From the lanes of Landhi to the driveways of Defence, Afaq Ahmed moves into Phase V

Published: April 24, 2012

Once a sleepy neighbourhood, the area is now home to several restaurants. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: On Saturday nights, the lanes of Clifton’s Block 4 are thronged by cars ferrying diners to the newest must-visit eatery. This weekend, a handful of police mobiles and an armoured personnel carrier also parked themselves in the intersecting Defence Housing Authority Phase V area, along with the neighbourhood’s newest resident: Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) leader Afaq Ahmed.

Ahmed has been operating out of Landhi since his release from jail last November, but there have been several episodes of harassment of and attacks on MQM-H workers in the area. As a result, party information secretary Aleem Ahmed Khan says, a “strange environment had been created in Landhi.”

“We could not meet, move freely or invite anyone. Now that we are in Defence, politicians and party workers and civil society members can easily meet Afaq Ahmed,” he told The Express Tribune. “Our concern is not for ourselves but for our visitors.” The party has also consistently asked for Ahmed to be given security.

But Phase V residents worry that despite the change of address; threats to Ahmed may follow him to Defence and others could be drawn into the inevitable violence. As with any other area that has a high-profile political figure in its midst, the steady stream of political workers, visitors and security personnel not only causes traffic issues but makes the area volatile during political crises.

“Our relatives and friends are scared to come here now,” said a resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The manager of one of the businesses in the area refused to comment given the sensitivity of the issue.

Ahmed’s plan is to spend four days a week in the DHA residence and three days in Landhi. His family is also moving in with him to the 700-yard, four bedroom house in DHA Phase V. The house is reportedly owned by an ex-naval officer and rent falls in the Rs90,000 to Rs100,000 range. “We cannot afford to buy property for now,” MQM-H’s Aleem Ahmed Khan said.

There is a visible contingent of police officers and vehicles at the house but when Khan was asked about the security detail provided to Afaq Ahmed, he said it was “next to nothing”.

Clifton’s Block 4 has emerged in the last couple of years as the hip new area to open eateries and shops. Once a sleepy neighbourhood with the odd high-profile residence as well as the Kuwait Consulate, the area is now home to several restaurants, including Cafe Flo, Xander’s Cafe, Forty 4 and Koel, as well as the Ensemble clothing store and upscale beauty salons. Federal ministers, government advisors and CEOs are regulars at the local establishments, often spotted with an entourage of security guards in tow.

The constituency (NA-250) which includes Clifton and DHA is currently held by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)’s Khushbakht Shujaat. In 2002-2007, the seat was held by the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal. The Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf is hoping to win this seat and the two provincial seats associated with it in the next general elections, and the Jamaat-e-Islami also hopes to recapture the vote bank it once had in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Imran
    Apr 24, 2012 - 4:58AM

    Come on man. Defence too now !!

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  • FF
    Apr 24, 2012 - 6:26AM

    Now where’s this money coming from? The word ‘Bhatta- khor’ sprung to my mind!

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  • Ex-Pakistani
    Apr 24, 2012 - 7:53AM

    Mr. Ahmed we havent forgotten your terror full entry in 1991 and we also know what you and your men did. We also know what you must be doing now. So dont act innocent.

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  • Apr 24, 2012 - 8:12AM

    90,000.00 ruppes a month where is the money comming from, he didnt work and just got out from jail.

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  • Asad Soomro
    Apr 24, 2012 - 9:36AM

    He won’t be anymore safer in Defence. There have been plenty of target killings in Defence and Clifton also. There are flags and wall chalkings of parties all over Defence and Clifton also now.

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  • Salman Orangiwala
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:19AM

    Let the Defence Dwellers feel the “heat ” .lolzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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  • The Pointer
    Apr 24, 2012 - 10:28AM

    This is called DIRTY POLITICS

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  • HG
    Apr 24, 2012 - 11:23AM

    Guys His Party Workers give Funds to him, like MQM workers donate for Altaf Hussain. When money is not justifiable put it in party funds so easy.

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  • Apr 24, 2012 - 11:48AM

    well whether its Orangi or defense why should Innocent suffer .
    This man is a criminal bhatta eater , why was he allowed to get a house in first place .
    now where is the DHA Officers?

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  • Ashar
    Apr 24, 2012 - 1:18PM

    He should now change his name to Afaq Mirza instead of Afaq Ahmed.Recommend

  • ishrat salim
    Apr 24, 2012 - 1:47PM

    Allah swt has listened to my prayers….these killings of people in poor & low class areas will reduce once it is shifted to the affluent areas…& here it goes..area ” defence ” Shukr Alhamdollilah……..now the real pressure from the elite / rich etc; on the govt will force the govt to act..bcz this & similar other areas hv not witnessed lawlesness..nor do they realise the situation in which people of less priviledged areas are going thru day in & day out..this is the reason even the so-called members of civil society do not bother to find solutions to the problems ( they were active only to bring down Gen R Mush )…Recommend

  • Hairan
    Apr 24, 2012 - 4:37PM

    Jiye Afaq bhai, long live Afaq bhai, he is the true brave leader, he never leave his people.

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  • sharjeel khan
    Apr 24, 2012 - 6:57PM

    @FF:
    atleast he is not living in posh london area,,,,,by the way have you ever asked british national altaf that from where his?her funding comes from,,,,,,

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  • Syed Faisal
    Apr 24, 2012 - 8:21PM

    @EX-Pakistani , for your kind information MQM-H is the continuation of the dirty politics of MQM. Which started the era of torture cells , Bhatta Khori , Target killings so on and so forth.MQM and MQM H has same culture of politics.

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  • Imran Nazimabadi
    Apr 25, 2012 - 1:48AM

    He will still be spending three days in Landhi among his workers, unlike his British rival Altaf who has ditched Pakistan for good and won’t ever return again..

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  • Dr. Asad Sadick, Germany
    Apr 25, 2012 - 2:11AM

    you have come to do politics. Definition of Politics: Poli from the word poly meaning a lot or many, and tics are blood sucking parasites. you have come to suck the blood of poor defence inhabitants. LOL

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  • ishrat salim
    Apr 25, 2012 - 3:04PM

    Correct Syed Faisal…now when heat travels upto Bilawal house…only then the govt will actually wakeup…let us pray that this move proves to be a blessings in disguise for all the people of Karachi.Recommend

  • Abid P Khan
    Apr 25, 2012 - 8:18PM

    @sharjeel khan:

    “@FF:
    atleast he is not living in posh london area,,,,,by the way have you ever asked british national altaf that from where his?her funding comes from,,,,,,”

    .
    Wasn’t Altaf Hussain living on Edgeware Road? Next question:When did Edgeware Road turn into a posh?

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  • sharjeel khan
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @Abid P Khan:
    just do a simple search that how much is the property rent in edgeware road,,,,,how much people are employed in his so called secretariat,,,, how much it costs for his mafia leaders like sattar, ghauri etc to travel to london at least once a month to “discuss” political situation of larachi with him,,,,,,,and then please also find out the source income of british national altaf and if you find it plz do tell me,,,i will be very thankfull

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  • sharjeel khan
    Apr 27, 2012 - 12:54AM

    @Syed Faisal:
    might be t rue but now i tink afaq bhai is a changed person after serving a jail term of 8 years,,,,,at loeast he is a patriot pakistani and doesnot teach his workers for an independant karachi,,,,,,,

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  • tanzeel
    May 1, 2012 - 3:47AM

    Btw get your facts straight. Altaf hussain does not live on edgware road. Musharraf lives in edgware road. Altaf hussain lives in a densely populated area of north london called edgware.

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