NationalVOLUME 15 ISSUE # 24

Criminals and politics in Pakistan

In Pakistan, politicians do not use politics to serve the country and its people. They use it for plundering and enslaving poor Pakistanis, controlling and looting the resources of the country. They deliberately develop mega projects and form economic and social policies which provide monetary benefits to them. They make and pass laws which only protect their partisan interests. They take pride in breaking their promises. They feel elated in deceiving poor people. They feel proud of their foreign nationalities, work permits, permanent residencies and properties. In short, most Pakistani politicians are dishonest, unprincipled, corrupt, demagogues, cruel, greedy and unpatriotic.

Joint Investigation Team (JIT) reports on the Baldia Town factory fire, Uzair Baloch and Nisar Morai, the former chairman of the Fishermen Cooperative Society, clearly show that all political parties have criminals in their ranks to control people and rule the country. IPPs, sugar, wheat and PIA scandals clearly manifest that all political parties are run and controlled by mafias and cartels. The JIT reports also show that there is no rule of the law in the country.

The Model Town carnage, Sahiwal killings, Nawaz Sharif’s exit from jail and the country, Asif Ali Zardari’s bail and presence in Sindh, Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif’s bails and Pervaiz Musharraf’s abode in Dubai endorse the thesis that there is a different law for the ruling elite, including politicians, businesspeople, religious leaders and high-ranking officers, while poor people have a different law in Pakistan.

Durdana Najam, a columnist, writes: “The JIT (Baldia Town factory) report has identified the hand that had set the factory on fire, the MQM, which ruled Karachi for over two decades with impunity. The JIT has identified the person who had ordered to seal every door leading out of the factory to ensure that no one could escape the furnace that the perpetrators had decided to make the venue — head of the MQM Karachi Tanzeemi Committee, Hammad Siddiqui. It has identified the police officers, lawmakers, businessmen, and the factory’s administrator, who were involved in the gory incident. The JIT has it all. But it has not been enough for the judiciary to act upon. Every JIT and every criminal are assets in the basket of opportunities to keep the ship of the state rowing in the direction that takes the proverbial 1% to their destination. Whether it is extracting desirable results in elections or getting short-term financial gains from artificially created supply-side shortages, crimes committed by an elite is an instrument of convenience, not to be squandered in convictions for the so-called institutional reforms”.

History tells us that General Ziaul Haq formed and supported the MQM to counter the PPP in Karachi. Under the patronage of Zia, the MQM indulged in sectarianism, violence and other criminal activities without any fear. It is a fact that the MQM has introduced politics of hatred, violence, torture and extortion in Karachi.

In Ziaul Haq’s era, the Afghan war also brought drugs and weapons to Karachi’s Sohrab Goth area. Resultantly, the area became a den of criminals, smugglers and gangsters. Criminal groups, ethnic and sectarian parties were also promoted to depoliticise society and counter the PPP. Due to the policy, politics has become criminalised. The criminalisation of politics has, so far, killed around 50,000 people in Karachi.

In spite of the JIT report, no action has been taken against the persons who were involved in the heinous crime. It shows the power of the MQM in Pakistani politics. The MQM is still a part of the PTI’s federal government. Imran Khan, who pretends to be an honest man, has not felt any hesitation to get support from the MQM for forming his government. The PTI government does not like to offend the MQM by supporting the JIT report.

The JIT on Uzair Baloch also sheds light on the criminalisation of politics in Pakistan. According to the report, “The accused (Uzair Jan Baloch) is found involved in espionage activities by providing secret information/sketches of army installations and officials to foreign agents, which is a violation of Official Secrets Act, 1923. The accused has accepted his criminal acts before the JIT and co-related all his actions with actual criminal happenings on the ground,” the report said of the chief of the outlawed Peoples Amn Committee (PAC). He also martyred several police and Rangers personnel and attacked police stations. In total, Baloch “confessed” to killing 198 people on ethnic and political grounds and owing to gang-war rivalry.” In addition to the murders, the JIT said Baloch was also involved in extortion, land grabbing, China-cutting and narcotics trafficking.

It is an open secret that Uzair Baloch had full support of PPP leaders Asif Ali Zardari, Faryal Talpur and Zulfiqar Mirza in his criminal activities. The JIT says through his gang, Uzair Baloch unleashed a reign of terror on Lyari in cohorts with “MNA Qadir Patel, Senator Yousaf Baloch, Nisar Morai, Owais Muzaffar Tappi and Zulfiqar Mirza” all of whom “supported Uzair Baloch with arms and finances on the directions of Asif Ali Zardari.”

Interestingly, it is reported that the PTI also tried to make inroads into Lyari through Uzair Baloch. He and his group supported the PTI in holding rallies in the area in the 2018 elections. It clearly shows that the PTI has also links with criminals and murderers for protecting its interests.

Due to the criminalisation of politics, Pakistan is drifting towards utter failure and chaos. The chaos can be stopped by introducing the rule of the law in the country. No political party should be allowed to support criminals because politics and crime cannot go together in a real democratic system.