In the recent past, specially after 9/11, it has become a routine to disambiguate specific dates with numbers. I feel yesterday, 12th May 2007 was such a date on which Karachi underwent a life-changing incident, hence I choose to memorialize it as 5/12.
It was not only political rivalry or sectarian rivalry, let loose on our city, but was more like a state sponsored massacre in Karachi. We were all witness to the massive build-up of forces throughout the city even the late night barricading of key intersections which aimed at blocking all specific routes to the airport, ironically the rest of the city was left untouched. The forces maintained a strong deterring presence until precisely just before the start of the opposition rallies. It was then these jawans were ordered away from the strategic points leaving key vantage points at the merciless hands of ‘favorable’ snipers.
The snipers were then merciless on the approaching rallies using them as target practice, there was some return fire from below but how much can one do with raining bullets and you have to scramble for cover. I honestly believe the ordering of police and rangers out of these areas was a deliberate effort by Musharraf and MQM to use this bloodshed to damage the credibility of the CJP. They calculated ‘a few lost lives, so what, but at least we can pin it on Iftikhar’ and true to the words, that is exactly what they did, Altaf Hussain used it in his speech at 4:30pm and Musharraf later at night while addressing a state-sponsored gathering in Islamabad. He rambled about his sacrifices for this nation, but every few minutes drummed out loud the death toll shoving it accusingly into the face of the Chief Justice of Pakistan. All our blog posts and comments here today accusing one party or another for the tragedy go wasted as quite simply Karachi was used and the dead were simply pawns in the game of wits. Many have accused the CJP for allegedly politicizing the judicial crisis but I blame Musharraf for using Karachi as a chopping block for his grapple for power.
Coming back to the topic, I have felt that this blog has been instrumental in this crisis yet again providing a platform for the voice of the common man, we as blog authors used this to convey our thoughts by allowing us the freedom to publish lengthy articles drumming our own bias in one form or another, hundreds of readers read these and have debated each topic but sadly some valid argument do definitely get lost in the mixture never to emerge. I as an open minded individual would like to hear all sides of this tragedy and hopefully come to a better understanding of this disaster. The only place suitable for such a dialog is only possible by compiling an article on Wikipedia. The mass editing capability will ensure that a neutral article ‘may’ come into existence hence for this purpose I have started a Wikipedia article titled 5-12, memorializing this tragic day in Karachi.
Potential editors are requested to carefully edit the article so as to present the truth as it played out in their mind, be accepting of other arguments and slowly we might come out with a mutually acceptable version of the disaster. Rampaging through the article by peppering it with party specific viewpoints will only discredit the party and may potentially result in a lock down of the page. So please edit with care. Credit for the title 5/12 and wikipedia article goes to Adnan Siddiqui & also in part to PPH