The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has launched an international media campaign against Pakistan and managed the publication of articles and distribution of a wrap with a demand for a free Karachi. The campaign has not only exposed the evil designs of the party but also enemies of Pakistan, led by India.
Last week, the Washington Times distributed a wrap with its regular edition, carrying a demand to free Karachi. It also carried articles to foment hatred among people living in different federating units of Pakistan and against its national institutions. The MQM also attempted to create a scare that if the situation in Karachi was ignored, it would create problems for the whole world. It also admired the current U.S. Administration for “showing great courage by directly pointing out as to how Pakistan has been hoodwinking the U.S. by receiving massive financial assistance, on one hand, and providing support and safe havens to the killers of the U.S. soldiers on its soil, on the other. “But this realization must not remain confined to social media posts only; it must be accompanied by concrete actions. Supporting ethnic Mohajirs and Balochs on humanitarian grounds will be a great starting point. It could be followed by efforts to ensure that all ethnic groups, in particular pro-U.S. ones, are given equal share in the military and governance of Pakistan. This diversity will herald lasting peace in the region. Until Pakistan’s “deep state” comes to term, all U.S. and European military and financial aid to Pakistan must be suspended,” the MQM demanded in an article.
“There is a mushroom growth of illegal religious seminaries (madrassahs) in these areas where poor non-Urdu-speaking students are trained for Jihad, all under the watchful eyes of Pakistan’s law enforcers. This is all being done to change the Western-friendly, sophisticated and secular face of Karachi. In today’s world, Karachi, Pakistan’s biggest city with a population of nearly 30 million, is facing the same injustices that the American colonists faced in the late 16th century. Pakistan runs on taxes collected from Karachi, yet Karachi is the most neglected metropolitan in Pakistan. It is almost impossible to find ethnic Mohajirs, its majority people, in the city administration and law enforcement agencies. Every year, hundreds of thousands of the city’s young students are refused admissions in their own city at the cost of Sindhi and Punjabi-speaking non-Karachiites,” it claims. It blames the Pakistani establishment for all troubles of the city, without mentioning that the MQM has ruled the city for decades. “Karachi’s prosperity wasn’t liked by Pakistan’s Punjabi-dominated Military Establishment, which soon started a vicious campaign to target Karachi. Soon after imposing Pakistan’s martial law, Pakistan’s first military dictator shifted the capital of Pakistan from Karachi to a newly established city, Islamabad, in Punjab. Offices of all major state organizations were relocated from Karachi to Punjab, leaving hundreds of thousands of Karachiites jobless. The people of Karachi, and the Urdu-speaking Mohajirs in particular, were selectively targeted and purged out of government jobs and law enforcement agencies,” it said without any proof.
“Even though taxes generated from Karachi run Pakistan’s economy, you would struggle to find even a single person from Karachi in the Karachi Police or the Paramilitary Rangers that are responsible for the law and order in Karachi. These non-local law enforcers treat Karachiites as people of an occupied territory. Extrajudicial executions in fake encounters are common, as are enforced disappearances. Police and Rangers are known for extorting billions from Karachi’s citizens every year through coercion and intimidation,” it alleges and also calls the provincial government of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) a fierce enemy of Karachi. “It is on record that the PPP founder and former Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto had ordered the then provincial Interior Secretary in the early 1970s to halve Karachi’s population in the official census figures, so that Karachi’s representation in the provincial and federal parliament could be significantly reduced. This practice with the population figures of Karachi and Hyderabad — the Mohajir-majority, second-largest city of Sindh province — continues to date. Even in the last census, Karachi’s population was shown to be less than half of the actual numbers.”
Another article said, “The latest victims of Pakistan’s Punjabi-dominated establishment are ethnic Mohajirs, descendants of millions who had migrated to Pakistan from India following the partition of the subcontinent in 1947. These immigrants once assumed that their religion of Islam would transcend all ethnic and regional differences and they’d be able to easily assimilate in Pakistan. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and since the early years of Pakistan’s creation, Mohajirs have been facing extreme prejudice and persecution in a country they had lost everything for. A majority of these Mohajirs (immigrants) had settled in Karachi, Pakistan’s first capital and major port city. Armed with education and entrepreneurial skills, Mohajirs soon turned Karachi into a prosperous and buzzing commercial and industrial city.”
In September last year, a phased “Free Balochistan” campaign was launched in Switzerland, which also reached London, New York and Washington in months, with hundreds of buses and taxis carrying posters of “Free Balochistan”, “Save The Baloch People” and “Stop Enforced Disappearances.” Millions of dollars are required to launch a campaign at such a large scale and it must be understandable that Pakistan’s enemies are behind it. Pakistan has limited its reaction to only statements and protests with countries where the smear campaigns were launched. It should have investigated who had paid for them. It should also have managed the publication of articles in these countries to expose its enemies and counter the malicious propaganda.
Pakistan has a lot of credible material to prove its point. The arrested Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadev and his confessions must be highlighted throughout the world. In 2015, a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report said the MQM had received financial and logistical support from India. It said senior MQM officials, in formal recorded interviews, admitted before British authorities that the party had been receiving funds from the Indian government. It also said India had trained hundreds of MQM militants in explosives, weapons and sabotage over the last 10 years in camps in north and north-east India. In 2014, the New York Times cited an American diplomatic cable from 2008 titled “Gangs of Karachi,” which was published by WikiLeaks and estimated that the MQM had an active militia of 10,000 gunmen, with an additional 25,000 in reserve — a larger force, the dispatch notes, than the city police. Pakistan should manage the publication of these reports in the countries where the campaigns were launched against it to inform the world about the real situation in Karachi and the country.