Governor Ebad is their patron: ANP


Express May 20, 2010

KARACHI: The Pukhtoon-backed Awami National Party in Sindh has held Governor Ishratul Ebad responsible for the target killings in Karachi that left over 22 men dead in 24 hours.

“He is their godfather,” said the party’s Sindh president Shahi Syed at a press conference at Mardan House on Thursday. This press conference was called after the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and ANP members exchanged harsh words at Chief Minister House. The meeting was meant to be attended by key members of the coalition - the PPP, MQM and ANP.

But the MQM leaders demanded that the representatives of the Hazara movement be included as they were party to the target killings. When this demand was not agreed upon, the MQM boycotted the meeting. In a bid to prove that the Hazarewal were not behind the target killings and were instead with the Pakhtun, Shahi Syed invited the Tehreek Sooba Hazara and Anjuman-e-Ittehad Hazara to his press conference afterwards. “The people of Hazara are our brothers and we accept their constitutional right to demand a separate province,” said Shahi Syed. “The Pukhtoon and Hazarawals have been living together for thousands of years and have never been involved in killings.”

He commented on a remark made by the MQM’s Farooq Sattar to the effect that the ANP and Hazarawals should “accept” each other and live peacefully. “The overseas minister does not know that actually the people living in Hazara are also Pukhtoon tribes,” retorted Shahi Syed. “Our culture and traditions are the same. We just speak two different languages.” The Anjuman-Ittehad Hazara’s Irshad Hussain Bukhari backed Shahi Syed’s statements. “The people of Hazara are peaceful citizens and have nothing to do with the target killings,” said Bukhari. “People are playing politics as they did in Abbotabad and now others are playing the same game in Karachi.” Nazir Khan of the Tehreek Sooba Hazara added that the people of Hazara had nothing to do with the crisis.

Shahi Syed was criticial of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party. It seems as if the MQM is actually ruling Karachi, he said. “The PPP is bowing its head to each and every demand put forward by the MQM, which is an insult to the mandate given by the people of Sindh to Bhutto’s party,” he added. According to the ANP Sindh president, one political party thought of itself as the ruler of the city and was not ready to give political space to other parties.

Sindh belongs to Sindhis and all other nationalities are guests, he said. “Those who want to turn Karachi into their personal property are living in a fool’s paradise.” Shahi Syed brought up the case of an ANP sympathiser Abdul Nabi Khan who was attacked because he had refused to pay extortion money to MQM workers for a Punjab convemtion. “They were demanding Rs300,000 from him,” he said, adding that they had even informed the MQM Rabita Committee but the man was killed later on.

Hazara Quami Mahaz protests for separate province

Activists of the Hazara Qaumi Mahaz, Sindh, organised a protest rally outside the press club on Thursday to demand a separate province. Addressing a press conference after the rally on Hazara Qaumi Mahaz president Haji Khurshid Hazarvi said that they have no conflicts with the Pakhtuns and they are fighting for a separate province peacefully. He condemned Wednesday’s target killings and offered his condolences to the affected families. Hazarvi also announced the party’s neutrality in the target-killing incidents. “We also condemn the conspirators who are trying to create a gulf between the Pakhtun and Hazara communities.

MQM boycotts coordination committee meeting with PPP and ANP

The Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) boycotted a coordination committee meeting after its demand to include Hazara groups was turned down by other coalition partners. It said it wanted the Hazara groups included as the target killings concerned them. The meeting was scheduled to take place at Chief Minister House to discuss targeted killings in Karachi and acquire input from the major political parties, namely the MQM, Awami National Party (ANP) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

Raza Haroon and Hammad Siddiqi were representing the MQM, the ANP representatives were Amin Khattak and Rana Gul Afridi while Waqar Mehdi and Rashid Rabbani represented the PPP. Before the parties could begin the meeting, the MQM demanded representation of the Hazarewal. This was opposed by the PPP and ANP who argued that it would be unrealistic to call the Hazara Jirga to the meeting as it would only instigate demands of representation from all other parties. “The incidents taking place for the past two days are tragic and we condemn them,” said the MQM’s Rabita Committee member Waseem Abbas.

“We demanded representation of the Hazara movement and Hazara Jirga because there should be equal representation for every group in order to come to a conclusion.” He added that the Hazara people had also lost several lives on April 12, when they were attacked during a protest in Abbotabad. He went on to allege that the ANP had filed FIRs on May 9 and attacked the offices of the Hazara Jirga on Tariq Road. Aftab denied allegations that the Sindh governor was involved in targeted killings, saying that everyone knew that it could not be true and that the ANP should double check its facts before making such statements.

The PPP’s Waqar Mehdi told The Express Tribune that there was no solid reason for the MQM to boycott the meeting, considering that they had requested it in the first place. “The meeting was arranged after Waseem Aftab called Rashid Rabbani to arrange a coordination committee meeting,” Mehdi said, adding that this forum was only for the MQM, PPP and ANP and if the MQM had wanted to call the Hazara Jirga it should have informed them before the meeting. “It would become an assembly instead of a committee if someone else asked us tomorrow to add more parties,” Mehdi argued.

He added that the chief minister had instructed members of the committee to air out their differences soon and that no one should back out when it came to resolving serious issues such as target killings.

Published in the Express Tribune, May 21t, 2010.

COMMENTS (17)

Tαnzeel | 10 years ago | Reply Shahi syed should not say "Pakhtoon" are being killed in Karachi when he himself proudly states that Karachi belongs to everyone. If Karachi belongs to every one then the victim are Pakistanis not Pakhtoons. Secondly, If governor responsible for target killings then Shahi Syed should quit Sindh Government and lodge petition against Governor Sindh.
Syed Asif Shah | 10 years ago | Reply Dear Friends, First of all lets be honest with each other and review what is happening on ground in Karachi. 1) Sindhis have to accept that they neither have a majority nor that kind of influence in overall Karachi. They might dislike MQM primarily because of Muhajirs' better education and financial position. And despite having an overall majority in the province and nearly 40 years of quota system, Sindhis could not avail this huge opportunity (Karachi) that Muhajirs and even Punjabis have been able to take advantage of. In fact even all shades of Pukhtoons have been able to take better advantage of Karachi's potential than the Sindhis themselves. Sindhis should realize that brining every now and then a rally from outside Karachi to show strenght would give them nothing. They need to work hard to get out of autaqs and start claiming their right share with the on ground physical presence and prevent continuous outside province influx. Otherwise in next 20-25 years, if not less, both Sindhis and Muhajirs would turn into a minority and Sind would have to be renamed as Sind-Pukhtoonkhwa as the case is with current Balochistan without being named so. 2) Pukhtoons have taken the best advantage of Karachi's potential. Coming from an opportunity less province even in peace times and now after the on going terrorism activities in that part of the country Karachi is the best thing that can happen to them. No doubt they are hardworking, mostly honest and a conservative lot and have fulfilled all those roles which the other ethnic entities were not interested but were required. However a few of them started indulging in land grabbing and drug related activities which must be tacked as a law and order priority and strict enforcement of municipals laws. Otherwise other entities would continue to stop those actions by taking law into their hands which is what is happening every now and then. Also legislation needs to be done to control property and voting rights in order to safe-guard the interest of Sind's native population. 3) Muhajirs, being the most educated lot, need to understand that only law and its strict implementation can protect their true rights and no amount of strong arm tactics would work in the long run. In fact the very start of their struggle under the flag of MQM was due to lack of implementation of the laws of the land that generated a sense of depriavtion amongst them. They must realize that in order to fight off tribal mindset and tactics they cannot respond with the same coin. The time has changed and only those nations have prospered where the law is supreme. MQM must understand that while it does hold a decent majority in urban areas of Sind but it is not an absolute majority. And that if truly wants to capture the attention of middle class people outside this area of influence it first need to take along middle and lowever middle class people of other ethnic communities in Karachi. Only then people in Lahore or Peshawar can stand with them. I did not wanted to hurt any individual communities' feelings but make them understand that without being honest with themselves they cannot go anywhere forward which is their true right. However I would welcome positive criticism to improve further.
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