Original Articles

Channelling Naseerullah Babar

One of the strangest facts of the present day is that if there is one thing that non-PPP voters from Punjab still appreciate about Benazir’s second term in office, it is the use of Naseerullah Babar against the MQM. As an example, consider Ayaz Amir’s column of today in The News. This is what Ayaz Amir, a PML-N MNA has to say about MQM:

The MQM resides in a claustrophobic world of its own. Engaging it as if it were an equal, which it is not, is hardly a mark of wisdom. The PML-N is a national party, twice having led the country, and waiting in the wings to lead it once more. If a further response from its side is called for, it should be dismissive and, with luck, withering. There the matter should rest. The PML-N does itself no service by stooping to the MQM’s level.

As interior minister, Gen Naseerullah Babar did not bandy words with the MQM. When things got out of hand in Karachi in mid-1995 he started an operation which ended by breaking the MQM’s back.

Now one can understand that as a PML-N MNA, Ayaz Amir is upset about the statements made by Haider Abbas Rizvi and Waseem Akhtar against his own party leadership. (However, one is surprised that for a relatively balanced member of PML-N, Ayaz Amir is not very critical of Chaudhry Nisar’s own unrestrained words against Altaf Hussain which started the whole incident to begin with). However, the amazing thing is that Ayaz Amir really believes that MQM as a party should not be engaged with, as an equal, by PML-N because MQM lives in a “claustrophobic world of its own”. In fact, in the second paragraph, Ayaz Amir suggests that rather than bothering to wage a war of words with a party like MQM, PML-N should follow the example of Naseerullah Babar and start an operation to “break MQM’s back”.

Frankly speaking, this attitude, from an elected member of the national assembly no less, is horrifying. For one thing, to an impartial observer, there should not be much difference between the level of discourse that Chaudhry Nisar sunk to and that which Haider Abbas Rizvi and Waseem Akhtar sunk to in response. So it doesn’t look very good that Ayaz Amir is trying to whitewash his own party’s role in yesterday’s disaster. But worse than that is the idea that MQM is, as an entity, not even worth engaging politically. As if his own party, PML-N exists on some superior plane in which the only interaction it should have with MQM is that of heavy handed force in the style of Naseerullah Babar.

What kind of “national party” is PML-N if its elected representatives speak of the fourth largest party in the parliament in these terms? And ironically, this attitude displayed by Ayaz Amir is precisely what is the cause of the so-called “paranoia” and “claustrophobia” exhibited by MQM. MQM successfully constructs its narrative of victimhood precisely because the attitude of PML-N is that which is displayed by Ayaz Amir in today’s column. So if PML-N really wants to be a national party, then perhaps it is time for its representatives to examine their own ethnic biases. If PPP has left behind the politics of Naseerullah Babar for good, then it’s time for PML-N lawmakers to stop fantasizing about bringing them back.

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Laila Ebadi


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  • Bhit Shah address: Altaf warns govt against sending ISI chief to US court December 26, 2010 http://tribune.com.pk/story/94735/altaf-asks-supporters-if-mqm-should-quit-coalition/

    MQM HATES ISI http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:76sYEwgh0i8J:www.mqm.org/English-News/Feb-2002/letter_kofiannan_260202.htm+MQM+Convenor+Dr+Imran+Farooq%27s+letter+to+UN+Secretary+General+Mr+Kofi+Annan&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=pk&client=firefox-a

    26 February 2002

    Mr Kofi Annan
    Secretary General
    The United Nations
    U N Plaza, New York 10017

    Dear Secretary-General


    I hope that you are in good health and spirit. I know that you are one of the busiest person in the world and, therefore, I will try and keep this letter short, as much as possible which is about the subject mentioned above.

    After the horrific terrorist acts against the United States of America on 11th September 2001, the United Nations, United States of America and the entire sovereign nations, peace loving political leaders including Mr Altaf Hussain, Founder and Leader of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM), the third largest political party in Pakistan and the second largest in the province of Sindh, strongly condemned the cowardly acts of terrorism in the United States of America. MQM held the biggest rally on 26th. September 2001 in Karachi (port city of Pakistan) to demonstrate its solidarity that it stands shoulder to shoulder with the international community against all sorts of terrorists’ acts and terrorism throughout the world. MQM also offered its unconditional support to the international community against all sorts of terrorism.

    As you would know that one of the journalists of the Wall Street Journal, Mr Daniel Pearl was kidnapped on 23rd January 2002 in Karachi. The kidnappers put certain demands for the release of Mr Daniel Pearl. The present Military Government of Pakistan and its high officials were assuring the entire world that the Authorities and police will recover Mr Daniel Pearl alive within two or three days but failed.

    Pakistan’s interior minister on Friday predicted a “major breakthrough” and more arrests within 48 hours in the search for Daniel Pearl. The official rejected a claim from Pearl’s self-confessed kidnapper that the Wall Street Journal reporter is dead.
    Los Angeles Times, Breakthrough Expected in Kidnap Case, Pakistan Says, February 16, 2002

    No one has explained why Sheikh Omar was held in ISI custody for a week before civilian authorities were informed of his arrest. Two former ISI officers have been questioned about Pearl’s murder. The Observer, Vicious Web of Intrigue that Trapped Daniel Pearl, February 24, 2002

    Mr Daniel Pearl was decapitated ruthlessly. What plans had been made by the ISI in collusion with Ahmed Omar Sheikh while he was in its custody only God knows! The Interior Minister of Pakistan and even President General Pervez Musharraf were not aware of this plan.

    Not only in Pakistan but also throughout the world, the educated and politically aware people know that the ISI is above all the institutions and even above the law in Pakistan. ISI is a State within a State. ISI is not answerable to the Presidents, Prime Ministers or anyone else.

    ‘They are a state within a state… ‘The ISI is the only institution powerful enough to dare to disobey the President.’ The Guardian, Torture, treachery and spies – cover war in Afghanistan, November 4, 2001

    The ISI is responsible for harbouring the terrorists’ not only in Pakistan but also throughout the world under the pretext of “Jihad”. The ISI is not at all happy with the decisions taken by the present Government for eradicating religious fanatics, as they are its own creation.

    The ISI and only the ISI is behind this barbaric killing of Mr Daniel Pearl because the ISI wanted to give the message to the USA that by supporting the present Government the USA will not be able to achieve its goals and the United States of America must deal with the ISI and not with anybody else; and if the United States of America would continue to support the present Government then they have to face and see many more barbaric acts.

    From early on in the Pearl investigation, ISI involvement was evident. The Observer, Vicious Web of Intrigue that Trapped Daniel Pearl, February 24, 2002

    Dear Secretary-General,

    The ISI has become a monster and until and unless the ISI is disbanded or dismantled, my apprehensions are that the ISI will continue to form, fertilise, harbour, train and provide financial support to create more and more religious fanatical groups like Jesh-e-Mohammad and others.

    The intelligence agency’s past actions indicate that its interests – or, at a minimum, those of former agency officials – have often dovetailed with the interests of Mr. Pearl’s kidnappers, as reflected in their original demands. New disclosures of links between Mr. Sheikh and two recently dismissed agency officials only intensify suspicions about its role in this case. The New York Times, Death of Reporter Puts Focus on Pakistan’s Intelligence Unit, February 25, 2002

    Dear Secretary-General,

    I request you to convey my apprehensions to the International Community including the United States of America and its allies and to use your good office to ask the Government of Pakistan to dismantle the ISI. I would also request you that for the dismantling of the ISI, full support and active involvement of the United Nations, USA and the International Community would be required otherwise the present Government or any other Government in Pakistan would not be able to dismantle the ISI.

    I also request you that if the United Nations Organisations and international community seriously and sincerely want to see the entire world free from any source of terrorism, they must take serious and practical steps and actions for completely wiping out the ISI otherwise, it would be too late for the world’s sorrow and tears. The killings of innocent people would be the fate of the world.

    Thank you for giving me your precious time.

    Yours truly,

    Dr Imran Farooq

  • Why do you think Ayaz was asked to stop writing for DAWN?

    They told him that as long as he was an MNA, he could not retain his weekly column. And this makes sense. Ayaz should stop writing like a PMLN member and write like a columnist.

  • بینظیر کی شہادت کے بعد جناب آصف علی زرداری ایم کیو ایم کے مرکز گئے اور دونو ں جانب سے صاف الفاظ میں یہ کہا گیا کہ ہم تمہیں معاف کرتے ہیں ،یہ آصف علی زرداری کا بہت اچھا اقدام تھا اور اس کے بعد ہم نے دیکھا کہ ماضی کی تلخ یادو ں کو دفن کردیا گیا اور کراچی آپریشن اور نصیر الله بابر چیپٹر ختم کر دیا گیا

    ایم کیو ایم کیسی ہے اور کیا ہے سب کو پتہ ہے پر مجھے یہ بات سمجھ نہیں آتی کہ آج بھی سواے اردو سپیکنگ لوگوں کہ ہر کوئی کیوں اس آپریشن کی حمایت کرتا تھا یا اب بھی کرتا ہے ؟ نصیر الله بابر کیوں ہیرو ہے سب کا ؟ نوے کی دہائی میں کراچی آپریشن کا مقصد حکومت کی رٹ قائم کرنا اور شہر کو اسلحے سے پاک کرنا تھا اور یقینن اس کا ہدف ایم کیو ایم تھی . پر کیا آج اس سے بری صورت حال بلوچستان کی نہیں ؟ اگر ماورا عدالت قتل کرنے والا نصیر الله بابر ہیرو ہے تو بگٹی کو مارنے والا مشرف مجرم کیوں ؟
    بلوچستان میں حکومت نام کی چیز نہیں ،وہاں کے لیڈر بغاوت ،آزادی یا حقوق کی جنگ لڑ رہے ہیں ،وہاں کے سرداوں پر پاکستان کا کوئی قانون نہیں چلتا ،نجی جیلیں بنی ہوئے ہے ،اسلحے کی پھر مار ہے ،دوسری قوموں کو مرا جا رہا ہے ،فورسس پر حملے ہو رہے ہیں اور اس کا جواب میں آرمی اور حکومت ویسا ہی آپریشن کر رہی ہے جیسا کراچی میں ہوا پر کیا وجہ ہے کہ پاکستانی سیاسی اور مذہبی جماعتوں کی طرف سے اس آپریشن کی مخالفت کی جا رہی ہے جبکے وہ کراچی آپریشن کو جائز کہتے تھے ، آج بھی اجنسیاں لوگوں کو اسی طرح اٹھا رہی ہیں جس طرح وہ لوگو کو کراچی آپریشن میں اٹھایا کرتی تھی پر کیا وجہ ہے کہ آج سیاسی جماعتیں اس پر شور مچاتی ہیں پر کراچی میں ہونے والے نصیر الله بابر کے آپریشن میں سب جائز تھا اور ثواب تھا .

    کراچی آپریشن جس طرح کیا گیا وہ بہت بے انصافی سے اور انتہائی ظالمانہ طریقے سے کیا گیا ،پورا کراچی فوج ،رینجرز اور پولیس کے حوالے کر دیا گیا ،اور اسلحے کی تلاش میں غیر غیر تلاشی اور محاصرے ہوئے جس میں پورے محلے کے لوگوں کو گھر سے بھر لائن لگا کر بیٹھا دیا جاتا اور پھر فورسس گھروں کے اندر جا کر تلاشی لیتی جبکے پورے پاکستان بلخصو ص صوبہ سرحد میں اسلحے کی بھرمار تھی ، ایم کیو ایم کے لوگ جو لڑ رہے تھے ان کے خلاف کروائی تو الگ پر جو صرف ایم کیو ایم سے وابستہ بھی تھے ان کو بھی نشانہ بنایا گیا -اگر کسی گھر سے کوئی ایم کیو ایک کا کارکن نہ ملے تو اس کے باپ اور بھائیوں کو پکڑ کر لے جاتے اور تشدد کرتے تھے .لوگوں کو بسوں سے اتار کر شناختی پریڈ کروائی جاتی تھی – اگر کسی جگا کوئی شبہ ہو تو وہاں کا محاصرہ کر کے شدید فائرنگ کی جاتی تھی .ہزاروں نوجوانوں کو گھر سے اٹھایا گیا اور پھر ان کی لاش سڑکوں پر ملی اور کچھ کا آج تک پتہ نہیں چلا .ہر پولیس والے کے پاس ایک علاقہ ہوتا تھا جس کا وہ بادشاہ ہوتا تھا ،بہادر علی جیسے افسر نے خوب دہشت پھیلا رکھی تھی حتکہ ملیر میں جینز اور کرتا پر اس نے پابندی لگا دی تھی -اور جو ہتے چڑھتا تو اس پر شدید تشدد کیا جاتا اور ان میں کی مر جاتے -جو پکڑے جاتے انھیں دورے دیں اخبارات اور خبرنامے میں اپنا جرم بتانا ہوتا اس کے علاوہ آجنسیز نے دوسرا مسلّح گروہ حقیقی بنایا جس کی ایم کیو ایم سے خوب جنگ چلتی رہی اور دونوں نے ایک دوسرے کو قتل کیا پر حقیقی کو بلکل آزادی دی گئی اور جن علاقوں میں حقیقی تھی وہاں پر کوئی آپریشن نہیں ہوا .

    میں یہاں ایم کیو ایم کا دفع نہیں کر رہا اور نہ یہ کہ رہا ہوں کہ وہ معصوم اور دودھ کے دھلے ہیں ایم کیو ایم نے شرو سے ہی تشدد اور بندوق کی سیاست کی اور گوریلا طرز پر اپنی تنظیم قائم کی اور انہوں نے حکومت کی رٹ کو چلینج کیا اور خون خرابہ کیا پر میری یہ سمجھ نہیں آتی کہ چاہے بلوچستان ہو ،سوات ہو یا فاٹا جب وہاں آپریشن کیا جاتا ہے تو اس کے خلاف آوازیں اٹھتی ہیں کہ یہ اپنے لوگ ہیں ،یہ بلوچ بھی ہیں یا یہ آپریشن پختوں بھائیوں کے خلاف ہے پر جب یہی آپریشن کراچی میں ہوتا ہے تو سب اس کی حمایت کر رہے ہوتے ہیں اور نصیر الله بابر پورے پاکستان کا ہیرو بن جاتا ہے –
    ایم کیو ایم اس کا دس فیصد بھی نہیں جتنا ہولڈ بلوچ سرداروں کا بلوچستان میں ہے

    مجھے حمایت اور مخالفت کے اصول سمجھ نہیں آرہے ہیں شاید حقیقت میں مخالفت اور حمایت کی وجہ اصول نہیں بلکہ شاید اس کی وجہ لسانی ہی ہو یا دوسروں کا اپنا علاقہ اور اپنی زمین ہے اور اردو بولنے والے مہاجر ہیں

  • very well written. I think just until a few weeks ago when ishaq dar went to condole the death of imran farooq, it was heralded by our mindless media as the need of time and that an mqm-pml-n alliance is imminent. That was more wish than analysis. Anyways, this article truly demonstrates the value a national party gives to another

  • Altaf seriously ill, spokesman denies Saturday, April 03, 2010 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=201043\story_3-4-2010_pg1_4

    LAHORE: The mysterious absence of MQM chief Altaf Hussain from the political scene has raised several doubts about his health, with sources claiming Altaf is currently undergoing treatment in Germany. However, an MQM spokesman expressed his ignorance of such reports. The exact nature of Altaf’s illness is not clear as yet, as MQM spokesman Salahuddin did not deny or confirm the rumours.

    He said Altaf was out of London and his location could not be disclosed due to security concerns.

    The spokesman said Altaf had addressed the party on March 16 and was in good health at the time. Sources disclosed that PML-Q President Shujaat Hussain had recommended a homeopathic doctor in Germany to Altaf. Former prime minister Shujaat and former Senate chairman Waseem Sajjad have both been under the doctor’s care for some time. The MQM chief also did not meet the president during Asif Ali Zardari’s last trip to the United Kingdom. The sources said that since that time, Altaf has been under treatment. It was reported that Altaf had ignored the president, however, MQM denied this impression. A party spokesman said at the time that the PPP and MQM had cordial relations and Altaf had not met Zardari because he was not in London. staff report