Translated and compiled by mbokhari from the sources listed below.
They say dead men tell no tales. But they do, if justice is blind and applied equally. The judicial investigation of the May 12th killing in Karachi has opened a veritable Pandora’s Box in Pakistani politics and, as a result, the MQM chief has been summoned to the Sindh High Court. Feeling the heat, Altaf Hussain has decided to join forces with Pervez Musharraf who has been plotting to launch a massive propaganda campaign against Nawaz Sharif. Ummat Daily News has learned through reliable sources that London-based leadership of MQM has been in close consultation with the ex-dictator during the last few days. The flurry of activity in London was prompted by the issuance of notices by the Sindh High Court to Pervez Musharraf and Altaf Hussain to appear before the court. The court has directed the duo to appear personally and clarify their role in the events of May 12th, 2007 and in the killings of lawyers and media activists during the Chief Justice’s visit to Karachi that day.
A source close to the London secretariat of the MQM revealed that the original plan of action involved cooperation with the PPP to hash out a strategy that would save the MQM head honcho from appearing before the judge. The governing party, however, did not give an unconditional pledge of support and so in despair, the MQM made contact with Pervez Musharraf. The ex-dictator and onetime strongman of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has fled to the UK since the Chief Justice, whom he imprisoned for 5 months, was restored to the bench.
The MQM sector and unit in-charges in London are greatly worried about the judicial proceedings and a large source of anxiety in the party leadership remains the possibility that any decision by the court against the MQM may make it difficult for Altaf to stay indefinitely in the UK. If the Sindh High Court finds the defendant Altaf Hussain guilty of orchestrating the horrific round of violence on that fateful day in Karachi, the party leadership fears his opponents may move the courts in the UK to expel Altaf, or at least, to limit his capacity for organized violence.
What Altaf has been reported to be most afraid of, is the fact that if it becomes impossible for him to stay in the UK, the only other country that would grant him asylum would be India. Staying in the UK, however, is not only politically defensible for the MQM,
it also allows Altaf to monitor his extensive business interests in Europe and North America. Claiming asylum in India would not only be political suicide for the MQM but would also pinch Altaf’s wallet most painfully. Understandably, Altaf is willing to go to any length to keep on staying in the UK.
Insider sources claim the MQM chief originally planned to stage manage a public show of force in Karachi soon after Eid. The ostensible demands of the post-Eid tableau vivant were to be the release of MQM activists allegedly in custody since the 1992 Army operation. Supposedly, some sections of the PPP have agreed to look the other way as the street theater of MQM has been planned to finish with a spectacular display of firearms and wanton violence after a moving address by the leading performance artist Altaf Hussain. According to sources, it was Musharraf’s idea to prod MQM into making a massive public show of force after the Eid. Ironically, a similarly brilliant collaboration between Musharraf and Altaf resulted in the original bloodletting on May 12th, 2007.
Musharraf has advised Altaf that a show of Awami Taqat after Eid, demanding an investigation of the 1992 army action, was the only way Altaf could wriggle out of the tightening noose around his neck that is the May 12th case.
But the blinding speed with which politics in Pakistan is conducted has put paid to any plans to wait out the Ramadan slow season. Altaf has been forced to move the release date early. The situation seems so dire in London that the MQM even offered the Lawyers’ leadership a grand bargain in the spirit of “Nazriye-e-Zaroorat” involving payment of restitution to the families of the more than 50 killed that day. Adding one more to the series of ironies, some of these victims had already been claimed by the MQM as its own martyrs.
Unsurprisingly, the Lawyer leadership rejected these overtures with the firm declaration that it would never broker a deal to save the MQM. The refusal was served with a side order of stern advice that MQM had better not try to influence the court proceedings, for if it did, its problems would swiftly multiply.
In the official MQM doctrine of victimization, the most villainous Army Operation against the MQM was initiated in 1996 when the PPP was in power. Interestingly, the MQM is willing to absolve the PPP for its role in the 1996 operation, and is only interested in investigating the 1992 operation. Perhaps that is because the PPP currently happens to be in power and controls the federal purse strings?
Lt. Gen (R) Naseer Akhtar is the person who delivered the opening salvo of the battle, and it would be fitting to explore his background briefly. The 1996 Army Operation was carried out under the direct supervision of Lt. General Naseer Akhtar who was posted as Corps Commander Karachi during the previous PPP government. It was under his supervision that the feared FIT was created as an elite counter-terrorism outfit for hunting down MQM terrorists. However, after retiring, Lt. General (R) Naseer Akhtar, fearing for his life, approached Altaf Hussain seeking clemency. He had some family in Karachi and some business interests which prompted frequent visits, and he did not want to die.
The other shady character starring in the latest Altaf Hussain production is Brig. (R) Imtiaz of the Intelligence Bureau. Brig Imtiaz was involved in attempts to dislodge the 1988 PPP government through a No Confidence move in the parliament through buying MNA’s votes. The auction price for the 12 MQM legislators in the National Assembly was set at Rs. 100 million.
Musharraf and Altaf have collaborated before, most notably on May 12th, 2007, but the fierce urgency of their respective legal troubles has forced the two in an intimate embrace, While Musharraf finds the noose of Article 6 rustling against his shirt collar very unsettling, Altaf fears the Sindh High Court more than he fears a good shower. Musharraf has even tried to use his influence on the renegade PML (Q), but has been unable so far to sway the party to come out in his favor publicly. The fast fragmenting Q has further splintered along pro- and anti-Musharraf lines and is expected to be of no help against Article 6.
As MQM’s sphere of influence does not extend beyond Karachi and Hyderabad, it is in no position to stage a violent public uprising. It will however use the threat of holding Karachi hostage as a bargaining chip with the PPP and the establishment. The pro-Musharraf wing of the PPP is tuned to the MQM wavelength and is trying to bring the top leadership of PPP in line. They plan to use the threat of public disorder in Karachi to twist the PMLN arm and force them to back down from demanding Article 6 for Musharraf.
In essence, Altaf Hussain plans a 3-target multiple strike through the grand opening of his show on the 1992 operation. He plans to deter PMLN from insisting on accountability for Musharraf, intimidate the newly restored judiciary and force the PPP to side with MQM using the threat of public disorder
The situation is in flux and expect many updates. The PMLN and other opposition parties are watching the developments closely and have intensified their contacts with Prime Minister Gillani bypassing the Presidency.
Source 1: The Nation
Source 2: The News
Source 3: Ummat