How did Karachi lose more than 50 people in Abbas Town with hundreds of apartments and shops reduced to rubble? One bomb-packed car rampaging around the neighborhood rummaged it all? Government announced the day of mourning on the incident but is anyone willing to claim responsibility for the act? No. Is anyone accountable for that? No. This only shows that meeting political ends in Pakistan mean far more than human values and all our law-enforcing agencies have failed.
We, Karachiites have seen countless sectarian eruptions since1980s where Shiite processions and neighborhoods were attacked by other sects. Last riot witnessed were during Zia era in Liaquatabad had many houses were burnt and Shiits were forced to leave the neighborhood. Then, the mercurial rise of Muttahidda Qaumi Movement as Muhajir Qaumi Movement changed the entire perspective of the city. MQM united both the sects under a common flagship and out of sectarian skirmish.
The “sectarian harmony” turned out to be the core strength of MQM, and both sects started to live peacefully under slogan of “Muhajirs”. The recent attack in Abbas Town is the example of that harmony; in this attack not only Shiite but many Sunni brothers living in a common locale lost their lives too. MQM has been enjoying this unique power over Karachi by winning more than 85% of the mandate of Karachi for decades.
Suddenly a new wave of Shiite killings has started in KPK, Baluchistan, South Punjab and Karachi. But this time it is worse and of fairly different nature. There are no neighbors or commoners involved in the killings but groups of terrorists under different labels are playing hooligans.
Unfortunately, there have been instances where politicians are found pulling each others’ collars for the mighty blame game and accusing intelligence agencies of having ties with these groups but no institution has so far taken any action against the cold-blooded killers. Let me add, Hamid Mir, in his recent column titled “A day in Khuzdar’ has proven the ties between intelligence agencies and some extremists groups in Baluchistan.
Reportedly, the electoral allies Ahle-Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ) with PML-N and Muttahida Wahdatul Muslemeen (MWM) is now allying with PTI for the upcoming elections. Both alliances will only affect the election results in Karachi by bifurcating the Urdu speaking vote bank among Shiites and Sunnis – just like before it was divided among Jamat Islami and PPP.
The described political scenario is no different than the concerns showed by MQM chief. Although Rehman Malik insists these attacks are only a part of delaying the election process because some hidden forces don’t want to see democratic process in Pakistan. Recently, he has accused two banned outfits, Tehreek Taliban and Lashkar Jhanvi, playing role in sabotaging election process. If the dots from Hamid Mir’s journalism to Rehman Malik’s information are correct then Altaf Hussain has correctly analyzed that these attacks in Karachi are against MQM’s democratic vote bank.
If banned outfits are playing the worse role for establishment then ASWJ and MWM are playing the clean role by dividing a democratic vote bank of MQM. But the two groups are unaware that they are throwing the 85% population of Karachi in the deadly sectarian division.
It is precisely the time for people of Pakistan especially Karachiites to come out with sectarian harmony against the forces bend on dividing them. We can’t forget the fact that Abbas Town is the Shiite dominated neighborhood but more than 30 Sunnis were killed in the attack too. If we live together and die together then we have to muster together to defeat the bad and evil forces. Whether Altaf Hussain’s concern is right or not but Karachi is not ready to go back in the history of sectarian riots and bloodshed which will not only cost us lives of our innocent people but also the solidarity and sovereignty of the country.