Battle for Karachi

A register of reports and views from the Pakistan press

Written by Ruchika Talwar | Published: May 12, 2012 3:18 am

A register of reports and views from the Pakistan press

Battle for Karachi

Since the start of the year,as recorded in this column,Pakistan’s commercial engine,Karachi,has witnessed target-killings. Covert wings of the city’s three main political rivals,Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP),Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement,and Sindhi and Baloch nationalists are allegedly responsible for the violence.

Karachi’s Naib Nazim (an administrative post) Malik Muhammad Khan was shot dead in Lyari (a district in Karachi) while protesting Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s conviction for contempt of court earlier this month. The federal government’s help was invoked and the Pakistan Army Rangers took charge of the city and launched what is now being called the “Lyari Operation”. Last week,federal interior minister Rehman Malik termed Lyari’s situation similar to that of Swat a couple of years back. Dawn reported last week that President Asif Zardari had directed the Rangers,local police and other security forces to join in a large-scale attempt to stamp out the violence “across the board”.

Normal life was disrupted following the violence,which claimed 40 lives. Lyari’s public transport,schools,colleges and hospitals,all suffered. The News on May 9 carried the new date sheet for Class IX exams in the troubled area. The Express Tribune reported on May 10 that Tariq Kamal,assistant chief reporter of a Sindhi newspaper,was kidnapped and later killed.

MISSING IN ACTION

THE ghost of Pakistan’s “missing persons” has raised its head again. Some time back,the Supreme Court had questioned security agencies about their whereabouts. Last week,Daily Times had reported that Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry,while hearing the cases of missing person,gave the Balochistan chief secretary and top cops a deadline of two weeks to produce the missing persons before the court. As time went by,these “missing persons”,as though by magic,traced the way to their homes. Daily Times reported on May 10 that seven of them were brought back home. Balochistan has the highest number of missing persons,followed by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab. The issue was also raised in the Senate on May 10,reported The Express Tribune website.

FALSE ALARM

THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE on May 10 carried a story that qualifies as a rejoinder to news carried in the Indian media. The story stated: “The Mumbai Police on Wednesday released photographs of three alleged terrorists,out of five,that it claimed belonged to banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba and had entered Mumbai. The three,however,are present in Lahore,with two of them running businesses and one serving as a security guard at the city’s famed electronics market Hafeez Centre.” The men were identified as Atif Butt and Mehtab Butt,and Baber. It turns out that Atif came across his photograph and a report on an Indian magazine’s website while browsing the Net.

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