Karachi violence: Lessons to learn the day after

Karachi sank into violence as a result of Zulfiqar Mirza's irresponsible diatribe. Now what?

Hassan Khan July 16, 2011
What can one say about Senior Sindh Minister Zulfiqar Mirza that hasn’t already been said. However, we can examine further the ruling party’s ever-ready approach to bring their angry spokesman repeatedly into the picture.

This time around, months after being on vacation after his resignation, Zulfiqar Mirza found quite the appropriate moment to burst back into political limelight. Before being led away by Local Government Minister Agha Siraj Durrani, Mirza put the icing on the cake by urging the people of Karachi and Hyderabad to rise up.

And as they say, the rest is history – the people did rise up and the city descended into violence.

For the government, the only face saving was a flurry of apologies.

The issue is that of who speaks for the government. Even official spokespersons are disowned. One remembers how comments made during the Raymond Davis affair by Fauzia Wahab, the party spokesperson, were disowned by the government and it was said that she spoke in her personal capacity. One wonders why they say such things in the first place.

Are they made to say things or do they do that in a burst of inspiration.

Is it that Zulfiqar Mirza, like so many others, plays his own special role as being the mouth-piece of the ruling party?

The government can and should be held responsible for the violence that was witnessed in parts of Sindh, given that its senior functionary uttered the words that caused the trouble.

If US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a media statement, it is considered the official stance of the current US administration. She cannot disown them unless she makes a case that she has been misquoted. Just like when Rehman Malik says one thing and then complains that he has been misquoted the day after.

Officials in our country are given the exclusive privilege of mixing business with pleasure; a privilege that oft comes with a heavy price.

Hassan Khan The writer holds a BA in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara and is a sub-editor at The Express Tribune hassan.khan@tribune.com.pk
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Sarah | 12 years ago | Reply By power show you mean burn your fellow citizens cars and kill innocent civilians?
Tanzeel | 12 years ago | Reply @Sarah: To tame people like Mirza and Shahi Syed it was necessary to display power show by Muttahida as a result Government took U turn, not only made Zulfi apologize but vacate the Kashmir seats as well. They have asked Governor to rejoin the cabinet and ensured MQM that their long standing issues will be addressed this time.
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