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Book Review – Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan

Violence and transformation in the Karachi conflict

By Nichola Khan

Excerpt:

Arshad’s story

…… As I got older I learned about religion and human rights. I saw no-one giving me human rights or treating me fairly so I joined MQM. I hated the system and admired Altaf Hussain who wanted to change it. For example, after my hardworking years in education I still needed to pay bribes or find personal contacts to get a job. I was so angry. Merit was absolutely unimportant. After all our sacrifices, Mohajirs were treated as third-class citizens. I was qualified as a ship’s 2 Introduction radio officer but I couldn’t get a job. My Punjabi class fellow had a lower-grade certificate and got a job. I had to pay a bribe of five lakhs. My father agreed to pay but I didn’t want him to. Around then Altaf Hussain appeared on the scene talking about my experience exactly. He urged us to unite and fight the system. He showed that because 2 per cent of the population ruled over 98 per cent, a lower-middle-class, educated, intelligent boy couldn’t become a general, a colonel or reach a high post in Pakistan. That’s why I joined. But to change the system I knew I’d have to die. This was a revolution, it wasn’t going to happen in days. We were like the first drops of rain on the earth. You know, the earth soaks up the rain at first but if the drops keep falling it will become a flood. So I knew that this was a struggle of my life and my children’s lives, but that maybe the third generation would have human rights. I was in college when I first heard about Altaf Hussain.

In the beginning I was cynical and uninterested. I first saw him when he visited Lalukhet. He talked about human rights, which attracted me. Then I went to his house and asked him to tell me more. He explained that MQM believed in achieving equal rights for Mohajirs as Pakistani citizens. I was a student then and very sensitive, it was like fire-blood in my body. Everything I’d heard about Altaf was true – that he’s a great leader and if you listen to him once he will change your life forever. He was perfect. I’m not talking about now, but then his words were like magic. They went straight into my heart. He didn’t give false hopes. He said ‘We can try, but our dream may be impossible. Or, so hard we will die. So prepare yourself to die if you want to change this system.’ So I made a decision because I wanted to change the system and was prepared to die.

I didn’t care about killing people. Anyway Pakistani politics was so violent. Politicians influenced each other not by dialogue but by power, money and by how many boys they had. There’s no law. All those politicians who were previously enemies united against MQM and started killing us, so we had no choice. I wasn’t ashamed then but I am now because I can see we were fighting for some other reasons. He sold our blood. I was about 18 when I joined. There was a neighbourhood guy who was close to our area leader. MQM was poor then and needed money. Our leader controlled Zone C, which covered half of Karachi including my area. So I worked for about six months and when he was satisfied he introduced me to our leader and I became his bodyguard and gunman. I knew I was in a war situation and so many innocent people had to die. I was convinced killing was the way to make changes. The first time I killed, nothing physically bad happened to me. I didn’t sleep well that first night but on the second day I had to do it again and I quickly had to get used to it. It didn’t bother me at all. We took orders from our leaders. They each commanded seven boys, so altogether we were two groups totalling 14 boys in charge of MQM’s security wing. We didn’t answer to anyone else in the Cabinet, we could even refuse them a glass of water. At that time we hadn’t had any training. It was just a spontaneous war. Our leader thought we needed something more so they sent a few of us to Afghanistan where we learnt to use all kinds of weapons. When we returned, he refused Introduction 3 to go anywhere without us. Eventually, some other bodyguards set up the Haqiqi faction and he could trust no-one. I think that is why he finally left Pakistan. I think he’s a coward but he was such a good speaker. I had already killed and could see that the system was very corrupt and when he spoke we became so emotional. ….

….. My first job was to kill 600 Pukhtuns. A few of us did it. Our blood was hot and we wanted revenge. Our leader gave us weapons and said ‘Listen. They have killed our innocent brothers and sisters so we must show that we are not cowards and we know how to take revenge. You must attack the Pukhtuns in their homes’.

I remember that night, it was December 1986. This was in the early years of MQM. Our leader gave us weapons that night and came with us. We all went out in few cars we’d hijacked. We didn’t have kalashnikovs but the latest weapons then were Sten guns. We went out in two cars to find some Pukhtuns, of course innocent Pukhtuns. These Pukhtuns are hard workers, they came to Karachi as labourers and they sleep under the sky, they don’t have homes. So it’s easy to find them sleeping on the roads and in the parks. 4 Introduction We killed as many as we could find. At the time MQM was very strict about the weapons, no-one else was allowed to kill or fire a single bullet. We were just 14 boys altogether in four cars. Two were in Landhi under one leader and our two cars were in Central Karachi under another. We killed as many as we could find and it was reported in the morning newspapers in a Special Edition. The headings said that more than 900 Pukhtuns had been killed by terrorists. Another heading said 300 Mohajirs were killed by terrorists and that 900 Pukhtuns were killed in different places.

That was the start. Afterwards, every few days our leader told us about some troublesome guy he wanted dead. That’s how I started killing people. Once he told me about an army intelligence superintendent of Karachi. He said you have to go and kill this woman, his wife. So two of us went by motorbike to PECHS area and I knocked on her door. We’d gone before to see the location and discovered she lived upstairs. I went up alone. Our leader had said ‘Don’t kill her with a gun. Kill her in a way that when it’s reported in the newspapers MQM’s enemies will get frightened. Kill her like that. Not with a gun – not an easy kill.’ This was the first time ever I killed a woman. I didn’t know she was pregnant although I realised that before I killed her. So I went up and knocked on the door. She opened the door and I went in and I asked her name. I had been told she would be alone. So I went in. I could see she was pregnant and I killed her by a knife in her belly. ‘For the name of God don’t kill me, don’t kill me’, she said. The details of how I did it were so horrible. I killed her with a knife, and then I took her head off and put it on top of the refrigerator. I was asked to make it horrible so that when it was reported in the papers MQM’s enemies would get frightened. Well, it worked. Now I can’t sleep and I feel all my problems come from killing her. I found out later that her husband was innocent, just doing his job. MQM wanted him to shut up so they killed him. I also heard that he loved his wife very much, it was their first baby – he ended up in a mental hospital. So now she comes in my dreams and I can’t get rid of her.

Only my leaders know about that killing. They gave us orders, never once Altaf Hussain. But although my leader was chief of MQM’s army wing, Altaf Hussain knows everything. They took the best boys from Karachi, the bravest ones they could use. I’ve realised since that he just used us, used me. What’s more, because we were always with him, even when he went into hiding every night, I’ve seen terrible things with my own eyes. I slowly realised he was a bastard. He said one thing but didn’t want to change the system at all. He just wanted to be powerful and live like a god.

So I ran away. I couldn’t sleep because I realised I had killed so many innocent people. I had nightmares about those innocent people, particularly that woman. Many times I’ve dreamt she is strangling me. She sits on my chest and I wake up and realise she is trying to kill me. Although I’ve robbed many people, banks and killed a lot of people for MQM, I’ve never abused women. Once a group of us raided a family, including daughters. We made them wait for hours for their father to bring money from the bank and although Irfan wanted to rape her, we never let him. That woman I Introduction 5 killed was a Punjabi. Understand, MQM was fighting with every nation of Pakistan, Pukhtuns, Sindhis, Punjabis, police, Rangers and Jamaat e Islami. Everyone. Finally MQM made the Haqiqi and we started killing each other.

Read more » Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan
See more »  http://samples.sainsburysebooks.co.uk/9781135161934_sample_839861.pdf

 

Pakistani’s Iron Grip, Wielded in Opulent Exile, Begins to Slip

By

LONDON — For two decades, Altaf Hussain has run his brutal Pakistani political empire by remote control, shrouded in luxurious exile in London and long beyond the reach of the law.

He follows events through satellite televisions in his walled-off home, manages millions of dollars in assets and issues decrees in ranting teleconferences that last for hours — all to command a network of influence and intimidation that stretches from North America to South Africa.

This global system serves a very localized goal: perpetuating Mr. Hussain’s reign as the political king of Karachi, the brooding port city of 20 million people at the heart of Pakistan’s economy.

“Distance does not matter,” reads the inscription on a monument near Mr. Hussain’s deserted former house in Karachi, where his name evokes both fear and favor.

Now, though, his painstakingly constructed web is fraying.

A British murder investigation has been closing in on Mr. Hussain, 59, and his party, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement. His London home and offices have been raided, and the police have opened new investigations into accusations of money laundering and inciting violence in Pakistan.

The scrutiny has visibly rattled Mr. Hussain, who recently warned supporters that his arrest may be imminent. And in Karachi, it has raised a previously unthinkable question: Is the end near for the untouchable political machine that has been the city’s linchpin for three decades?

“This is a major crisis,” said Irfan Husain, the author of “Fatal Faultlines,” a book about Pakistan’s relationship with the United States. “The party has been weakened, and Altaf Hussain is being criticized like never before.”

Continue reading Pakistani’s Iron Grip, Wielded in Opulent Exile, Begins to Slip

Imran Farooq Murder: London Police arrests Pakistani origin suspect

By Murtaza Ali Shah

LONDON: In a major breakthrough, Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command detectives investigating the murder of Dr Imran Farooq arrested a man on suspicion of conspiracy to murder the Pakistani politician on Thursday 16 September 2010.

The 52-year-old British Citizen of Pakistani origin was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport at approx 10:10 AM on Monday morning after landing at the airport on a flight from Canada. The detectives lay in waiting for the man whose travel trail was being monitored for a long time. The detectives were interviewing him on Monday at a West London Police station where he was in custody.

Dr Farooq was on his way home from work when he was attacked outside his home in Green Lane, Edgware, by a group of Pakistani looking men who killed him using a kitchen knife and bricks. A post-mortem gave his cause of death as multiple stab wounds and blunt trauma to the head.

A five and a half inch-bladed kitchen knife and a house brick used in the attack were recovered at the scene. A spokesman at the Metropolitan Police told that detectives from “the Met Police Counter Terrorism Command remain committed to finding those responsible”.

The detectives believe that Dr Imran Farooq’s murder would have required careful planning and would have required help from other people, some of whom may have provided assistance or information unwittingly.

Continue reading Imran Farooq Murder: London Police arrests Pakistani origin suspect

At least 740 killed in Karachi in five months: HRCP

KARACHI: Ethnic, sectarian and politically-linked violence in Pakistan’s financial capital Karachi has killed at least 740 people so far this year, a human rights organisation said Tuesday.

Parts of the port city have become battlegrounds, with authorities unable to prevent violence blamed on activists from political parties representing rival ethnic groups.

“About 740 people have been the victims of violent shootings in the last five months,” Zohra Yusuf, chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), told AFP.

The HRCP said last year a total of 1,715 people were killed in violent flare-ups in the city, which is Pakistan’s biggest with an estimated population of 17 million.

Continue reading At least 740 killed in Karachi in five months: HRCP

A shameful attack against humanity in Karachi

By: Kalavanti Raja

Indiscriminate firing on peaceful Mohabbat-e-Sindh Rally, 12 killed, 30 injured.

Terrorists group repeated its fascist-terrorist role as always but Sindh has adopted their 5000 years old track of peace and love; brave men and women shaded their last drop of blood to save mother land.

We salute martyred sons and daughters of Sindh. List of martyrs of Mohabat-e-Sindh rally are as under:

Brave Sindhi Women (Sindhiyani)

1). Shaheed Ghazala Siddiqui,  Karachi 2). Shaheed Yasmin Palijo, Karachi, 3) Shaheed Hawa Baitaar Mirpur Bathoro, 4). Shaheed Amna Palijo, Thatto 5). Shaheed Shareefan, Karachi

Brave Sindhi Man

6). Shaheed Sattar Unnar, Thatto 7). Shaheed Sarver Baloch, Karachi 8). Shaheed Aijaz Baloch, Karachi 9) Shaheed Mohammad Iqbal, Karachi 10).Shaheed Manzoor Ali, Karachi 11).Shaheed sher Ali, Karachi 12) Shaheed Ghulam Shabir Qambar

We demand and urge the Human Rights Organisations, United Nations and other civilized powers to take notice of this butchery and massacre of innocent and peaceful, hapless and helpless indigenous people of Sindh.

Beastly elements are certainly doing everything to ignite another 1947 in Sindh

By: Bolta Pakistan

Beastly elements are certainly doing everything to ignite another 1947 in Sindh. We must stay vigilant and dispassionate. We are first humans than anything else and poor passengers in buses are ordinary mortals; working day and night to provide bread and butter to their hapless dependents. They must not be used as pawns in dirty games of vicious political actors.

More details » BBC urdu

http://www.bbc.co.uk/urdu/pakistan/2012/05/120525_killings_twitter_a.shtml

Via – adopted from Bolta Pakistan facebook page

Women’s Action Forum condemns the attack on peaceful rally

Women’s Action Forum (WAF) Hyderabad, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are appalled that a peaceful demonstration of Mohabat-e-Sindh (Love of Sindh) rally against the division of Sindh on the 22nd of May was violently attacked resulting in the tragic death of friends and comrades. We strongly condemn the use of force under any circumstances and particularly when it is used to subdue the democratic rights of the people to express their sentiments and political positions.

WAF offers its profound condolences to the family of Yasmeen Baloch, and Sindiani Tehreek for the tragic deaths and offers condolences to the family of labour leader Usman Baluch whose niece Ghazala Siddiqui was also killed. We will miss all of them not only in our political struggle but for the personal strength that their activism gave to all of us.

The mischievous noise of the ‘division’ of Sindh has been often used with sinister intent over to further the interests of a particular fascist terrorist group and has often been supported by the ‘hidden’ hand of those who have frequently brought the nation on the brink of destruction. WAF stands with the people of Sindh and does not accept the division of Sindh on ethnic or administrative lines, no matter what the rationale since this goes against the very fabric and spirit of secular Sindh.

Women’s Action Forum (WAF) is a women’s rights organization and has a presence in several cities in Pakistan. It is a non-partisan, non-hierarchical and non-funded organization. It is supportive of all aspects of women’s rights and related issues, irrespective of political affiliations, belief system, or ethnicity.

Lahore demo against Karachi massacre of Sindhis

Lahore: Labour Party of Pakistan announced a joint protest demonstration tomorrow on Wednesday May 23, 2012 in Lahore against the killings of political activists of Mohabat-e-Sindh rally. The demonstration is jointly organised by Workers Party, Labour Party and Awami Party in close associations with social movements and organisations and trade unions at 4.30pm at Shimla Pehari Lahore.

In a press statement, Younas Rahu general secretary Labour Party Pakistan condemned the attack of the MQM gangsters on a peaceful rally of Awami Tehreek killing over 12 and dozens were injured. Labour Party is in complete solidarity with people of Sindh and Awami Tehreek and calls on its activists to demonstrate every where in PAKISTAN, he said. LPP in cooperation with its sister organisations is also organising demonstrations in Hyderabad, and Faisalabad.

Labour Party Pakistan, 25 A Davis Road Lahore, Pakistan

http://www.laborpakistan.org

Tensions rise in Sindh after Jinnahupur/ Mohajir Suba/ Refugees province rhetoric

Tensions rise after Mohajir Suba rhetoric, Nationalists demand action against patrons of division, Ten nationalist parties warn taking action if govt. fails

Urdu-speaking people should not support evil design

Sindh’s nationalist parties on Sunday demanded of the government to take stern action against those responsible for organizing rallies, putting up billboards and banners and graffiti in different parts of Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur for carving out a new province out of Sindh.

Leaders of almost ten nationalist parties also warned that Sindhi people would themselves take action against such people if the government failed in stopping them.

The parties included Sindh National Movement, Jeay Sindh Tehreek, Awami Jamhori Party, Sindh United Party, Awami Tehreek, Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh National Party, Jeay Sindh Mahaz, Sindh Dost Democratic Party and Karachi Sindh Shehri Ittehad.

The leaders warned of serious consequences if any attempt was made to divide the province or to carve out another province out of Sindh.

They said Urdu-speaking community should not support any evil design of dividing Sindh adding they (Urdu-speaking people) are their brothers but if they continue to demand a separate homeland here or support anti-Sindh elements, they are advised and warned to leave Sindh.

Another report adds: They said that a conspiracy was being hatched for the last couple of months. “We did not take any action fearing bloodshed but enough is enough. We are peaceful people but know how to fight for our motherland,” said Ameer Bhanbhro.

“Our elders welcomed Mohajirs at the time of partition and Urdu-speaking people enjoy all kinds of rights and privileges in Sindh today. They were elected as Nazims in major cities and are members of the national and provincial assemblies and governors as well. On the contrary, Sindhis are not given entry in the educational institutions and are denied jobs in Karachi,” said Elahi Bux Bikik.

It merits mentioning that Sindh Taraqi Pasand Party (STPP) on Saturday issued a 72-hour ultimatum to the Sindh government to remove the wall chalking, posters, banners and posters carrying maps of Mohajir Suba (Refugees Province) from all parts of Sindh. In case of failure, the party declared to its workers would do it in every city from Karachi to Larkano.

Courtesy: The Point

http://www.thepoint.com.pk/sindh355.php

We will not allow betrayal of Sindh: Only ONE SINDH – there can be NO OTHER!

By: Dr. Ahmed H. Makhdoom & Khalid Hashmani

What is Sindhyat, my friends, my brothers and sisters, my sons and daughters? Sindhyat is when thee FIRST know thy “SAAEEN” – whatever you may call Him: “Allah, Ishwar, God, Waaheguru, Ahura-Mazda!”

Then – and ONLY THEN – thee must know thy Motherland, land of thy ancestors, land of thy forefathers – that great, grand and gregarious land is known as “SINDH!” And, there is only ONE SINDH – there can be NO OTHER!

Yes, this is VERY IMPORTANT – to know thy Creator ‘n thy Mother before thee go ‘n find anyone else!

And, the Sun emerges from the East, they go grazing out in the green fields and rich pastures – the herds of cows and buffalos of my Motherland, Sindh! And, when the same Sun hides itself in the West, they go back where they are most required and needed to their tranquil abodes to rest and quench the thirst of so many thirsty beings!

Saeen Ahmed Hussain Makhdoom urges us (overseas Sindhis) to go back to Sindh as Sindh needs their help. I echo Makhoom sahib’s words that Sindh needs help of everyone as some of its recently-born sons and daughters are betraying it by calling for its division (Balkanization of Pakistan/ Jinnahpur/ Mohajir Sooba/ Refugee province conspiracy). However, I believe that we Overseas Sindhis can help Sindh much more effectively from our new homelands provided we inspire ourselves and become active in protecting the integrity of Sindh.

Instead of getting ourselves in petty issues that are of no consequences, we should welcome cooperation and collaboration and form alliances on one single point that “we will not allow betrayal of Sindh“. Let us not waste our energy on putting each other down or focusing on differences but give all our attention to protect Sindhiat.

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, 20 May 2012.

How painfully ironical that it is happening in PPP govt. in Lyari, the hub of PPP’s vote bank

Violence revisits Lyari: Three, including PPP leader, shot dead

SINDH – KARACHI: In a showdown between police and protestors on Monday, three people were killed while over a dozen sustained bullet injuries and were admitted to local hospitals.

Violence revisited Lyari as agitated residents took to the streets and clashed with police over what they described as ‘biased operation’ of law enforcement agencies against the residents of Lyari.

PPP leader dead

According to sources, PPP leader Hassan Soomro was also shot dead in this recent bout of violence.

Continue reading How painfully ironical that it is happening in PPP govt. in Lyari, the hub of PPP’s vote bank

It is the second time that Canadian courts have ruled the MQM meets the legal definition of a terrorist organization

karachi– Judge orders deportation of Pakistani party chief

The head of the Quebec branch of a Pakistani political party is facing deportation after the Federal Court of Canada ruled he belonged to an organization that committed terrorism.

By National Post

The head of the Quebec branch of a Pakistani political party is facing deportation after the Federal Court of Canada ruled he belonged to an organization that committed terrorism.

The judge upheld the deportation of Mohammed Kashif Omer, a resident of Montreal, on the grounds he is a member of the Mothaidda Quami Movement, or MQM.

It is the second time this year Canadian courts have ruled the MQM party meets the legal definition of a terrorist organization.

Mr. Omer is one of dozens of Pakistanis whom Canadian immigration authorities are trying to deport because of their involvement in the MQM.

Despite being blamed for the kidnapping, torture and murder of its political rivals in Pakistan, the MQM has opened a Canadian branch called MQM-Canada.

Continue reading It is the second time that Canadian courts have ruled the MQM meets the legal definition of a terrorist organization

Must Watch – MQM’s former chief security incharge Umer Mehmood (Goga Bhai) is talking about MQM Chief Altaf Bhai

The language of the speech is urdu (Hindi).

To watch other parts of Goga Bhai → SIASAT.PK