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Third party experiment in choppy waters – Asif Haroon Raja

Third party experiment in choppy waters

Asif Haroon Raja

 

 

In the 73 years political history of Pakistan, the civilians ruled for 40 years and the military for 33 years. While Field Marshal Ayub Khan, Gen Zia-ul Haq and Gen Musharraf ruled for over 10, 11 and 9 years respectively, no civilian ruler completed his/her 5 year tenure. Prolonged military rules made the senior army officers affluent and they made a place in the privileged club. Frequent military interventions bred civil-military tensions and both sides blamed each other for failing to make Pakistan a prosperous country. While the politicians term the military rulers as power hungry dictators and anti-democratic, and hold them responsible for not letting the democracy to grow, the army generals perceive the politicians as corrupt, security risk, and inept having no sense of governance and management. The three military rulers uplifted the GDP to above 7% due to continuity, one window operation, superior management and governance, but were unable to widen the base of education, improve literacy rate, reform the state institutions and establish true democracy. The politicians neither paid any attention to the education, nor reformed the institutions, or improved the tainted political culture. They were satisfied with the British inherited systems and were content in running sham democracy since it  enabled them to break or bend laws and indulge in corrupt practices without any check and balance. The bureaucrats who are the real power wielders and the judiciary played their part in keeping politics in choppy waters.

Three-tiered education system, feudalism, religious divides, secular-Islamic divide, rise of ethnicity and mushroom growth of provincial parties obstructed nationalism and integration of the society. Leadership crisis encouraged India and Afghanistan to exploit these fault lines, fuel regionalism and make use of 5th columnists to disturb law and order or to foment insurgency.  As a consequence, the country kept lurching from one crisis to another and never got politically stabilized, and economically sound. Unstable political and economic conditions, craze for materialism among the elites, ever widening gap between the rich and the poor, insensitivity of the selfish affluent class towards the deprived class, media emerging as the 4th pillar of the state but using its power wrongfully, all these factors deflected the nation away from the golden principles of Islam, and pushed the society towards the satanic path, which degenerated the moral turpitude of the society as a whole. Well-knowing that the hand of law will not touch them because of their influence and power of money, politicized police and bureaucracy and highly defective criminal judicial system, the evildoers commit all sorts of sins and heinous crimes without any fear. 

Irrespective of internal weaknesses and tense external environments, fighting three wars with India and losing the eastern limb, Pakistan’s Rupee value, its GDP, per capita income and overall economy were much stronger than the regional countries till 1990. Starting from 1953, Pakistan extended financial support to Saudi Arabia till mid-1970s. The rot started during the third democratic era of 1990s during which the two competing mainstream parties, PPP and PML-N, indulged in fierce tug of war, nepotism and in corrupt practices. Merit was set aside and loyalty to the ruling party head and not honesty and professional competence became the criteria for selection of senior bureaucrats, police officers, judges and bank managers. Same criteria was applicable for the cabinet ministers and advisers as well as the service chiefs. In a decade, all state institutions were politicized and destroyed. Gen Zia’s hammer in the form of Article 58 2 (b) was liberally used by President Ghulam Ishaq Khan to pack up three governments prematurely on charges of corruption. President Leghari used this axe once in 1996.

Since then, Pakistan’s economy has remained in the doldrums and at the mercy of the IMF and the World Bank. After a good start by the military regime of Gen Musharraf, it lost its shine once it chose to co-opt King’s Party, which was an amalgam of turncoats from all parties. Emphasis was on corruption but the axe of accountability fell upon the opponents of the regime. Kashmir cause was given a setback. National Reconciliation Ordnance (NRO), which brought back, Benazir Bhutto (BB), Nawaz Sharif (NS) and Zardari from abroad were the gifts of Musharraf. Whatever little improvements he made in the economy were washed down the drain during the 4th democratic era starting in 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of paying attention to institutions building, focus shifted on making compromises both internally and externally. Governed by the dictates of Charter of Democracy signed by NS and BB in May 2006, both PPP and PML-N during their respective five years tenures kept accountability on lowest priority. Emphasis of the two was on keeping USA and India appeased even at the cost of compromising national interests. Both tried to undermine the Army in order to establish civilian supremacy. Lip service was paid to the Kashmir cause and no heed was paid to the degeneration of morals and human values. Comparing the two, performance of PML-N was much better. NS could have completed his tenure as PM and his party could have won again in 2018 had he abstained from his old habit of locking horns with the army chiefs. Trial of Gen Musharraf and his indictment on charges of high treason, coupled with Dawn leaks scandal cooked his goose.     

It is said that when the two-party system failed to deliver and Pakistan began to sink under the massive weight of foreign debts and faltering economy due to declining morality, ever growing corruption and other malpractices and lack of governance, the Establishment decided to bring forward a new party with better credentials. To this end, PTI under Imran Khan (IK) who had a clean record was earmarked, which had taken advantage of the deplorable rule of PPP under Zardari and emerged as a strong third force in late 2011. Elimination of corruption and justice for all were the slogans chanted by charismatic IK which made him popular. His party however, failed to defeat the PML-N in 2013 elections since go-getter Shahbaz Sharif as CM Punjab had performed well and his party was well entrenched in Punjab which makes or breaks governments. Instead of reconciling with his defeat and concentrating on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where his party had formed a government and preparing for next elections, IK decided to oust PML-N which had gained two-third majority and had formed governments in Punjab and in Baluchistan.

Reason behind his impatience was that the ruling party had begun to deliver and CPEC agreement had become a reality. Letting PML-N to complete its tenure would have made its re-election inevitable. A plan was chalked out by him, Tahirul Qadri (TuQ), Pervez Elahi and Sheikh Rashid at London to stage a sustained sit-in at Islamabad in July 2014 under the premise of massive rigging in elections. Death of 14 supporters of TuQ in Model Town Lahore incident in June that year at the hands of the police energized firebrand TuQ to censure Punjab administration and police, register FIRs and gain sympathies of the people. It fueled the PTI-PAT protestors to undertake road journey from Lahore to Islamabad and stage a dharna at D Chowk. Reluctance of the government to open four constituencies in Lahore district for recounting of votes became the rallying point for the protestors to demand resignation of NS and to hold mid-term elections.

To maximize pressure on the government, various tactics were employed, which included attacks on the Parliament, PM Secretariat and PTV, followed by refusing to pay taxes, resignation by all MNAs of PTI and vicious propaganda war through electronic and social media to degrade the Sharif brothers. NS was demonized as the most corrupt man and IK glamorized as the best man. During the six months sit-in, every night the PTI members and supporters danced and sang on the beat of music arranged by DJ, and the PTI leaders hurled threats and insults on NS and his family. The jollification was abruptly called off after the tragedy in APS Peshawar on December 16, 2014 but the tirade continued relentlessly in the public meetings staged in big cities. Fan-following of IK surged and tussle between followers of PTI named as ‘Youthias’ and of PML-N as ‘Patwaris’ peaked on social media.  

Panama case in April 2017 came as a blessing in disguise for the PTI which was fully exploited to boot out NS. Media hype was created despite the fact that in the list of 450 account holders in the Panama offshore companies, NS name was not there. The seven-member Supreme Court bench under chief justice Saqib Nisar took assistance from the specially formed JIT to probe the accusations of corruption and money laundering. In spite of the 10-volume probe made by the JIT, the court found no trace of corruption, but disqualified NS on charges of holding an Aqama for getting employed in Al-Azizia steel mills at Dubai owned by his son and drawing salary from him during his period of exile. He didn’t mention it in his 2013 tax return since he had not drawn any salary.

PML-N suffered series of reverses which included disqualification of three-time elected NS in July 2017 for not being Sadiq and Ameen, time-bound trial of NS and his children by NAB court supervised by a judge of supreme court, toppling of PML-(N)-NP coalition government in Baluchistan led by Sanaullah Zehri in January 2018, followed by PML-N losing the sure seats of Senate Chairman and Deputy Chairman. Just before the general elections in July 2018, NS was absolved in one case but convicted in the second case and awarded 7 years jail sentence. His daughter Maryam and son-in-law Capt(Retd) Safdar were also jailed. Cases were registered by the law courts against senior PML-N leaders. Under the circumstances, the victory of PTI in July 2018 elections was a foregone conclusion.

PTI senior member Jahangir Tareen (JT) aspiring to become CM Punjab played a key role in inducing sizeable numbers of the electable turncoats from the PPP and PML-N and independents, mostly from South Punjab, to PTI. He was the chief organizer, financier and right hand man of IK. It is said that TLP, GDA and BAP were created to split votes of PML-N. However, despite the gerrymandering, PTI won with a thin margin in the Centre and in Punjab and perforce had to seek alliance with PML-Q, MQM-P and BNP-M whom IK had always censured. Punjab was handed to unknown and unassuming Usman Buzdar due to disqualification of JT by the count on charges of possessing a mansion abroad and holding an account in offshore company which he didn’t declare. The allies and the electables from other parties as well as imported technocrats have created hurdles in the way of reforming the state institutions and carrying out across the board accountability, and in building New Pakistan.

NS in the meanwhile managed to procure bail and get admitted in a hospital at Lahore for medical treatment. Later on he was permitted by the court to go abroad in November 2019 on account of his deteriorating health condition and to return after six weeks once his health improved. On December 17, 2019, Gen Musharraf in exile in Dubai was given death sentence by Islamabad High Court (IHC). Eruption of Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 kept the government in a spin and NS was forgotten. On 01 September 2020, the court hearing the Toshakhana (State to State Gift Repository) case asked NS to return home in next ten days or else he will be declared an absconder(already declared an absconder). He has now been summoned by IHC in Avenfield and Al-Azizia cases on 22 September. Both the Federal and Punjab governments as well as the NAB are making hectic efforts to get him back but NS is not likely to return soon as long as the doctors treating him do not clear him. NS and Maryam’s indulgence in politics is the reason behind the pressure.

It was optimistically assumed by PTI leaders that after the victory, over 70 legislators of PML-N would jump the ship and join the ruling party, as had been the practice before. PTI leadership was confident that not only they would muster enough political strength in Punjab to get rid of black mailing allies, but would also win local bodies elections comfortably. This assumption proved fallacious, as was the case with several other rosy assumptions. In spite of the relentless propaganda against the Sharif’s and their families and the witch-hunt of PML-N leaders by the NAB, the party remains intact and has not lost its vote bank in Punjab; the two brothers are still popular. It is speculated that in order to meet the threat posed by NS and Maryam, not only NAB has been further pumped up, the new CCPO Umar Sheikh has been inducted in the main political battleground of Lahore to do what other police officers couldn’t do. His services are needed so urgently that his blemished service record was ignored. So much so that instead of accepting the request of the IG Punjab Shoaib Dastagir to post out Umar Sheikh, he was removed from his post and new IG Inam Ghani inducted. 

Reason why the fort of PML-N couldn’t be cracked is that so far the PTI haven’t lived up to its promises and has fallen much short of high expectations of the people. None of the rosy promises have been fulfilled. Instead of improvement, their lives have become more depressed due to high inflation, red tapism, feudalism, nepotism and other mal practices that were committed in Old Pakistan. Governance and financial management are low average due to which prices of basic necessities and unemployment have surged. The rulers are committing the same mistakes and wrongs for which the predecessors were censured. Instead of correcting their shortcomings, they are continuing to blame the former two regimes for their weak performance. Or the danger of 5th generation war is brandished.

Neither the country has been made free of corruption within months as was claimed, nor the wrong practices of public office holders checkmated, or the economic health of the country improved, or a fair and transparent judicial system established. Instead of reducing debt burden it has been increased. Against Rs. 29000 billion debt accumulated in 70 years, Rs. 14500 billion has been added in just two years. Above all, the much trumpeted accountability has become selective and controversial. No accused has been convicted and punished in the last two years. NS is sitting abroad, Zardari is getting bail after bail, and so are other high prized accused. No serial target killer belonging to MQM and PPP has been taken to task. No Mafia has been netted. Terrorists caught inside the battle zones have been released and so is the case with several terrorists awarded death sentence by the military courts. Release of murderer MPA Achakzai in Quetta by the court on account of lack of evidence has disappointed the people. Call for removing the controversial CCPO Lahore on account of his irresponsible statement to the press about the gang rape victim on motorway is getting louder. And so is the call for public hanging or castration of the two rapists as suggested by the PM. Khurram, husband of PTI MPA Abida Raja severely bashed additional session judge Malik Jahangir at a petrol pump in Islamabad. Former is in the lock up and the latter removed from his seat by Islamabad High Court. Street crimes, rapes and robberies have increased and law and order is deteriorating mainly due to defects in investigation, prosecution and criminal justice system.  .   

Secondly, the PML-N voters are convinced that NS was wronged by the judiciary and that IK was empowered by the Establishment. They feel that irrespective of his fault lines, he was making good progress to make Pakistan economically strong and their living condition was much better during his tenure. Naya Pakistan is becoming a nightmare for them. NS has upheld his view that his removal was part of an effort to undermine democracy and civilian supremacy. The dismal performance of the PTI in its two-year tenure, and the growing frustration of the people have encouraged NS, Maryam Nawaz and other senior PML-N leaders to deride the ruling party and seek in-house change or mid-term elections.         

The PTI has not been able to make any headway because the politicized and corrupted institutions, particularly the judiciary, bureaucrats and the police have not been reformed. The flawed electoral system elects the same lot of vultures again and again, but no effort has been made to restructure it and improve the political culture. Without reformation no breakthrough is possible. The large numbers of legislators and senators drawing handsome salaries and plentiful perks and privileges are a huge drain on the national kitty since they remain disconnected from the people who elected them and are more of liabilities than of any use. Imported economic wizards tutored by the IMF/World Bank have failed to draw a sound economic roadmap to steer the country out of the choppy waters. Apart from the socio-economic challenges, failure to provide respite to the marooned Kashmiris in occupied Kashmir locked down since August 5 last year and trampled and molested by 900,000 Indian forces is a cause of embarrassment for the government.

Imran Khan is undoubtedly honest and earnestly want the country to progress. He has the requisite leadership qualities as well as drive and initiative and has the big advantage of unflinching support of the military, president and the judiciary. However, to what good is his honesty and backup support if he has selected a poor team and sticking with it despite knowing that most have skeletons in their cupboards and are letting him down? Usman Buzdar is not changed on the premise that he is simple and honest, but he is a flop and a cause of discomfiture for Imran Khan. Political expediency is coming in his way to pick right men for the right jobs. Art is long and time is running out. While the political parties in opposition pose no threat to him, what should worry him is the growing frustration and resentment of the people. His own party members and fans are getting disillusioned and are expressing dissatisfaction. People are questioning that how Pakistan will be converted into Riyasat-e-Madina when all our systems are western, and so is the way of living of the elite class? Or it is a rhetoric and akin to Bhutto’s concept of Islamic socialism?

Marginal improvements in macro-economic indicators have brought no succor to the people. Unless IK reins in the Mafias, makes the accountability effective, fair and transparent, ends nepotism and restores merit system, implements austerity, brings down the prices of fuel, gas and daily commodities, provide health facilities, cheap and quality education, social services, jobs, homes to the shelter-less, provides security to the people and delivers justice at the doorsteps, his shrinking popularity graph will dwindle further. All this will be possible only when the alien systems are replaced with Islamic laws. 

Additionally, a way out will have to be found to unlock over 8 million Kashmiris, get original status of J&K restored, and put an end to reign of terror launched by Indian forces. Pressure must be maximized upon the UN and the world community to settle the oldest dispute of Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolutions. However, diplomatic offensive alone will not fetch any results. The Far Right in Pakistan are incensed over punishments awarded to Hafiz Saeed and other Jamaatud Dawa leaders on account of fear of getting blacklisted by FATF. They say that neither the Mujahids are allowed to help the Kashmiris in distress nor the government is taking any physical action to put fear into the hearts of the Indian brutes brutalizing Kashmiris. 

Lingering Kashmir dispute is the root cause of growth of religious extremism. Pacifism in the face of offensive activism will not work. One-side appeasement, moderation in war, diplomatic juggling or peace mantra are self-defeating. It will be imprudent to rely on the UN or the dual-faced USA for a solution. We regret the lost opportunities; but fleeting opportunity is once again knocking at our door which may not be there tomorrow. Bold stances of Taliban, China and Iran are recent examples how to deal with cunning and arrogant enemies like USA and UK.

                        

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Pakistan: Leaders or Criminals

Pakistan: Leaders or Criminals

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By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

 

 

 

 

 

Nawaz-and-zardari-funny-pic

 

 

 

[At least 55 people were killed and more than 150 injured in a lethal suicide attack on the Pakistan side of Wagah border. Photo courtesy Times of India.]

Leaders with No accountability and No Shame

Pakistan is in ruins. The nation and its iinstitutions, law and justice, commerce, thinking hubs, political governance all appear dysfunctional and self-contradictory. Eroding freedom of thought and action speaks of the missing accountability of the political elite. The nation is fast becoming a victim of the US planned blue-print being used in Iraq. Vengeful sectarian killings and dismantling of economic, political and moral infrastructures is used to incapacitate the nation by its own sadistic rulers. All fighting against each other to end the very existence by collective madness. The paid Pakistani political and security agents are instrumental in carrying out heinous crimes. Increasingly, and without any logical redress, common citizens are the targets of the political cruelty. No wonder, once conditions favorable to cruelty are ote:established, it spreads like frightening wildfire. The governance demonstrates a dead-ended political conscience at the expense of the interests of the people. After a decade-old American entrapment in the bogus war on terrorism, the country has lost the energy and capacity to deal with any major problem of security or national unity. The foreign agenda is focused on breaking the moral and spiritual lifelines of the Pakistani nation by its own agents of influence. There are no brave and proactive politicians to stop the continuing political stagnation. The nation faces colossal disaster day in and day out but nobody is held accountable for the crimes. The Generals are convenient spectators and Nawaz Sharif is happy, the herd is politically manageable to complete his inherently fraudulent term of office as prime minister.

Pakistan is in ruins. The nation and its institutions, law and justice, commerce, thinking hubs, political governance all appear dysfunctional and self-contradictory. Eroding freedom of thought and action speaks of the missing accountability of the political elite. The nation is fast becoming a victim of the US planned blue-print being used in Iraq. Vengeful sectarian killings and dismantling of economic, political and moral infrastructures is used to incapacitate the nation by its own sadistic rulers. All fighting against each other to end the very existence by collective madness. The paid Pakistani political and security agents are instrumental in carrying out heinous crimes. Increasingly, and without any logical redress, common citizens are the targets of the political cruelty. No wonder, once conditions favorable to cruelty are established, it spreads like frightening wildfire. The governance demonstrates a dead-ended political conscience at the expense of the interests of the people. After a decade-old American entrapment in the bogus war on terrorism, the country has lost the energy and capacity to deal with any major problem of security or national unity. The foreign agenda is focused on breaking the moral and spiritual lifelines of the Pakistani nation by its own agents of influence. There are no brave and proactive politicians to stop the continuing political stagnation. The nation faces colossal disaster day in and day out but nobody is held accountable for the crimes. The Generals are convenient spectators and Nawaz Sharif is happy, the herd is politically manageable to complete his inherently fraudulent term of office as prime minister.
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Daily blood baths of civilians go unabated, adding to the statistical record for lack of adequate security. The latest cold blooded murder of 55 innocent people at Wagha border and 150 or so injured adds nothing new to grieving citizens belief that Pakistan is governed by most inept, incompetent and corrupt people ever witnessed by an informed nation. No politicians assume responsibility for the protection and safeguard of life and property of ordinary Pakistanis. There is an obvious disconnect between the people and the political rulers constantly hated and feared by the masses. The conflicting time zones are widening in which ordinary people suffer versus the ruling elite breathe as daily civilian casualties continue to rise because of the Taliban attacks and targeted massacres of ordinary citizens. Whose failure is it, and who should be held accountable? Is the Pakistani security apparatus so incompetent and ill equipped that it cannot ensure public safety? Given the lack of accountability and lack of shame, there is nothing to prevent these political criminals from repeating their crimes. So the killings of the innocent civilians go unabated. Strange as it is, opposition activists raising voices against the Sharif regime are conveniently arrested and jailed, but not the Sharif brethren who kill the citizens at random and implement planned massacres. Those facilitating crimes against the people occupy positions of political leadership and even law and justice cannot question them. They are abetted by the political class, committed the greatest heist in history.
Assuming political power in Pakistan means supporting the king’s men of oligarchy. Nobody could dare to challenge their supremacy in the annals of public affairs. For almost three months thousands of people across wide spectrum of Pakistani society, were raising voices of REASON in Islamabad to imagine political change and to have the Sharif brothers held accountable for politically geared killings and death squads against peaceful demonstrators. The inaction contributes to the downfall of the country to obscurity and insanity often irreversible in time and space. This week, at Wagah international border, 55 civilians were cold bloodedly massacred by a group of Taliban. Reportedly 100 or more were critically injured. Sharif and military security officials have proven to be a failure to console the people in situation of emergencies and moments of pain and anguish.

A ‘Failed State’ or Quagmire of Political Insanity

Pakistan lives in self-inflicted turmoil of political and military intrigues – all deceiving all – all trying to gain their foothold in power either by attracting foreign interventions or creating catastrophic political hazards to dismantle the fabric of the originally Muslim nation. The stage actors want power and use it as a divine right of absolutism against the interests of the coerced masses. This set the stage for the gradual decadence of the meaning and purpose of the Pakistan Freedom Movement. The worst emerged when ZA Bhutto and General Yahya Khan refused to transfer power to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the majority East Pakistani leader after the 1971 national elections. They managed to kill several thousands of Pakistanis on both sides to retain power and ended up in humiliating surrender to India. Both betrayed the nation and both escaped the accountability. ZA Bhutto emerged as an absolute illegitimate leader of defeated Pakistan assuming the role of Martial Law administrator, President and later Prime Minister. Another military coup by General Zia ul-Haq got the US-other Western nation involved in military intervention to oust the Communist USSR from occupying neighboring Afghanistan and evolution of jihadist – Taliban struggle. In August 1988, Ms. Bhutto and her mother were reportedly responsible for the plane crash of General Zia ul Haq and Killings of 12 Generals and hundreds of others civilians including foreign diplomats. Subsequently, Ms. Bhutto and her mother were not charged with killings of so many precious lives but embraced as the first female PM. She was dismissed twice as corruption that knew no bound. Ms. Bhutto and Asif Zardari stole millions of dollars from Pakistan and were indicted by Swiss court on money laundering schemes. The $60. Million were never recovered by the national treasury. A crime-riddled political culture flourished in which these monsters floated freely. Nawaz Sharif was also dismissed twice on corruption charges. In 1999, he conspired to hijack a PIA incoming flight from SriLanka to Karachi in which the then COAS General Pervez Musharaf and 250 or more civilian passengers were traveling. Sharif had the plan to send the plane to India or to get it crashed. A military coup ousted Sharif and was tried on terrorism charges in a court law and exiled. General Musharaf and his colleagues traded-in Pakistan’s national interest including the nuclear program, and hundreds of innocent Pakistanis sold to populate infamous Guantanmo Bay terror prison in return for cash payments by George W. Bush. Musharaf lived in a $1.4 million newly bought mansion in London under British police 24/7 protection before returning to Pakistan. “Do Pakistanis have any sense of honor?” asked one British journalist of the Daily Telegraph. Would any honorable nation or country allow such criminals to reemerge as political leaders?
Pakistan Needs Educated and Intelligent Leaders to Cure the Political Curse
To imagine a progressive country, educated Pakistanis living abroad could be resourceful to transfer their knowledge and experiences for the good of the country and to strive for a Navigational Change. But how? Hold your breath! An American neurologist of Pakistani origin goes back passionately to serve the people. His clinic in Satellite town- Rawalpindi offers highly specialized systematic health care services to fellow Pakistanis. Even treats those who cannot pay the fee or medication bill. Thousands line up and day and night go to this clinic. The doctor starts getting warning messages from local ‘ghundas’ (rascals) asking for protection money. The doctor continues to work and informs the police. They too want their share of the protection money and do nothing. He complains to higher civic authorities upon getting death threats but nobody listens and does anything to ensure the safety of the doctor and clinic. One day hundred of patients get big surprise when they see the rampaged clinic and the doctor is nowhere to be seen. Lufhtansa Germany Airline flies to Lahore but does not change its crew over there. The fear of kidnappers demanding money haunts them all the time. What a Shame…. What a Shame … What a DISGRACE to a conscientious Pakistani that leaders of Pakistan’s Government cannot extend sense of security to a reputable international airline. No sensible person or global citizen will ever invest or travel to a country at the crossroads of daily bloodbaths, corruption and political gangsterism. Is this prevalent fact hard to grasp to any responsible person in Pakistan? Tourism is a lifeline to any developing nation like Pakistan. During the summer of 2013 under PM Sharif, 10 international tourists were cold blooded murdered by Taliban group near the K2 mountainous region. Is Pakistan that naïve and hopeless in security that it cannot protect the international tourists? Farzana Parveen would have liked to know why she was stoned to death right where law and justice were supposedly administered to have protected her at the Lahore High Court compound. Police were watching the horrifying killing. “Farzana Parveen Stoning Shames Pakistan.” (Asia Times: 6/2/2014). The terrifying scene portrayed in the global news media showed hundreds of spectators witnessing the most horrifying crime to human nature, not in darkness but in broad daylight, and right where freedom, human dignity, and honor of the citizens should have been protected – the Lahore High Court compound with police in attendance. It is incredibly shameful to be a Pakistani and to watch this inhuman atrocity out of the nowhere. Why the police did not offer protection to Farzana? Farzana’s soul must be wondering, why did society not protect her against this draconian act of violence? Where are the concerned citizens who claim to be believers – the Muslims who day and night talk about Islam as being the faith and value of their society? The Sharif brother’s investigation revealed nothing to hold the criminal responsible. In June, Karachi International Airport (“Pakistan in Quest of Political Change.” Uncommon Thought Journal, USA: 6/18/2014), was on flame under Talibans attacks. It was a devastating blow to the international image and security of Pakistan. Nobody resigned or was held responsible for failing to protect the airport. Could Sharif and the few complacent Generals assure the global community that Pakistan is a safe place to travel, study, visit and do business? If not, why not? The bogus assemblies, time killing discussions, Sharif and the few Generals are the people embedded with wrong thinking and doing the wrong things. They are part of the problem, not solution and have NO SENSE of the freedom, honor and dignity of the nation. There was no “peace process” between Pakistan and Taliban and there is no peace. Only the absence of peace, and the gnawing want for it, the desperation of the vanquished clearly visible on the mindset of public horizon.
There is a frightening trend of crime explosion across the nation. Daily killings of the civilians go unabated and unchecked by the security agencies. The blame game is centered on Talibans – the creation of the Bhutto family and the Generals. For almost two decades, Pakistan’s capacity for change has been badly fractured and its moral, intellectual and political consciousness derailed and undermined by the few. Bruce Riedel, one of President Obama’s advisors on Pakistan and the War on Terrorism (“Battle for the Soul of Pakistan” 1/4/2013, Brookings Institute and Centre for Middle East Policy), recently described the Pakistani rulers-both civilian and military:Pakistanis cannot be trusted as they play dubious role, cheat and become double agents in War on Terror” and warns that: “The changes in Pakistan are unlikely to come peacefully and will have major implications for India and America. The stakes are huge in the most dangerous country in the world.”
Pakistan’s worst enemies are those who are unable to listen to voices of reason and peaceful activism for political change. The ruling elite and the people live in a conflicting time zone being unable to understand the meaning and essence of the Pakistan’s Freedom Movement. Pakistan faces multiple chronic problems which could undermine its future. To all concerned and thinking Pakistanis, the country needs a Navigational Change or we could end up losing our national freedom. What is the cure to the current problems? There is no magic pill to deal with all critical situations except a comprehensive new systematic approach for ‘Anew Pakistan.’ Few decades earlier, in “Pakistan: Enigma of Change” (Media Monitor Network, USA) and “Revisiting Pakistan Enigma of Change”, this author offered proactive vision for planned political change to evolve new institutions and new-age educated leadership for a sustainable future. For too long, the masses have experienced tormenting pains and political cruelty. Nawaz Sharif and his brother must be tried in a court of law for the killings of 14 civilians and injuring 80 peaceful activists at Minhaj al Quran Academy Lahore and stolen wealth. Despite evidence, the FIR against Sharif was not registered by police. Nawaz Sharif has no political integrity and must step down or take leave of absence. There is substantial evidence for the 2013 election rigging by the election commission members. Sharif would need a powerful jolt as criminals do not exit voluntarily from powerhouses. It will provide a logical breathing space for a planned and workable remedy to a highly critical political crisis and to enhance a sustainable Change goal. A new Government of National Unity should be formed under a non-partisan and non political leader of moral and intellectual integrity for a period of two years; a New Constitution should be framed with new public institutions under leadership of new generation of educated people; and then a new election could give meaning and clarity to the purpose of democracy and to transform the ideals of a progressive legitimate functional democracy. The Need is desperate for the Pakistani nation to think critically and see the Mirror and stand firm in raising voices of reason for accountability and political change. The people must ponder at past misconceptions and errors of judgments and to bring 21st century’s educated, proactive and intelligent young people into political leadership role and to safeguard the national interest, freedom of the nation and its future.

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking. Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.

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NAWAZ SHARIF’S ATTACK ON MEDIA :PEMRA decides to suspend license of ARY News

SUPPRESSION OF MEDIA BY NAWAZ SHARIF

 

 

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PEMRA decides to suspend license of ARY News

 
 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in an unlawful move on Monday decided to suspend the license of ARY News for 15 days, ARY News reported.

According to details, PEMRA authority held a meeting on Monday with an intention to teach a lesson to ARY News, for bringing facts before the people. The meeting decided to suspend the license of ARY News for 15 days, in which the controversial PEMRA Chief, Pervez Rathore played a key role.

He voted in favor of suspending the largest unbiased news channel of Pakistan.

It is pertinent to note here that the appointment of Pervez Rathore as the Chairman of PEMRA has already been challenged in the court and he is himself a controversial person to head a key institution.

Here the question rises how can a controversial PEMRA Chief endorse such a decision against a prestigious news channel having huge following in the country, while his own appointment rests in the court of law.

Meanwhile, four members of the PEMRA authority opposed the decision saying that the license of any media entity cannot be suspended without listening to its stance on the issue.

They said that the decision is based on malafide intentions.

The members of the PEMRA authority opposing the decision, included Fariha Iftikhar, Israr Abbasi, Mian Shams and Zeba.

Moreover, senior journalists and political figures have strongly criticized the decision and labeled it victimization of a media organization for keeping the masses informed about what is actually going on in the state.

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Aamir Mughal:Chagatai Khan & Dr Shahid Qureshi – MQM-PPP-ANP Play with Fire & Jang Group (GEO TV) Adds Fuel.

Aamir Mughal:Chagatai Khan & Dr Shahid Qureshi 

 

MQM-PPP-ANP Play with Fire & Jang Group (GEO TV) Adds Fuel.

Najam Sethi on MQM & Karachi – 1 (Aapas Ki Baat – 11 July 2011) 

 
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TORN apart by ethnic and political strife, Karachi has long been a tinderbox that can be set ablaze by the smallest of sparks. There is no shortage of antagonists in this city and the latest round of allegations can trigger a deadly chain reaction. It has often been said that Karachi is more cosmopolitan than any other major city in Pakistan. A patchwork and quite resplendent quilt, if you will, that had been carefully and harmoniously crafted over time but began falling apart at the seams in the mid-`80s. Since then we have seen peaceful pauses that are almost inevitably destroyed by the most horrible violence imaginable. Mohajir versus Sindhi nationalists, the security operation against the MQM, a short-lived spell of `activism` by the Punjabi Pakhtun Ittehad and then the out-and-out conflict between the MQM and the ANP that has rocked the city in recent years. Now yet another inflammatory ingredient has been tossed into the pot. The Muttahida Qaumi Movement, which has parted ways with the Pakistan People`s Party, is clearly at loggerheads with the administration. Neither side has done itself any favours. Zulfiqar Mirza of the PPP seems bent on provocation. He almost boasted the other day that he met MQM-Haqiqi leader Afaq Ahmed, Muttahida`s primary foe, in jail. Is it becoming of a minister to have contact with a man who is, rightly or wrongly, accused of heinous crimes including murder? The government must act with greater restraint than its opponents. The MQM, for its part, has thrown down the gauntlet, challenging the government to take its pick: political negotiation or street combat. As messages go this one is quite clear, for it seems that both sides have taken polar positions that can only hurt the city further. The MQM`s statements come close to a threat of extreme violence. At the same time, the MQM ought to be asked whether a person like Aamir Khan, a former dissident who was until recently accused by the MQM of similar atrocities, should have been present at the press conference in which the Muttahida`s Anis Kaimkhani lambasted the PPP. Karachi has seen enough warfare and cannot afford another showdown. Too much blood has been spilled already, families devastated and livelihoods lost due to industrial shutdowns and a general fear factor that is crippling productivity. The numbers game cannot be played out in Sindh. The political situation here is far too complex than in other parts of the country and cannot be resolved without a joint effort. We need to learn how to live with ourselves. REFERENCE: Playing with fire From the Newspaper (11 hours ago)http://www.dawn.com/2011/07/12/playing-with-fire.html Najam Sethi on MQM & Karachi – 2 (Aapas Ki Baat – 11 July 2011) URL: http://youtu.be/TI54zHjRNcUKARACHI: The Pakistan People`s Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement continued on a collision course on Monday as graffiti demanding a Mohajir province appeared overnight in many areas of the city, mostly MQM strongholds. While the MQM has made no formal demand for a province, the graffiti-splattered walls in the city fuelled speculation that such a move was being considered by the party piqued by the government`s decision to scrap the local government system and restore the commissionerate system in Sindh. Indeed an incensed member of the MQM coordination committee had said the other night that while Urdu-speaking people wanted to be part of Sindh, they were being discriminated against. He also warned darkly that consequences of such a government policy would be serious. MQM leader Advocate Anis told a news channel from London that the PPP was not willing to accept people of urban areas as sons of the soil. As expected, the graffiti incurred the ire of the PPP as senior Sindh Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq who appeared to be following in the footsteps of tough-talking Dr Zulfikar Mirza said that no-one had the courage to talk about the division of Sindh. Rejecting the MQM accusation that a plan to attack its `Nine Zero` headquarters had been finalised at a meeting between former home minister Dr Mirza and chief of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi Afaq Ahmed, he said that the MQM would no more be given concessions in the name of reconciliation. The Sindh High Court is due to hear an application of Mr Ahmed on Tuesday through which he has sought quashment of criminal cases which he said were registered at the behest of the rival Muttahida Qaumi Movement. The Sindh government, meanwhile, appointed commissioners and deputy commissioners for the newly restored divisions and districts across the province to strengthen the commissioner system. REFERENCE: Graffiti on Karachi walls incurs PPP ire By Azfar-ul-Ashfaque | From the Newspaperhttp://www.dawn.com/2011/07/12/graffiti-on-karachi-walls-incurs-ppp-ire.html 

Reporters are Human Being and Often Forget:), the above report has quoted MQM leader Advocate Anis and that too from London, UK but The News International and Dawn too had carried this news sometimes back

“QUOTE”KARACHI, Feb 13: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement expelled on Friday its senior leader Syed Saleem Shahzad from the party for his alleged ‘mysterious’ activities. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting of the party’s coordination committee. A statement issued from the MQM’s London secretariat said any party member found in contact with Mr Shahzad would lose his membership. A former MNA and London-based MQM leader, Anis Ahmed Advocate, resigned from the party and stated that in future he would have nothing to do with the views and actions of the MQM, the statement said. Meanwhile, the MQM directed its workers not to contact Mohammad Anwar, another senior London-based member of the coordination committee. Saleem Shahzad expelled from MQM By Our Staff Reporter February 14, 2009 http://archives.dawn.com/2009/02/14/nat3.htm   KARACHI: The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has expelled Saleem Shahzad from its Rabita Committee on account of his personal and secret activities and contacts. Besides, MQM activists have been asked not to contact another Rabita Committee member, Muhammad Anwar, on any issue. According to a press release issued by the MQM on Friday, anyone found contacting Saleem Shahzad would be expelled from the party. Similarly, the MQM activists have been directed instead of contacting Muhammad Anwar they may contact the Rabita Committee in Karachi or the party’s international secretariat. The party took the decision on the basis of Anwar’s suspicious activities and his disinterest in the affairs of the party, the statement said. Meanwhile, MQM’s senior member and in-charge of its Labour Division Anees Ahmed Khan, advocate, has voluntarily resigned from the basic membership of the MQM, the statement said. Another MQM statement said on the grounds of serious violation of organisational discipline and involvement in activities outside the organisation, the Rabita Committee had suspended the following activists of the All Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO) for an indefinite period: Ejaz Qureshi and Mohsin Shahab (University of Karachi unit); and Mohsin Ahsanul Haq (NED unit). When contacted, MQM spokesman Faisal Sabazwari offered no comments, saying: “Whatever the MQM has to say in this regard, it has stated in the press release.” REFERENCE: Saleem Shahzad expelled from MQM Rabita Committee Saturday, February 14, 2009http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=20309&Cat=13&dt=2/13/2009 Blackwater and MQM’s Hallmarks on Karachi Fire – Bombings  

 

 

 

Dr Shahid Qureshi
 
MQM and Blackwater/Xe are US sponsored mafia style mercenary outfits due to their management structure as it is almost the same both groups’ chiefs are out of Pakistan to start with.http://i2.wp.com/www.javno.com/slike/slike_3/r1/g2009/m01/y192288931185288.jpg“There is no difference between Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and MQM because both are sponsored by India and USA. Sawat type operation against MQM’s ‘Clean Shaven Taliban’ who are supporting Blackwater/Xe is a must because people will support.  President Zardari, the ‘Putin of Pakistan’ can he do anything of for Karachi or he has become a cuddly toy now?”The recent bombings of a religious procession in Karachi and fire bombings of small businesses miles away from the incident reportedly owned by mostly Sunni Tableghie Jamat a non violent religious group, got all the hall marks of ‘private mercenaries’ Blackwater with the support of MQM. According to reports it is physically not possible for any one attending the procession to go miles away, get special fire bombing chemicals and equipment to set fire 300 hundred shops in Bolton Market. It is only possible if one already knows the timing of the bombings and part of the plot. They targeted a Sunni areas where it is almost impossible for an angry ‘Shia protestor’ to reach from the crime scene keeping in the view the distances. So Shia procession was bombed, Sunni business were burnt down and MQM’s fire engines did not arrive. Seems perfect Blackwater Inc style operation?Blackwater, MQM’s Plus plan was meticulous and well timed. (a) Timing of the bombing few days before the end of the term of City Government Term. So City Government building burnt down with the record to cover-up corruption?  (b) Selection of the venues to be fire bombed (c) Torching of Light House Market predominantly owned by the Pashtuns who did not pay extortion money to the MQM – Score settled, Job done (d) Torching of Bolton Market mostly business are owned by peaceful Sunni Muslims Memon Community. They refused to be relocated outside the city because shops worth millions. High ups of the current regime allegedly President Zardari & Co had interest in the land to develop and build flats and plazas. (Job done) (e) Why MQM leaders both reportedly Shias Haider Abbas Rizvi and Faisal Sabzwari not in the Ashura procession? (f) Why police and rangers did not stop the arsonists and terrorists? (g) Who ordered them not to act? (h) Remote control bomb was planted in an ambulance which might be carrying a head too? (i) Who is Hasham Al-Zafar (central) and what is his role in the bombing and burning of Karachi? (j) What is his relationship with Saleem Shezad alleged master mind of the operation and why he only reports to Altaf Hussain?MQM and Blackwater/Xe are US sponsored mafia style mercenary outfits due to their management structure as it is almost the same both groups’ chiefs are out of Pakistan to start with. MQM are the local collaborators of Blackwater/Xe in Pakistan?According to sources similar kinds of chemicals and fire bombing equipments have been used in Iraq and Lebanon. Pakistan’s security agencies must look into the links between MQM lead City Government and Blackwater.  What kind of assistance they are providing to the mercenaries. City mayor Syed Mustafa Kamal and Governor Sind Dr Ashrat Abad Khan recently visited sensitive institutions of the USA related to protection of US national interests aboard. Why would a mayor of a third world country visit US State Department? Did he inform Pakistani’s foreign ministry? He is on the grooming list. “To his credentials it was Mustafa Kamal who opened the door for the assassins came to kill his ‘uncle’ Azeem Ahmed Tariq, leader of the MQM, as it was an inside job. It sounds like nephew shopped his ‘uncle’ according to a source.Altaf Hussain’s MQM and his mafia have caused more economic and human losses to Pakistan by strikes and terrorist activities then three wars with India. After the incident on Monday December 28, 2009, three thousand shops were burnt; one thousand were burnt after looting which caused loss of Rs. 60 billion to Pakistani economy. Armed men stopped fire engines for over three hours according to reports. Why?Elements close to MQM were also allegedly involved in the terrorism, arson, and killings after tragic death of Benazir Bhutto on 27th December 2007. Many analysts believe that it was a dry run by the foreign sponsored elements to separate Karachi from the rest of the country. There is another dimension to the burring of some markets with small business. Some people from land mafia were making hostile offers to these old pre partition businesses.There are reports that MQM has issued thousands of arms licences to its workers and sympathisers in Karachi and some of the licences might have been issued from other provinces. Disarming of the terrorist groups including MQM in Karachi is necessary to avoid future blackmails.It is also reported that armed gunmen did not allow fire engines to leave the fire stations. All the fire engines and security cameras are under the control of City Government run by MQM whose leader Altaf Hussain controls this group in a mafia style. Within minutes he blamed ‘Taliban’ for the bombings. How did he know it was Taliban and not Indian RAW or Blackwater/Xe? Altaf Hussain deliberately tried to make this a sectarian issue in his live TV broadcast on a news channel, which matches the agenda of private mercenaries and India.Asia Times Online reported few years ago during Musharraf era, sources says that, “only US diplomatic intervention stopped General Musharraf from taking strong action against the MQM after he received the report on the recent unrest in which the MQM was implicated. Washington indeed has a powerful southern ally in Pakistan’. After September 11, the United States identified even more with the MQM as it was the only party in Pakistan that widely mourned the attacks on the US, openly condemned the Taliban and al-Qaeda, and launched a powerful campaign in support of the US attack on Afghanistan”.When President Zardari speak about ‘non state & political actors’, probably he also meant Altaf Hussain too? His long distance proactive and dramatic telephonic speeches are more or less what Lord Nelson said, “If you can’t baffle them with brilliance, dazzle them with bullshit!”. He is never been to Pakistan for more then 15 years but did travel to India on his British passport. Most of the members in mafia style ‘Rabita Committee’ are wanted by Pakistani authorities for heinous crimes.  He hides behind this ‘kangaroo committee’.A political analyst said, ‘to get ‘poodle status’ in US administration Altaf Hussain exaggerates things beyond imagination. For example, he claimed his supporters in Karachi increased by 10 million in just two years because he claimed to have 20 million supporters in an interview with Edgware Times in November 1998. But in 2001 MQM claimed to have 30 million supporters when MQM send a fax to Reuters on 22 September 2001. “(MQM leader) Altaf Hussain has offered the unconditional support of over 30 million MQM supporters to the U.S. president and the international community,” its London-based international secretariat said in a statement faxed to Reuters on September 22, 2001”.According to sources, ‘Altaf group is planning and preparing for armed fight with other groups in Karachi. There might be a plan to divide Karachi on ethnic zones as Rehman Malik mentioned in Dera Ismail Khan? The alleged transfer of money from Karachi to London, Germany, Dubai, South Africa, Canada, and United States is alarming. There reports of increase in the arms sale in Karachi seem serious but what are the authorities doing?So what is Altaf Hussain up to that is a crucial question to political and security leadership to think about. His alleged close links with the Indian agency and also acting like a mercenary force getting orders from foreign masters. It is time for the government of Pakistan to approach its friends and allies to have a clear cut answers about the real Agenda in Pakistan? Crimes of Altaf Hussain and his party MQM are so heinous that he wouldn’t dare step in Karachi even the whole period of Musharraf and now Zardari rule?Until November 1998 Government of Pakistan was reportedly seeking extradition of Altaf Hussain who was said to be wanted in 50 murders and 150 cases of kidnapping and arson. He said in an interview with a newspaper in 1998, “It is my wish that they take me to trial in a British court then I will tell people nationally and internationally what has been happening in Pakistan.” It was Altaf Hussain and MQM who issued a memo to his workers saying,” if there was war between India and Pakistan, MQM workers will be remain neutral”. Why?MQM’s deputy chief organiser of district Thatta and his wife were arrested by the police for trafficking 120 kilos of A class drugs   according to a press report on 16th May 2004. Mohamed Ibrahim and his wife Ayesha Soho who is also member of district government were coming from Bolan area of Baluchistan on Jeep number BC 1248 when they were stopped by Dadar Police who discovered 180 kilos of HASH worth millions of from the secret compartments of the jeep. Police has registered a case number 13/2004 report against deputy chief of MQM and his wife for drug trafficking. Area in charge SHO of the area Police confirmed that suspects have confessed they have been also involved in arms trafficking from Kabul and been to Afghanistan three times. Both were sent to Sibi Jail in Baluchistan.“MQM has been funded with the drug money apart from the extortion money taken from the top businessmen in the name of support” according to a report published by The Frontier Post on December 25, 1998. The report says, “… What is more alarming is that the Narco dollars have been used for funding the (MQM), a responsible source in the provincial government said. He added that such funding was tantamount to fuelling terrorism.” Is the Narco-terror funding still on?By joining as local collaborator of Blackwater in Karachi MQM has provided the eyes and ears on the ground with smart guns. Even if US-India sponsored ‘Pakistani Taliban’ claim responsibility of Karachi Ashura bombings, the chemicals and smart guns used in burnings of the over 6000 small businesses and loss of Rs. 60 billion have all the hallmarks of Blackwater/Xe.“There is no difference between Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and MQM because both are sponsored by India and USA. Sawat type operation against MQM’s ‘Clean Shaven Taliban’ who are supporting Blackwater/Xe is a must because people will support.  President Zardari, the ‘Putin of Pakistan’ can he do anything of for Karachi or he has become a cuddly toy now?”(Dr Shahid Qureshi is award winning journalist and writer on foreign policy & security based in London)Courtesy: The London Post (http://thelondonpost.net/SQ31dec09.html)

 

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BRITISH TERRORIST ALTAF HUSSAIN & MQM RESPONSIBLE FOR PTI’s ZEHRA SHAHID’S COLD BLOODED MURDER IN KARACHI: SHAME ON DAVID CAMERON!

Imran Khan blames London-based rival for Zahra Shahid Hussain killing

Imran Khan has blamed the British government and a political rival living in London for the murder of a senior member of his party, shot dead as she left her home in the sprawling port city of Karachi.

The febrile atmosphere has reached London, where the Metropolitan Police is investigating complaints from Pakistan that Altaf Hussain made an inflammatory speech in the aftermath of the election results.

Zahra Shahid Hussain: Imran Khan blames London-based rival for Zahra Shahid Hussain killing

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Imran Khan blames London-based rival for Zahra Shahid Hussain (R) killing 
 
 
 
Rob Crilly

By , Islamabad

11:09AM BST 19 May 2013

 
 

The killing of Zahra Shahid Hussain and accusations of vote rigging left Pakistan’s biggest city and its economic capital on a knife edge as people turned out for a re-run of voting in one constituency after last weekend’s general election.

Mr Khan, the former cricket star whose Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party made gains in the election, vented his anger on twitter.

He said the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the city’s dominant political force, and its leader were to blame – a claim the party has strongly denied.

“I hold Altaf Hussain directly responsible for the murder as he had openly threatened PTI workers and leaders through public broadcasts,” he wrote, describing the killing as “a targeted act of terror”.

He added that the British government was also responsible for failing to heed his warnings about Mr Hussain, who has held a UK passport since being given political asylum in the 1990s.

Members of Mr Khan’s party said Mrs Hussain, 59, was shot dead by gunmen as she left her home in the smart Defence neighbourhood.

Police said it appeared to be a bungled robbery – a common enough occurrence in the violence-ridden city.

Other reports suggested she received two bullets to the head suggesting she had been assassinated.

Mr Hussain also condemned the attack in a statement and demanded a “judicial inquiry to get to the culprits”.

The accusations will refocus attention on Mr Hussain and his role in running the world’s third biggest city from his drab political headquarters on Edgware High Street.

Tensions have been running high between the PTI and the MQM after Mr Khan’s party accused it of widespread vote-rigging. The MQM has denied the charge and boycotted Sunday’s re-run.

The febrile atmosphere has reached London, where the Metropolitan Police is investigating complaints from Pakistan that Altaf Hussain made an inflammatory speech in the aftermath of the election results.

In it he rebutted complaints that the MQM had rigged elections, appeared to threaten protesters and suggested Karachi should separate from Pakistan if the party’s electoral mandate were questioned.

“Those people who are protesting – and grandstanding – near Three Swords – I don’t want to fight or quarrel, but if I order my supporters now, they will go to Three Swords and turn them into a reality,” he said referring to a well-known monument.

Mr Hussain’s telephonic rallies regularly draw crowds of thousands, as he revs up party supporters from 5000 miles away.

He can just as easily close the city of 23m people by declaring a “shutter-down strike”, sending the entire population scuttling home in minutes.

His sector commanders, as they are known, keep a tight rein on their neighbourhoods and the city has a terrible reputation for gangland violence, as gangsters, terrorist groups and political parties manoeuvre for control.

Reporters who cross the party have found bullets left on their cars.

In 2010, one of the key figures in his London party was murdered raising fears that Karachi’s brutal politics had reached the UK. No-one has ever been charged with the murder of Imran Farooq but detectives have focused their investigation on his political ambitions.

Altaf Hussain’s continuing presence in London is a frequent source of anger for Pakistanis who do not support his party.

“Why does Britain let him stay when with he has so much power to make or break my city,” said one Karachi resident, who asked not to be named. “If he wants to run Karachi he should come and live here.”

 

 

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