Home > Pakistan > Of Past and Present Accusations

Of Past and Present Accusations

BY Engr. Nasir Jamal

Former Home Minister of Sindh Zulfiqar Mirza levelled a number of serious allegations against Muttahida Quami Movement in his highly publicized press conference on 28th August 2011. Mirza holding the Holy Writ in his hands claimed that there were JIT reports against the MQM workers who were involved in targeted killings in Karachi, he condemned Rehman Malik as a compulsive liar and held him responsible for the unabated targeted killings in Karachi.

Mirza asserted that the MQM was directly responsible for the murder of the journalist Wali Khan Babar. He also spoke about his meeting with the MQM leader in London in which the MQM leader allegedly spoke about a US plan for breaking Pakistan, which was being supported by Altaf Hussain.

Mirza showed a letter allegedly written by Altaf Hussain to the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair committing a number of things in exchange for favours such as share in governance and government employment. The letter also had a point about disbanding the premier intelligence agency of the country – the famous ISI.

Soon after the press conference by Mirza was over the electronic media went into frenzy and started debating the contents of the press conference in overstretched programmes. Questions were raised and fingers were pointed at the MQM and some did not even hesitate to condemn the MQM without getting their point of view in their zeal to outdo others.

It has been argued in the press, and the electronic media that the JIT reports against the MQM workers suspected of being involved in the targeted killings are genuine. Innocent until proven guilty is the basic principle of the judicial system, but perhaps it does not apply to the workers of the MQM. The MQM worker can be condemned of anything without a semblance of proof and then ferocious operations are launched to teach them a lesson.

The MQM was accused of the infamous Jinnahpur conspiracy to break Pakistan during the repressive military operation that started against the MQM in 1992. Journalists from the Punjab were flown into Karachi to show maps of Jinnahpur allegedly discovered from the MQM offices. The MQM was dubbed as an anti-state party and mere affiliation with the MQM was made a crime. It was in August 2009 that two senior army officers came on TV channels and said that the maps were fabricated. This was done with a view to create a justification for the operation against the MQM and to subdue the sympathy wave that could have been generated in view of killings and torture of the MQM workers. Obviously no one has sympathies with the traitors.

It took nineteen years before someone had the moral courage to accept that the charge was unfounded but during these nineteen years the loyalty of a people towards the state was held in question. A large number of guiltless people had to pay the price of this baseless charge with their blood. Many became displaced in their own city, and many had to leave for foreign countries in order to escape the state persecution.

Hakim Said was killed on 17th October 1998. Conspiracy theories splashed across the newspapers within no time, and the MQM was accused for the brutal murder. Hakim Said was a noble soul, and his murder evoked universal condemnation across the country. Another fierce operation started against the MQM. Chief of the then Intelligence Bureau Brig Iqbal Khan Niazi appeared on TV channels on 22nd July 2010 and said that the MQM was falsely accused by the government in order to create a justification for an operation against it. It took nearly twelve years for the reality to come out, but the MQM was made to suffer during this period for crimes which it had not committed.

Let’s now turn to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reports pointing fingers at the MQM and its workers. If the charges against the MQM workers are genuine and there is incontrovertible evidence to substantiate the charges, why are the cases not being brought at the proper forum in order to convict the accused? If the JIT reports are based upon facts, they should be produced in the courts and let the law take its own course. But perhaps those who have made these JIT reports know it very well that they will be torn to pieces if they dared to produce them in the courts. Mirza also knows that nothing can be proven on the basis of confessional statements that are extracted through physical torture. Even the courts do not give much credence to such statements.

The MQM was accused of direct involvement in the gruesome murder of Wali Khan Babar. There must always be a motive for a murder. No one kills anyone without any reason. This murder has been foisted upon the MQM only because the unfortunate journalist was killed by the ruthless killers in Liaquatabad. But what could be the possible reason? Was he doing any story that could have troubled the MQM? A number of journalists and anchor persons hurl accusations at the MQM and make severe criticism of the MQM, but they work freely. Babar was doing covering the operation against the drug traffickers in Pahalwan Goth. He had never run any story for which the MQM might have felt any grudge towards the ill-fated journalist. If only our journalists had shown a little professionalism in this case, the killers could have been exposed.

A lot has been said about letter allegedly written by the MQM leader Altaf Hussain. Certificates of treasons are being distributed once again. Traitors, Indian agents, American agents, go back to India. This is what we have been seeing in various comments made on the news stories and social media. Altaf Hussain is being accused of treason for asking the British Prime Minister to disband the ISI but what about the national leader who wrote to a US senator asking him to use his influence to stop the military and economic aids to Pakistan. What about the appeal to ask the Indian Prime Minister to engage the Pakistani army on the borders.

If what was written to the US senator does not amount to treason nothing else can. But here perhaps the sons and daughters of the soil can get away with almost anything. Those who made innumerable sacrifices for the country have become immigrants and those who offered unquestioned allegiance to the British have become the inheritors of the Quaid-i-Azam.

The immigrants from the minority provinces or Mohajirs as they are called were a scattered lot before the MQM. Altaf Hussain gave them a political thought and strengthened them into a bond of unity and discipline that had no parallel in the history of the country. The feudalistic ruling clique does not like the political ideology of the MQM to take root in the country because it would mean an end to their tenacious grip on power in the country.

Every now and then, they raise a dust storm against the MQM. Conspiracies after conspiracies are hatched to deprive the Urdu-speaking people of their political rights. How long will this continue? They call Altaf Hussain a traitor. But they called Mujeeb a traitor as well. The Bengalis were despised and hated although it was in Dacca that the Muslim League was formed in 1906, and it was a Bengali who proposed the Pakistan Resolution.

The distribution of these certificates of treason must stop immediately. Pakistan belongs to everyone. Pushing an entire segment of the population to the wall is bound to produce friction in the body politics. The only way to remove these ever increasing frictions is to give the people their legitimate rights. Let the people feel free to pursue their political aspirations. Let the people be the judge of what is right and what is wrong.

Let no leniency be shown to the criminals. Let them be hanged and let them be hanged high so that others may take heed.  But the charge must be proved before condemning as guilty.


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