Violence continues unabated in the provincial capital of Karachi, raising the death toll to more than 200 during the last 34 days. Multiple subversive events such as targetted killings, intense exchange of fire between two ethnic groups, emblazing the houses, shops, vehicles, kidnappings etc. keep on going periodically.
Reports indicate that Pushtuns led by Awami National Party (ANP) and Urdu-speaking people led by the Muhttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) are fighting against each others. On July 26 this year, six people including activists of Sindh Peoples’ Youth Organisation (SPYO) and those of the MQM were also killed.
Accusations and counter-accusations have continued between the leaders of the MQM and those of the ANP in particular and MQM and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in general. In the recent past, some MQM leaders held the rulers of the PPP in Sindh and at center for fuelling ethnic riots in Karachi. But on August 3, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani dispelled the impression that government wanted to create differences among various segments.
A recent report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said that 1,138 people have been killed in Karachi in the first half of 2011, with 490 victims of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.
In the last few years, aside from gang warfare and criminals activities, violent riots and targetted killings have seen a steady increase with some high profile deaths. Each murder sees a retaliatory attack or similar killing. A rise in Sunni-Shia violence has also resulted into several casualties.
Without naming US, India and Israel, on May 1, 2009, Prime Minister Gilani revealed that he sees “foreign hands” behind Karachi violence
More than one million illegal small and heavy weapons contribute to the violence in Karachi. In this regard, on July 18, 2011, Interior Minister Rehman Malik openly stated that the miscreants were using Israel-made weapons for fomenting unrest in Karachi. He added, “Over 200 persons have been arrested…Israeli-made weapons including AK-45 rifles have been recovered from them.” He also disclosed the involvement of foreign hands behind Karachi violence.
Police investigations have indicated that it was also observed that the culprits who disturbed law and order situation in Karachi were not permanent residents of the city. On July 31, Senior Superintendent of Police Chaudhry Aslam Khan told the media that the Crime Investigation Department of Sindh Police arrested four terrorists of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan from Sohrab Goth area of the city. The police seized weapons, suicide jackets, explosives, hand grenades from their custody. In the past too, a number of militants along with huge cache of arms and ammunition, made of US, India and Israel, have been caught.
However, we cannot see the incidents of violence in Karachi in isolation. In this respect, external elements like American CIA, Indian secret agency RAW and Israeli Mossad which have been supporting separatism in Balochistan including subversive acts in the province and other parts of Pakistan, have rapidly established their collective network in Pakistan. They are in collusion to destabilise Pakistan for their common strategic interests—to ‘denulearise’ the country after weakening it.
These foreign agencies have recruited Pakistani nationals who are vulnerable and can work on their payroll, giving them high financial incentives to work for them. They have recruited smugglers, employees of the security companies, experts of the psychological warfare, scholars and journalists in order to fulfill anti-Pakistan designs of America, India and Israel. Political and defence analysts agree that terrorists who commit acts of sabotage in Karachi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA are receiving training in terrorist camps, situated in India.
In Karachi, owing to political instability, poverty and unemployment—the jobless youth fall into the hands of criminals who are supported by the external elements for conducting targeted killings and other violent acts. These internal culprits, some Indian Muslims and foreign insurgents who are backed by the RAW have joined the rank and file of the Taliban militants and those of the TTP. They have also got the membership of MQM, ANP and PPP. Besides attaking the offices of the rival political parties, these are real culprits who target the Pushtuns, Urdu-speaking people and even the persons, belonging to the interior Sindh. CIA, RAW and Mossad manipulate the ethnic division of Karachi through these paid-agents, while especially leaders of ANP and MQM accuse each other for murdering the people of their-related ethnic communities.
Drastic implications of the situation cannot be grasped by the general masses and even the political leaders at large, who abruptly change their opinion without reason. Hence, they become easy prey to the internal exploiters, unintentionally benefiting the external conspirators who want to weaken Pakistan by creating a rift particularly between the political groups, divided on ethnic and linguistic lines.
It is of particular attention that Karachi is Pakistan’s financial hub and the largest commercial market, collecting 70 per cent of the country’s tax revenue. It is home to the state bank and is the largest seaport. So another aim of the already mentioned foreign hands is to cripple the economy of the city as Karachi is continually brought to a halt with shut-down strikes—many shopkeepers remain reluctant to open their shops due to intermittent violence. Besides, foreign agents misguide the disgruntled elements that national institutions are not made to develop other areas of Pakistan and policies formulated at Islamabad are not congenial to other provinces except Punjab.
As a matter of fact, CIA, RAW and Mossad have succeded in creating and exploiting the ethnic and linguistic division in Karachi. Now situation has so deteriorated that leaders of ANP and MQM Chief Altaf Hussain have requested to Pak Army and rangers for intervention in order to save the lives of people.
Today Pakistan stands at the crossroads of its destiny, facing internal and external threats to the national security of the country. Besides facing multi-faced economic crises such as high prices, load-shedding, unemployment etc., Pakistan and its security forces are coping with suicide attacks, bomb blasts, sectarian violence and target-killings including sporadic battles with the militants in the tribal areas. While violence in Karachi has become the focus of attention, therefore, on August 3, all the lawmakers in the National Assembly have made passionate appeals for finding out a solution to the deteriorated situation in Karachi.
Nevertheless, the pressure is mounting on the government to take some kind of action. In this context, first of all a search operation should be conducted in phases with an aim to cut off the supply chain of illegal weapons in the city and root out culprits from the most affected areas as sources also suggest that a programme of de-weaponization is essential to curb violence in Karachi. Second, the government should be fully determined to take stern action against the miscreants and outlaws who want to dirupt the peace of the city. It has also been ensured by Rehman Malik, but must be implemented immediately. Third, our political parties need to behave with far greater responsibility. In this respect, our national, provincial and regional leaders must stop manipulating various problems and disparities at the cost of the country, which have hindered the path of national unity.
Fourth, Pakistan’s media, particularly TV channels can play a key role. First of all the owners of these channels should detect some anchors who are working on the payroll of foreign enemies. Then they must terminate their services. Notably, our media should give a matching response to malicious propaganda of the US-led some western countries including India and Israel which are leaving no stone unturned in distorting the image of Pakistan, its army and ISI. As unlike the printed media, electronic media attract more viewers, so our TV commentators must point out the collective collusion of CIA, RAW and Mossad in relation to their support to subversive acts inside our country and especially in Karachi.
No doubt, precarious situation of Karachi demands sacrifices of individual selfish interests—belonging to any ethnic group or province. Various stakeholders of Karachi require a strong sense of unity and by creating the same among the general public, politicians and religious leaders; they must cope with the foreign enemies who are the real promoters of violence in Karachi.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations