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Posts tagged with: 5/12

The Politics of Containers

Guest Blog by Naeem Sadiq
Published in Dawn, Sunday, 22 Mar, 2009

Containers outside the Pakistan ParliamentContainers were originally used for the transportation of goods. Today they still carry goods but only when not being utilised in the service of the state. In the absence of a more rational argument, the weight, size and shape of a container provides an ideal piece of equipment to impose one’s political agenda.

Placed at the two ends of a road, containers provide weighty assurance that the life and liberty of one’s opponents are confined within these two extremes.

The credit must go to the MQM for inventing a usage that the original designers had not quite envisaged. The May 12, 2007 prototype launched in Karachi was successfully replicated on March 15, 2009 when some 2,000 containers were used to cordon off large swathes of area. It was a shameful, illegal act and it brought the government immense misery and losses to individuals.
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Letters to Univ of Stanford condemning Musharraf as “Big Speaker”

Musharrafs version of Democracy in PakistanGeneral (retired) Pervaiz Musharraf is scheduled to speak at University of Stanford on Friday, 16th January. This blog has since long been overwhelmingly against the actions and deeds of Mr. Musharraf starting from March 9th 2007 when he sacked the, then Chief Justice of Pakistan and more specifically after the imposition of Martial Law on November 3rd 2007, where he assumed himself to be above the laws of this land ie. the Constitution of Pakistan. All because Pervaiz Musharraf wanted to save his seat in power

I share with you three four separate letters that were sent to the University of Stanford condemning their decision to invite and honor Pervaiz Musharraf as a guest speaker, to teach the younger generation how to aspire to be a dictator like him, is probably the last thing that University of Stanford should teach its students. I believe that Pervaiz Musharraf in his final year in power caused Pakistan far greater harm then anything imaginable, having deliberately allowed crooks back into the country he bid adieu leaving Pakistan with a snub and a smirk when he said “Pakistan Ka Khuda Hafiz“. After all it is then that he wished us the worst, which is evident by the crooks he welcomed home
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When Justice does not prevail…..

robbers burnt alive in KarachiYesterday an Urdu daily Khabrian published this shocking image which showed three people being burnt alive whilst a large crowd stood watching. A Daily Times reporter wrote a story without the gruesome image. For the record I must fully condemn this incident and my sharing this story is only to highlight the failing morals of our society, when none of its people expect any form of justice they are inadvertenly (willingly or unwillingly) forced to take matters into their own hands.

A group of incensed residents of the Nishtar Road neighbourhood beat and burnt three robbers so badly on Wednesday that two died on the spot and another died at hospital.

The three men (according to some reports there was one more) were caught trying to escape after robbing flat No. 303 of Samia Kalam Building during which its resident Akbar was injured, said DSP Malik Mazar Hussain. There were reports that the men of the area got together to grab the men who were beaten with whatever they could lay their hands on, including sticks and blades. Some type of oil was sprinkled on them and a match was lit.

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May 12, 2007 – In remembrance

Pakistan stood stunned almost a year back on May 12th 2007 when the city of Karachi was held hostage in the hands of terrorists who went on a killing spree. The culprits were caught on tape and much was said about bringing these culprits to justice, but unfortunately nothing has come out, despite our repeated pleas for justice. Quite honestly how can any society, even imagine to dream about economic prosperity, when simple justice cannot prevail, there was ample video evidence to easily bring at least a few perpetrators behind bars, but unluckily they “knew the right people in the right places” to walk away scott-free as if no crime had ever occurred.

Dejected and helpless at the sad state of affairs surrounding our country, I simply share a few relevant posts made a year back. Read the anger and try to feel the frustration that besieged the citizens of Karachi that fateful day. Then take a moment and pray to God that Pakistan quickly comes out of the hands these ruthless above-the-law politicians and bring this country back to prosperity.

I must admit in the past few months the only shinning light I saw was through the resurrection of a strong and independent Judiciary, a dream which continues to evaporate into thin air. Innocent me, I dreamt of seeing Pakistan an embodiment of a fair and just society, where no body, not even me, is above the law and all are treated equally and with respect at least living in an Islamic state governed by the principles of the Quran and Sunnah, this should not be a dream, but an easy reality. Then why is it too hard for us to even live up to our name of ‘Islamic’ Republic of Pakistan. We might as well just become The Republic of Pakistan

Husain Haqqani: A Follow up Post

Guest Blog post by Phil

A recent post run by Teeth Maestro on his blog that features another renowned web-activist that goes by the pseudonym of Temporal and writes at Baithak and discusses how a few old faces are reappearing and how they are making sure that their government service’s maligned past is buried and forgotten forever. These two gentlemen write with great authority and research on the political goings-on of Pakistan..

From the days of General Zia ul Haq, the most notorious (dick)head of state of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, one name never seems to die out. Like a roach, it has survived the test of time and come back to haunt the scene once again in the form of Husain Haqqani. Or Hussain Haqqani? The post by Temporal points out by mentioning a news report by Anjum Niaz in Dawn , and confirmed by two other major dailies of Pakistan, The News , and The Daily Times how this man and his other associates are going around town doing all they can to literally burn their past. The burning of all records of their previous cases held at the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was personally seen out by him and a few other people.
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Was yesterday’s carnage in Karachi all PPP’s doing or did MQM have a hand in it? – An Eyewitness Report

I would like to share with you an email sent to me just now narrating the experience of a person who tried to get home yesterday amidst the rioting and the chaos. The government and the media continues to point fingers at emotionally charged PPP supporters but instead we kind of forget that this city (Karachi) is controlled by yet another party called MQM who happened to show its full colors not to long ago on May 12th. Did we just see a repeat telecast of that 5/12 massacre yet again

I know many are attributing the violence, burning of cars, looting of ATM machines etc in the city to the reaction of PPP workers but allow me to share something that I observed last night. Like many I was also stuck in chaotic traffic for 4 hours. The Rikshaw driver refused to go beyond Quaids mazar and abandoned me there and took off. I don’t blame him. Anyway I had no choice but to ride with a total stranger on a bike to take me home. While moving through small streets to find our way to Gulshan-e-Iqbal, I witnessed many vehicles being torched. On one such small gali, I recognized a face, in the armed mob which was about to torch a parked Hi Roof, from my previous Mohala. He is a devout MQM worker. He had a riffle in his hand and was ushering a crowd of young men with lathis in their hands.
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May 12th HRCP Report – Carnage in Karachi but the Saga Continues

HRCP Carnage in Karachi ReportA few days back Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (blog) has published a fact finding report on the events of May 12th 2007 which is without doubt a tragic day in the history of Karachi (DOWNLOAD). It was a day when goons were deliberately let loose on the streets to enforce their concept of law and order, and the world is a testament that it was without doubt a horrendous massacre. We did not need an HRCP report to come to the conclusion as to who was at fault but this independent report definitely helps place the blame in a more credible manner.

Excerpt: This report does not presume to pre-empt or anticipate the outcomes of the processes of accountability that have been initiated in the courts and elsewhere. Its aim is more limited. It attempts to create a record based on newspaper reports, testimonies and accounts provided by eyewitnesses and affidavits relating to the events in Karachi on May 12. Much of the material used in this report is already in the public domain. In the politically charged atmosphere that prevailed in the city, “facts became contested almost as soon as they were first reported.
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…to Pakistan

Pakistan Flag…. the 60th Independence Day of Pakistan is about to end, and I, like a number of Pakistanis sadly are not exactly ‘hip’ with joy celebrating this all important event. In 60 years we were supposed to be progressing with leaps and bounds, we were supposed to be competing shoulder to shoulder in the world economic boom for our business, but instead we are struggling for our existence. What happened? Where did we go wrong?

In 2005 I seemed to be quite upbeat with the patriotic emotions but also expressed my concerns at the confusing political situation by writing A Tribute to Pakistan
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I still love Pakistan, Do You?

I Still Love Pakistan do youBarely four days left for the 60th anniversary of our beloved nation, but it seems that many citizens are just not motivated enough to celebrate this milestone. It appears that the people have been disheartened by the continuous political twists and turns that have besieged our country since the past few months which saw the attack on the the judiciary, the 5/12 massacre then the recent rumor of State of Emergency.
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Expatriate Pakistanis react with Passion

Ever since the Massacre of May 12th in Karachi which sadly claimed the lives of over 50 people, the world is abuzz with astonished outrage. The people living in Pakistan naturally go through hell with the day-to-day incidents but what people often tend to forget are the emotions of those Pakistanis living outside Pakistan who feel helpless and are unable to do anything sitting across the world, they filter through each news item, they hear every TV and radio story with apt attention in hope of getting a glimmer of hope from their motherland.

Having lived in the US for three years I know the emotions that go through when your city is ablaze and you have loved ones sitting huddled in a room afraid. Imagine their heart pounding reactions when on May 12 they start hearing of state sponsored massacre, they hear that the police and rangers are sitting dribbling their fingers while gangsters go on a killing spree, its a nightmare we in Karachi don’t ever want to re-live and naturally expatriate Pakistanis don’t ever want to repeat.

There is little doubt to the fact that these people are far more patriotic then we here in Pakistan can ever be, they have to identify themselves as Pakistanis on a daily basis and most are proud of it (unlike a handful of rotten eggs) and are often questioned by foreign nationals on the unrest in their homeland. These expatriate Pakistanis then consider themselves as ambassadors of Pakistan and try their best to put up a ‘good face’ for the sake of Pakistan image.

The incident that happened on May 12th was one which stunned everyone beyond belief, a good way to judge the emotions would be to listen to a radio talk show of ABCN Chicago (from Pakistan access it via 1590 WONX) aired immediately after the 5/12 Massacre, quite literally was a shockwave echoed across the globe

or download the MP3 here (28MB)

The following week ABCN Chicago (Urdu Talk Radio Chicago) covered in detail the impact of media and blogging on the recent political unrest in Pakistan and invited the prominent blogger Adil Najam of Pakistaniat.com and later he was joined by Talat Hussain of AAJ tv, to shed light on the issue. You can hear the entire show in the following clip

or download the MP3 here (28MB)

All heard and said, there is little doubt that expatriate Pakistanis remain as emotionally involved as physically possible, they see their country burning and want to guide it towards the best direction possible. But do our leaders care?

Courtesy: Blogiyaat

MQM threatens 20 journalists

Reporters Without Borders has issued a press release suggesting that Muhajir Rabita Council an integral part of the MQM leadership has threatened some 20 odd journalists for their reporting activities related to the 5/12 Massacre. The list of Journalists include Zafar Abbass, Mazhar Abbas, Shaheen Sehbai, and Dr. Shahid Masood.

Ever since the fateful day of 12th May, MQM has continued to take a lashing from all quarters as it was most definitely the first time that the MQM organization was caught on live tv fully engaged in the terrorism. This was nothing new as all Karachiites have known the threat of MQM to the extent that the term ‘Supari Nikal Na’ was a keyword instilled in the Karachi vocabulary ever since this party reverted to using terrorism to stay in power. This open threat to journalist can continue to spell disaster for MQM as such threatening messages do little in terms of rebuilding the shattered image.

The Mujahir Rabita Council (MRC) issued a threatening statement on 22 May with a list of some 20 journalists it described as “chauvinist” and hostile to their movement. The MRC is affiliated to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), which supports Gen. Pervez Musharraf and which was partly responsible for the 12 May riots in Karachi in which 40 civilians were killed and a TV station was attacked. “Now it has become necessary to inform the nation about these cruel elements and those who conspire against humanity,” the statement said.
Reporters Without Borders calls on the MQM to put a stop to these threats and urges the authorities to protect the journalists.

Among the prominent journalists on the list are Zaffar Abbas, editor of the daily Dawn, Mazhar Abbas, AFP bureau chief in Karachi, Shaheen Sehbai, the head of the TV station Aryone World, and Shahid Masood of Geo TV. One of the journalists named told Reporters Without Borders on condition of anonymity that he was scared because “having your name on the list means that the MCR wants to eliminate you.” – Reporters Without Borders

Update 26th May

IFEX has also issued a press release to highlight this threat to journalist which can be viewed here The list of journalists are as follows

  • Zafar Abbas
  • Azhar Abbas
  • Mazhar Abbas
  • Ayaz Amir
  • Sajjad Mir
  • Irfan Siddiqui
  • Shahid Masood
  • Aneeq Ahmed
  • Asfar Imam
  • Zahid Hussain
  • Shaheen Sehbai
  • Zarar Khan
  • Iqbal Haider

The 5/12 Massacre

For the past few days I have been writing quite openly on Karachi Metroblogs about the carnage served up by on the fateful day of 12th May 2007. The more I logically try to reason what happened I continue to fall deeper into the corner of laying the blame squarely on Musharraf who used MQM to serve him with a decent body count.

The minute the rallies started heading towards the airport a volley of gun fire was let loose from high well placed vantage points upon the people below. The participants of these rallies ran for cover but little can you do with sniper fire. It was literally a nightmare and it would be best if you were to read one of my posts which I wrote on Karachi Metroblogs immediately after I returned home ‘Karachi Witnesses an Organized Massacre‘ where I was simply fuming and blaming the ruling party for everything. If they honestly wanted to prevent the opposition from approaching the airport they could have easily deployed a large police and ranger contingent and told them to tear gas the hell out of the crowd, they could have enforced a Section 144 throughout the city (at least in the areas of Shahrai Faisal if the rest of the town was needed for MQM rallies) and could have used rubber bullets to pacify the aggressive activists or even an occasional lathi charge to give it a Karachi twist. But surprisingly nothing of this sort was used, no tear gas, no 144, no latthi charge, no rubber bullets, no calling in of the rangers to cordon off the city, it was quite simply gun fire all around. Can you imagine for a moment that throughout the day NOT A SINGLE TEAR GAS SHELL WAS USED !!!! Remarkable isn’t it.

When in the evening that day we were a witness to a long rambling by President General Pervaiz Musharraf, it suddenly dawned on me that this was all part of a greater plan and yet again I wrote another post on Karachi Metroblogs titled 5/12 in this post I think I have nailed it on the head when I stated

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

Musharraf needed something substantial to tack onto the Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry as the lame accusation of ‘Politicizing the Judicial Process’ was loosing its impact, what better accusation then a huge body count to shove in his face. Karachi was simply used as a chopping block, the administration was told to serve up a decent body count and MQM was more then happy to oblige

I thought I was finished with all off my share of Government bashing series of articles but I simply could not hold back when Cyril highlighted a particular comment which appeared on Karachi Metroblog. It makes me cry but at the same time shudder at what could happen if the ‘ruling gods’ go on a rampage. I shudder and also worry for my safety, but at the same time feel that it must be done for the sake of Karachi and Pakistan simply said the truth must be told

A comment was posted by a certain individual calling himself SJ responding to a discussion on Karachi Metroblog, honestly it had nothing to do with the discussion in progress and I assume it was the only place he could find in his eagerness to raise his voice.

Enough said, I leave you with this story of a doctor who chooses to remain anonymous for the sake of his dear life, but had the courage to speak up and luckily posted it on KMB. I honestly fear for his safety, but at the same time I feel that since he showed courage to post it on our blog it should not go unnoticed and it should be projected to the world as an example of what just happened in the short span of six hours that the administration decided to call off the police and leave it unattended in the hands of ruthless killers.

The brave doctor posted this from his mobile set so you would have to definitely forgive his typographical errors, read it fully and then think about what just happened to Karachi on the 12th of May. Massacre seems to be a very light term to describe the ruthless killing that took place in six brief hours

I am a doctor. I work at a tertiary care, govt run, large and very well known hospital in khi. Forgive the short hnd style of typing here. I am, and hav been here at work for more than 32 hrs, and am surfing/typing on my cellphone. I rode with my ambulance drivers, was in the hastily set up emergency room in our lobby, attended multiple gunshot wounds victims etc. but nothing struck down my soul more than what 9 fully armed workers of MQM alongwith 2 sector office bearers did.

They tried to drag out the wounded and dying body of a Sunni Tehrik worker (we later learnt he was sunni tehrik) for presumably finishing him off. Whn my junior residents said we could not allow that, they slapped my junior, dragged us both by our legs to the back of the gurney alley and with shotguns, pistols and ak-47’s in hand, ran in to our lobby presumably attempting to search whr the man in question was being treated. I ran out to the rangers and police a.s.i. some distance frm our front gate who when approached by myself said, and i quote ‘jaante ho inn logoun ko phir bhi kyon larta ho…hamain upar se order hai ke inn ko 4 baje tak karne do jo karna hai. 4 baje ke baad kuch dekhainge’.

I recognized the sector office bearers of the MQM, bcoz I have made the mistake of voting for the MQM in the past. I called a friend in Bohrapir, who is related to Farooq Sattar. 5 mins later the sector charges recieved a call on their cell, and they left, one with a bandana threatening me with ‘naam dekh liya hai tera. Koi shor sharaba karne ki zururat nahi hai baad main warna samajh ja kya hoga’. He also took my junior residnts mobile fone saying ‘chikna set hai’. The guy they had come looking for had been shot one more time in the head. The o.t dress we had dressed him in 10 mins earlier was freshly bloody.

I curse myself for all times i hav defended these people in discussions with friends. Bcoz i like many othrs made up my mind based on hearsay and wht familial and traditional biases i grew up with, without being exposed to their reality. Dont misunderstand me. The JI, JUP, pml, ppp, Sunni this and Shia tht, all othr parties may b infinitely worse. I m just saying tht all of us need to understand tht an argument should take place for one reason alone. To compel or b compelled. Whn we hav the logic and conviction to do the former or the sense and courage for the latter, we will stop seeing wht we witnessed in our city today.unedited version

Please have Mercy on us all

A slightly altered and shorter version has been published on Karachi Metroblogs titled ‘Is this What Happened?


This article was published on Karachi Metroblogs here, I republish it on my own blog so as to preserve this article for my own blog

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.
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Hail to our Leader Bush

Typical of us Pakistanis, we try to bend over backwards and literally sell their souls to please any gora-skin (white skin) person. Just recently the Grade 11 textbooks were about to get a new insertion of a unique poem that was meant to shower additional praise on George W Bush (of all people). Whatsoever was the motivation for this puzzling twist, we remain stunned beyond belief as to which nut-head thought of this clever trick.

The Board of Education inserted the poem titled “The Leader” which literally has made a mockery of our education standards. It ain’t surprising that the entire world feels that the 43rd President of the United States remains adamant at making a mess out of his 8 years in office but somehow our Education Minister seems to think otherwise, to such an extent that he feels that this poem deserves to be taught in High School.

Luckily a full retraction has just been issued by the Education Ministry (Whew!!!) Read the entire poem below. Note the highlighted First word of each stanza
BBC Website | Karachi Metblog article
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