Sunday, July 5, 2015

Ex RAW Chief on MQM-MI6 Links & Kashmir; PTI's "35 Punctures" Claim; Greek Drama in Pakistan?

Does second leaked Scotland Yard document confirm MQM-RAW money link? Is Altaf Husain being hosted in London by MI6, the British intelligence? Why?

How shocking are Ex RAW Chief Amarjit Singh Dulat's revelations on Kashmir and failure of Musharraf-Vajpayee Agra Summit? Why is India funding the militant groups in Kashmir? Do these revelations expose India's sponsorship of terrorism in Kashmir and elsewhere?

Why was Indian National Security Advisor and Ex RAW Chief Ajit Kumar Doval arrested in 2005 along with Mumbai underworld figure Vicky Malhotra and then quickly released by Mumbai Police? Has Indian intelligence been collaborating with criminal gangs for its covert actions?

Why is PTI backtracking from its "35 punctures" allegation against Najam Sethi who served as interim chief minister of Punjab during 2013 general elections? Does it raise serious doubts about Imran Khan's other allegations of election rigging?

What is happening in Greece debt crisis? Can this happen in Pakistan?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam ( discusses these questions with Riaz Haq (

Ex RAW Chief on MQM-MI6 Links & Kashmir; PTI's "35 Punctures" Claim; Greek Drama in Pakistan? from WBT TV on Vimeo.

Ex RAW Chief on MQM-MI6 Links & Kashmir; PTI's... by ViewpointFromOverseas

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Scotland Yard Confirms Document Linking MQM to RAW

Ex RAW Chief on Agra Summit and Kashmir

Pakistan Opposition Indicts But Supports PMLN Government

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel

VPOS Dailymotion Channel


Majumdar said...

The Greek thingy cant happen in Pakiland 'cos Pakiland isnt badly indebted and has a hard working population which is willing to live within its means.


Riaz Haq said...

#French Economist #Piketty says #Gernany never repaid its debt. It has no moral authority to lecture #Greece …

"When I hear the Germans say that they maintain a very moral stance about debt and strongly believe that debts must be repaid, then I think: what a huge joke! Germany is the country that has never repaid its debts. It has no standing to lecture other nations.

... Germany is really the single best example of a country that, throughout its history, has never repaid its external debt. Neither after the First nor the Second World War. However, it has frequently made other nations pay up, such as after the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, when it demanded massive reparations from France and indeed received them. The French state suffered for decades under this debt. The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice "

Riaz Haq said...

Najam Sethi on PPP and MQM mess:

The PPP is in a royal mess. It was wiped out in three provinces in the 2013 elections because of its terrible performance in government and only barely managed to survive in its traditional stronghold of Sindh. But it hasn’t learnt any lessons because its provincial performance remains abysmal. In fact, it has reinforced an impression of incompetence, maladministration and corruption. But the PPPs misdeeds are catching up with it. The military establishment has set up a powerful platform in Sindh via the Rangers and the Corps Headquarters on the basis of a popular demand for law and order in the country’s core city and started to target the PPP for corruption that funds criminality and terrorism. This does not bode well for the party and its government in the province.

The PPP accuses the military establishment of “targeting” its supporters in the police and administration, thereby transgressing the limits of power endowed upon the Rangers with the approval of the Sindh government under law. Faced with the prospect of non-cooperation and even roadblocks by the Sindh government, the military establishment has leaned on the PMLN federal government to legally empower the FIA and NAB to step in under the sweeping Protection of Pakistan Act and clear the way for them. This has provoked Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to threaten to scupper their moves in Sindh. But if there is a bitter standoff between the military establishment and the PPP in Sindh, the federal government will be caught squarely in the vise, with adverse consequences for all protagonists.

The military establishment has taken a holistic view of the problem of criminality and terrorism in Karachi and Sindh. Apart from focusing on the usual TTP and RAW agents and suspects, it has targeted the MQM’s militias and mafias. When it discovered their organic links with the leaders of the party it also roped them in. Simultaneously, it started a media campaign to discredit the MQM and provide de facto justification for its actions. Now it is applying the same tactics to the PPP. This has compelled Asif Zardari to counter attack in the same aggressive fashion as Altaf Hussain did earlier. But the dilemma of both leaders – one who has been in self-imposed exile since 1992 and the other who has scurried to the safety of foreign shores recently – is that their protests are falling on deaf ears in the corridors of power in Islamabad and in Rawalpindi no less than in the court of the people of Pakistan. Generally, Pakistanis perceive the MQM to harbour criminals and terrorists and the PPP leaders to be hugely corrupt and incompetent. Even more significantly, COAS General Raheel Sharif and DGISI Gen Rizwan Akhtar, who are personally overseeing their component of the National Action Plan against Terrorism, are rapidly acquiring the reputation of no-nonsense doers for whom charity begins at GHQ and Aabpara. This means that there is unqualified national support for the politico-military action in Sindh and not much sympathy for the PPP and MQM.


- See more at:

Riaz Haq said...

Two public confessions are trending. The first is by Tariq Mir, the trusted confidante and accountant of MQM supremo Altaf Hussain, who has admitted before the Metropolitan Police in London that the Indian government has been funneling money to Altaf Hussain and training MQM cadres for terrorism for over two decades. The second is by Imran Khan, the darling of millions, who has finally admitted that the allegation of “35 punctures” hurled relentlessly against Najam Sethi is politically motivated and not a fact, hence baseless.

Tariq Mir has confessed that that over the years Altaf Hussain has received millions via bank transfers from Indian agents in Dubai. He has also detailed clandestine trips by Altaf Hussain and a coterie of confidantes, including Mir himself, to various destinations in Europe to meet with Indian agents to collect funds and exchange mutual briefings. He has provided details of weapons and military training of MQM cadres in India with the sanction of Altaf Hussain. The confession forms part of the investigation by the British authorities into alleged money laundering by Altaf Hussain and his associates.

Tariq Mir’s “mea culpa” follows on the heels of a highly credible report by BBC that RAW has been funding the MQM. Earlier, similar confessions by convicted MQM terrorist Saulat Mirza and other arrested MQM terrorists in Karachi compelled the Army Chief, General Raheel Sharif, to publicly charge RAW with destabilizing Pakistan in Karachi and Balochistan, an unprecedented remark from the highest security official of the country.

Running side by side are investigations into the murder of Dr Imran Farooq in London. After three years, the Pakistan government has finally allowed British authorities to interrogate three murder suspects with MQM links in custody in Pakistan. These revelations suggest that the noose is tightening around Altaf Hussain’s neck. This raises questions about the future of the MQM and its chief.

There is no doubt that Altaf Hussain is no longer one of the country’s most virile political leaders. His writ is diminishing by the day as the MQM’s terrorizing militias are dismantled and degraded by the Rangers in Karachi and key MQM leaders begin to stray, exit or are expelled for one reason or another. Even his rambling and threatening harangues from London are no longer televised routinely. But the decline of Altaf Hussain and the disarray in the MQM because of these new confessions does not necessarily mean that the “Muhajir” sentiment that feeds into the MQM is about to fall into the lap of another political party. “Muhajarism” is a political statement that defends the elitist status quo of “Muhajirs” against “Sindhis” in the echelons of the state and gives them a disproportionately greater share in jobs and resources than the “natives”. It will remain a vital ingredient of Sindh politics long after Altaf Hussain has gone.

Both Altaf Hussain and Imran Khan are terrorizing demagogues. This is the hallmark of fascists, not democrats. The tragedy is that the rise of both is owed to the failure of the other “democratic” mainstream parties to deliver. It is also due to the machinations of the military establishment of old to create and nurture state and non-state actors to support misplaced national security policies.

- See more at:

Riaz Haq said...

Speaking in India Today's Seedhi Baat, (former home secretary and BJP MP RK) Singh stirred a hornet's nest when he revealed, "An operation to eliminate Dawood Ibrahim was being planned, before it was blown by actions of some Mumbai cops. Ajit Doval was involved in the operation."

The plot goes back to 2005. Current National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had retired as director of the Intelligence Bureau in January that year. News broke that Dawood's daughter Mahrukh was to marry Pakistani cricketer Javed Miandad's son Junaid.
The Nikah was to be performed at Mecca on 9 July while the Walimah (reception) was fixed for 23 July at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai. As soon as Indian intelligence agencies got wind of Dawood's plan, a plan was hatched to eliminate the don in Dubai. IB officials felt that this was their best chance to eliminate him, as it was very rarely that they had specific information about where India's most wanted man was going to be. By the middle of 2000, international pressure had begun to mount against Pakistan to act against Dawood Ibrahim who had been designated by the United Nations as a globally wanted terrorist. It had become difficult for Dawood to move in and out of Pakistan easily. But there was no way he was going to skip the reception.

The government wanted full deniability in case the plan went kaput and so a decision was taken to engage members of the Chota Rajan gang instead of sending commandos. Doval was made in charge.
Chota Rajan had split with Dawood after the Bombay blasts of 1993 and was looking for a chance to avenge the attack on him in Bangkok in 2000 for which he deputed two of his trusted men Vicky Malhotra and Farid Tanasha.
According to Singh, the men were trained at a secret location in India and a plan to eliminate Dawood was finalised. Tanasha and Malhotra were given fake travel documents and tickets to reach Dubai.
But that's when things started to go wrong. Unknown to the Intelligence Bureau officials, cops in the Mumbai police got to know about the presence of members of the Chota Rajan gang in India. Singh alleges that Mumbai police officers deliberately sabotaged Operation Dawood because of their close ties with the gangster.
However, according to media reports of the time, Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Mumbai Crime Branch Dhananjay Kamlakar was despatched to Delhi by his seniors with the explicit instruction to arrest the members of the Chota Rajan gang. Kamlakar later said he was told that the Rajan gang members had entered India to eliminate a politician or top businessman.
The IB's plan was ready. One afternoon when Doval was doing a final briefing of the Rajan gang members, Kamlakar's team dashed into the hotel. At that time the three of them were reportedly poring over the blueprint of the Grand Hyatt hotel to determine the best position to install the sharpshooters.
Doval reportedly lost his cool and tried to explain to the cops who he was but Kamlakar arrested Tanasha and Malhotra and took them to Mumbai.
Doval was forced to back off. One of the most audacious operations to eliminate the underworld don unravelled because of an ugly turf war between India's security agencies. The next morning the incident was widely reported in the major national dailies.
Later when asked Doval for his reaction, the super sleuth denied all knowledge and said that he had been watching TV at home at that time. Singh says that India should not be disheartened because one operation did not materialise.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan gives UN files claiming that #India foments violence. #Terrorism

Lohdi told The Associated Press the dossiers include information about “India’s involvement and support to terrorism in different parts of Pakistan.”

One dossier relates to Pakistan’s tribal areas, another relates to Karachi, and the third to the southwestern region of Baluchistan, she said. “So the idea is to really go to the international community through the U.N. secretary-general and to expose the kind of destabilizing actions that India is taking against my country.”

Pakistan and India have a history of uneasy relations and they have fought two of their three wars over the disputed Kashmir region, which is claimed by both countries. Forces on both sides of the Line of Control, which divides Kashmir, have traded fire several times in recent weeks.

Lohdi cited the “escalating tensions in the region” as the reason Islamabad was taking this step. “We believe that these actions must stop,” she said, and she called for a return to dialogue. “We’re ready to go anywhere, at any level, to resume the dialogue process, but this dialogue cannot be on the basis of preconditions.”

She said India had not responded to her move, and she said her country was “disappointed” at the response that India’s foreign minister gave to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Wednesday speech to the U.N. General Assembly — in which Pakistan offered a four-point peace initiative.

She called India’s response the following day “non-serious” and called on India, “Why don’t you put something on the table, too?”

She said Pakistan is in conversation with the U.N. about “how best to take this forward.”

Riaz Haq said...

A.S. Dulat, Former Head Of #India’s Spy Agency #RAW, Believes #Pakistan’s #ISI Is Tops … via @ValueWalk

While affection might be a strong word for his feelings for Pakistan’s (the Directorate for) Inter-Service Intelligence, but admiration was certainly on display from the former spy master.

“The most powerful intelligence agency is either KGB which no more exists or ISI, because they are very anonymous.”

“I believe we’re as good as anybody else. We don’t have technical abilities but are fast catching up,” he said backtracking a bit and praising India’s own intelligence agencies.

Considering a world inhabited by MI6, the CIA, Mossad, and others, that’s pretty high praise.

Dulat versus ISI in Kashmir

Earlier this year, in July specifically, Dulat made it clear that intelligence agencies had, for year, paid politicians, militants and separatists in Indian Kashmir in order to keep up with ISI efforts to foment trouble in the region.

“So what’s wrong? What is there to be so shocked or scandalized by. It’s done the world over,” Dulat said when he was speaking to NDTV’s Barkha Dutt.

In his book, Dulat further explained his methods without issue, and as he has said repeatedly, violating any Indian state secrets.

“If anybody …has any doubts about the path I took – of talking, talking, talking – and how unbeatable dialogue is as both a tactic and a strategy then I will tell them what Agha sahib (Kashmiri educationatist Agha Ashraf Ali) said to me — you were sent to disrupt the Kashmir movement in the friendliest possible manner.”

But as Dulat is quick to point out, his successes were, generally short lived as nearly all of the assets he developed were “bumped off” by ISI.


Both RAW and the ISI were formed based on the failures of intelligence agencies that preceded them. Each were formed with an agenda but, few would argue, the ISI’s reach and power far surpasses that of RAW.

The Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) came into being following the disgraceful performance of the leftover Intelligence Bureau during both the Sino-Indian War in 1962 and the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. It was decided that RAW’s formation would supplant the Intelligence Bureau and become the primary agency responsible for foreign intelligence gathering in India.

RAW has been rightfully credited in its work secreting the Indian nuclear weapon program from the world as well as its safeguarding today. While the agency has enjoyed numerous successes since its inception, the attacks on Mumbai in 2008 showed both India and the world that detection and prevention are two different animals.

Riaz Haq said...

Ex mayor of #Pakistan's richest city #Karachi: #AltafHusain funded by #India #RAW, runs #MQM militants. via @Reuters

A former mayor of Karachi, Pakistan's largest and richest city, returned home from self-imposed exile on Thursday and launched a new political party to challenge the iron grip of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) on the city.

The MQM political party is under pressure from the paramilitary Rangers force, which launched an armed operation in the southern port city late in 2013 to tackle soaring crime rates.

Since then, hundreds of MQM workers have been arrested and a Pakistani court has issued an arrest warrant for party boss Altaf Husain for threatening the army in a television address.

Mustafa Kamal, who won wide support as mayor of Karachi from 2005 to 2010 for his efforts to ease traffic and improve public services, leveled blistering criticism at Husain's strongarm tactics.

"Today we are launching a new political party," a weeping Kamal said at a news conference. "Children have been slain and generations have been destroyed by Altaf Husain. This is my challenge."

Hussain could not immediately be reached for comment. Wanted in his homeland over a murder case, he has been living in self-imposed exile in Britain since 1992.

Kamal left Pakistan in 2013 over reported differences with Husain, and had lived in Dubai since then.

In a tirade that lasted almost two hours, Kamal accused Husain of the murders of party workers, and of delivering speeches and making party policy while drunk. He said Husain personally ran the party's militant wing.

MQM senior leader Saif Ali dismissed Kamal's accusations, adding there was no doubt Husain was the "undisputed leader of the people."

Karachi is home to Pakistan's stock exchange and handles all of the cash-strapped country's shipping. It generates most of Pakistan's tax revenue, and some of its most wanted men.

The Rangers crackdown and Kamal's unprecedented attack have raised questions over who will control Pakistan's financial heart in the future.

Husain is known for his fiery addresses to supporters in Karachi via a loudspeaker linked to a telephone in his London home. His hold on the sprawling and violent city is so strong he is capable of shutting down entire neighborhoods.

In 2010, MQM founding member Imran Farooq was stabbed to death in London. Party insiders say he had major differences with Husain before his death.

Husain is now under investigation in Britain for Farooq’s murder, as well as charges of money-laundering.

Last year, Pakistani officials arrested two men suspected of killing Farooq. Both are affiliated with the MQM.

Riaz Haq said...

#India-Occupied #Kashmir: Troops kill 7 Protesters. More #Indian troops being airlifted to #Srinagar as anger rises

SRINAGAR, India — Indian troops fired on protesters in Kashmir on Saturday, killing at least seven as tens of thousands of people defied a curfew and participated in the funeral of a top rebel commander a day after he was killed by Indian forces in the disputed Himalayan region, officials said.

Burhan Wani, chief of operations of Hizbul Mujahideen, Indian-controlled Kashmir's largest rebel group, was killed in fighting Friday after Indian troops, acting on a tip, cordoned a forested village in southern Kashmir's Kokernag area, said Police Director-General K. Rajendra.

As news of the killing spread on Saturday, widespread clashes erupted in several neighborhoods in southern Kashmir as thousands of residents hurled rocks at Indian troops, who responded by using live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas, two police officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with department policy. They said at least 60 civilians were wounded in the clashes.

Local police intelligence chief Shiv M. Sahai said that seven men were killed in "retaliatory action" by government troops. Another man drowned as he tried to flee government troops.

Sahai said that protesters attacked several police and paramilitary posts in the region. Some 90 government troops were injured, he said.

Street clashes spread to Indian Kashmir's main city of Srinagar and at least a dozen places in central and northern Kashmir.

Muslim-majority Kashmir is divided between India and Pakistan and claimed in entirety by both. On India's side, separatist politicians and rebels reject Indian rule over the region and have been fighting for independence or merger with Pakistan since 1989.

After separatist leaders asked people to march to southern Tral town for Wani's funeral on Saturday, police warned that only local residents would be allowed to participate. But tens of thousands of mourners joined the funeral procession in defiance of the restrictions, chanting "Go India! Go back!" and "We want freedom!"

Wani's body was buried in the late afternoon amid mass wailing and angry chants of anti-India slogans. Witnesses said at least two militants fired pistol rounds in the air to salute their fallen commander.

Earlier in the day, thousands of armed police and paramilitary soldiers in riot gear fanned out across most towns and villages in the region and drove through neighborhoods, warning residents to stay indoors.

Two rebel comrades of Wani were also killed in Friday's gunbattle.

Wani, in his early 20s, had become the iconic face of militancy in Kashmir over the last five years. He was a household name and his video clips and pictures were widely circulated among young people in Kashmir.

Unlike the rebel leaders of the early 1990s, Wani did not cover his face in videos widely circulated on cellphones.

Inspector-General Syed Javaid Mujtaba Gillani described his killing as the "biggest success against militants" in recent years.

Indian officials, fearing that the killing could lead to violent protests in the already troubled region, suspended an annual Hindu pilgrimage to a mountain cave which draws about half a million people each year.

Wani was a small-town boy and the son of a school principal. Handsome and media savvy, he was widely credited for reviving armed militancy in Indian Kashmir in recent years, using social media like Facebook to reach out to young Kashmiri men.

Riaz Haq said...

#India Stops #Kashmir Newspapers From Printing Amid Protests. Civilian Death Toll Rises to 35. #BurhanWani #Muslim

Since 1989, more than 68,000 people have been killed in the uprising against Indian rule and the subsequent Indian military crackdown. India and Pakistan have fought two wars over control of Kashmir since British colonialists left the Indian subcontinent in 1947.

Unwilling to take any chances, Indian authorities appear to be persisting with their clampdown to avoid aggravating tensions in view of Pakistan's call for a "black day" on Wednesday to protest India's handling of dissent in Kashmir.

On Friday, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed that his country would continue extending political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. He said he called for observing the "black day" to express solidarity with "Kashmiris who are facing atrocities at the hands of Indian forces."

The largest street protests in recent years in India's portion of Kashmir erupted last week after Indian troops killed the popular young leader of the largest rebel group fighting against Indian rule in the region.

Information has been thin, with most cellular and internet services, as well as landline phone access, not working in the troubled areas, except for Srinagar, the main city in the Indian portion of Kashmir.

Police began raiding newspaper offices and seizing tens of thousands of local newspapers on Saturday, imposing a ban on their printing until Monday. They also detained scores of printing press workers.

Newspaper editors denounced the government action and termed it "gagging and enforcing emergency on media."

The Kashmir Reader, a daily English newspaper, said on its website Sunday that "the government has banned local media publications in Kashmir," and called on its readers to "bear with us in this hour of crisis." Most English dailies, however, continued uploading news onto their websites.

Editors and journalists held a protest march in Srinagar late Saturday, carrying placards reading "Stop censorship" and "We want freedom of speech."

Meanwhile, anti-India protests have persisted, marked by clashes between rock-throwing Kashmiris and troops firing live ammunition, pellet guns and tear gas.

Clashes were reported in several places in northern Kashmir on Sunday, and at least six people were injured, police said.

In the latest fatality late Saturday, government forces fired bullets at villagers who threw stones at them and tried to torch a police station in a remote village in the northern Kupwara area, close to the highly militarized Line of Control dividing Kashmir between India and Pakistan, a police official said.

One young villager was killed and at least two other people were wounded in the firing, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

Authorities on Sunday extended the summer break for schools and colleges for a week, until July 24.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan’s #MQM party received funding from #India , claims ex-head of diplomatic wing Anwar. He says MQM has been receiving funds from the Indian government and he was asked by its leadership to coordinate with Indian contacts to receive it. GulfToday

The former head of the diplomatic wing of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Coordination Committee member Muhammad Anwar has alleged that the party has been receiving funds from the Indian government and he was asked by its leadership to coordinate with Indian contacts to receive the funding.
He denied having anything to do with the murder of Dr Imran Farooq and said that it was Nadeem Nusrat who introduced him to an Indian diplomat in early 90’s. Nusrat, MQM’s former Coordination Committee member, now lives in Washington and runs his own organisation.

Speculations have also existed that the MQM received monies from India’s spy agency RAW (Research & Analysis Wing) but this is for the first time that a former senior office-bearer like Anwar has officially accused MQM of being involved with India’s spy agency over a period of time.

Anwar revealed in an exclusive interview with The News and Geo at his home in Edgware London that "it was sometime in the early 90’s when Nadeem Nusrat came to me and told me that he would like me to meet an Indian diplomat. He asked me to meet the Indian diplomat alone but I refused and told him that he should accompany too. It was at 7 o clock in the evening and it was raining heavily that day. Nadeem Nusrat, on my insistence, went with me to the meeting but stood outside the venue.”

Anwar said he told the Indian diplomat that he will discuss issues with him only in the presence of his senior, Nusrat. The Indian diplomat told Anwar he had instructions only to speak to him and not to anyone else. "I told him that I will not speak to him on my own. After making a call to someone and after about half an hour’s argument, he received permission and then Nusrat joined us too. This is how I got connected.”

Anwar said that it was never his decision to meet Indian diplomats and deal with them. "I confirm that I was obeying orders of the party. I was asked to do what I did and I was connected by MQM with the Indian contacts. I never had any vested interests. We were towing the party line on India.”'

Anwar said that his own colleagues in MQM — Pakistan and UK created a bad impression about him, projected him as the only bad person whereas the reality is that each and every person in the leadership position shared responsibilities and all decisions were taken in consultations with each other.

He said that the MQM-Pakistan leaders were projecting themselves today as holier than thou but he said that the Karachi based leadership was responsible for large-scale killings and destructions in the city. "The so-called civilised leaders that you see on TV these days were the ones who were always offering to Altaf Hussain to inform them who to maim, kill and burn. I am ready to share details with authorities about their deeds. Over the years, they have blamed me only to launder themselves as clean guys. That’s not the case.”

Last week, Anwar was named as absconder, with Altaf Hussain and Iftikhar Hussain, in the Dr Imran Farooq murder case by Islamabad’s Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC).

He said that the judgment quotes Khalid Shamim as saying that in 2005 he called Dr Imran from Dublin and spoke to them both over the speaker and in the same conversation, Anwar allegedly asked him to kill the slain MQM leader.

Anwar said the late Asma Jahangir called MQM’s office on May 12, 2007 and told the London office that MQM people were involved in killing innocent people and pleaded to the party leadership to stop the carnage in Karachi during Pervez Musharraf’s government.

Riaz Haq said...

How Pakistan’s Most Feared Power Broker Controlled a Violent Megacity From London

Though he was born in Karachi in 1953, Hussain has always identified as a Mohajir—a term that refers to those, like his parents, who left India after partition. In Agra, about 140 miles south of Delhi, Hussain’s father had a prestigious job as a railway-station manager. In Karachi he could only find work in a textile mill, and then died when Hussain was just 13, leaving his 11 children dependent on Hussain’s brother’s civil-service salary as well as what their mother earned sewing clothes. Such downward mobility was common among Mohajirs, who were the target of discrimination by native residents of Sindh, the Pakistani state of which Karachi is the capital. Hussain was enraged by his community’s plight. He and a group of other Mohajir students founded the MQM in 1984, and Hussain gained a reputation for intense devotion to the cause. After one protest, when he was 26, he was jailed for nine months and given five lashes.

Religiously moderate and focused on reversing discriminatory measures, the MQM built a large following in Karachi, winning seats in the national and provincial parliaments. It didn’t hurt, according to UK diplomatic cables and two former Pakistani officials, that it received support from the military, which saw the party as a useful bulwark against other political factions. Although Hussain never stood for elected office, he was the inescapable face of the MQM, his portrait plastered all over the many areas it dominated.

From the beginning, the MQM’s operations went well beyond political organizing. As communal violence between ethnic Mohajirs, Sindhis, and Pashtuns worsened in the mid-1980s, Hussain urged his followers at a rally to “buy weapons and Kalashnikovs” for self-defense. “When they come to kill you,” he asked, “how will you protect yourselves?” The party set up weapons caches around Karachi, stocked with assault rifles for its large militant wing. Meanwhile, Hussain was solidifying his grip on the organization, lashing out at anyone who challenged his leadership. In a February 1991 cable, a British diplomat named Patrick Wogan described how, according to a high-level MQM contact, Hussain had the names of dissidents passed to police commanders, with instructions to “deal severely with them.” (Hussain denies ever giving instructions to injure or kill anyone).

Even the privileged came under direct threat. One elite Pakistani, who asked not to be identified due to fear of retribution, recalled angering the party by having the thieving manager of his family textile factory arrested, unaware the employee was an MQM donor. One afternoon in 1991, four men with guns forced themselves into the wealthy man’s car, driving him to a farmhouse on the edge of the city. There, they slashed him with razor blades and plunged a power drill into his legs. The MQM denied being behind the kidnapping, but when the victim’s family asked political contacts to lean on the party he was released, arriving home in clothes soaked with blood.