindh_Pakistan/

JSQM condemns the extrajudicial killings of MQM workers

A JSQM delegation headed by its Chairman Abdul Wahid Arisar met with MQM’s Rabita Committee members Haider Abbas Rizvi and Ashfaq Manghi. JSQM delegation condemned the extrajudicial killings of MQM workers and expressed deep concern over the workers who have become victims of enforced disappearances. They prayed for the MQM’s martyred workers and recovery of abducted workers. The two sides discussed the law and order situation of Karachi and the extrajudicial killings done by the law enforcement agencies. They also discussed the violations and abuses of power by the law enforcement agencies and growing crimes in the city.
MQM’s Rabita Committed members expressed heartfelt gratitude for sharing their grief. They said MQM has struggle for the rights of Sindh. They said that JSQM and MQM has supported each other in difficult times. They added that true leaders of Sindh had always condemned the extrajudicial killings whether they were carried out in urban or rural Sindh.
JSQM’s Chairman said, “ Sindh has been a peaceful land and people of Sindh are peaceful than western countries. Karachi was a city of lights. It has now become a powder-keg. Our brothers are being killed by people who have come here as job seekers. Our Country was a police and army state in the past. Now it has become a Rangers State. Rangers might say leaders and rulers of Sindh are inefficient. People who strife for peace are shot. We made efforts to bring peace here. However, enemies of peace live here. We cannot bring peace by guns and repression. We want peace in Sindh. JSQM shares the grief of MQM.

Courtesy: MQM

No number 1 or 2, only ‘Mother Sindh’ to prevail: Bilawal

Excerpt; …. Referring to Altaf Hussain’s speeches in Hyderabad and Karachi, Bilawal said that neither “50/50” nor “Sindh 1” or “Sindh 2” formula is acceptable to the people of Sindh.

“No50/50,No number 1 or number 2, only Mother Sindh.All men are created equal.All Pakistanis should b treated equally in the eyes of the Law.”

Read more » The Express Tribune
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-133061-No-number-1-or-2,-only-Mother-Sindh-to-prevail:-Bilawal

China commits $6.5b for Pakistani nuclear project

Project to have two reactors with a capacity of 1,100 megawatts each I Construction to be completed by 2019

By: Reuters

ISLAMABAD – China has committed $6.5 billion to finance the construction of a major nuclear power project in Karachi as it seeks to strengthen ties with its strategic partner, Pakistani officials said.

Read more » Reuters
http://www.nation.com.pk/islamabad/25-Dec-2013/china-commits-6-5b-for-pakistani-nuclear-project