Rising political temperatures: Military brass opposed use of force against MQM

Published: July 13, 2011
Email
Army also opposed ‘sensitive’ post for Zulfikar Mirza; PPP says no operation planned against its former ally. PHOTO: EXPRESS/RASHID AJMERI/ FILE

Army also opposed ‘sensitive’ post for Zulfikar Mirza; PPP says no operation planned against its former ally. PHOTO: EXPRESS/RASHID AJMERI/ FILE

LAHORE: 

Amidst straining relations between the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and its estranged coalition partner, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), the military brass is learnt to have opposed a series of moves that could have adversely affected an already tense situation – including any move to launch an operation in Karachi.

The military brass had also expressed displeasure over the possible induction of controversial former Sindh home minister Zulfikar Mirza on a sensitive post in the federal or provincial cabinet, The Express Tribune has learnt.

“Mishandling Karachi’s situation, or using coercive means against the MQM, is not something the country can afford at this point in time,” brass as telling top civilian authorities. The military has advised the government against launching any operation against the MQM, which pulled of the ruling coalition last month.

However, PPP’s information secretary Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the government was not planning any operation against the MQM. But at the same time, he added, “I don’t think the military would stop the government from taking action against the law breakers in Karachi.”

Sources said that the PPP was planning either to make Mirza governor of Sindh or to assign him a portfolio in the federal cabinet after getting him elected to the Senate. Reports of such a move had earlier begun appearing in the media. But the military is said to have precluded such a move.

Sources said that the PPP had planned an operation against the MQM, particularly against it supporters among the Kacchi community in Malir. And Mirza, who has good relations with the Sindh police, had alerted the police officials belonging to interior Sindh but serving elsewhere in the country. Mirza’s plan envisaged an operation against the Urdu-speaking people in order to coerce the MQM into compliance.  Mirza’s recent meeting with Afaq Ahmad, the chief of MQM-Haqiqi, was actually a message to the MQM.

When contacted by The Express Tribune, Presidential spokesperson Farhatullah Babar refused to comment on the issue and instead switched off his cell phone when pressed hard.

Sources said that the military brass contacted MQM chief Altaf Hussain and assured him that the government would not launch any operation in Karachi. Following the assurance, Altaf cancelled a scheduled address to a general party workers meeting on Monday.

Babar Ghauri is said to have contacted PML-N Senator Ishaq Dar to seek support against any operation in Karachi. And PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, in return, held out an assurance that his party would oppose any operation against the MQM in Karachi. Sources said that the two parties would soon start a movement against the PPP-led government from the platform of a grand opposition alliance.

The Express Tribune has learnt that, following its failure to muster military support against the MQM in Karachi, the government’s top leaders took a ‘U-turn’ and decided to send PML-Q leader Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to Nine-Zero to assure the MQM on behalf of the president that the government would not launch an operation in Karachi. Qamar Zaman Kaira said that the government’s coalition partner might have endorsed Shujaat’s trip to Karachi.

However, the MQM said the Chaudhry was in Karachi to attend a wedding ceremony and not to reconcile the MQM with the PPP. “Shujaat visited Nine-Zero to sympathise with the MQM over the atrocities the party has been facing in the city,” MQM’s Joint Incharge Information Secretary Qamar Mansoor told The Express Tribune.

He claimed that the PPP has made the PML-Q a coalition partner at ‘gunpoint’. And the day Moonis Elahi, son of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, was released, the Chaudhrys would pull out of the ruling coalition. Moonis has been in police custody for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion -rupee land scam in the National Insurance Company Limited (NICL).

Published in The Express Tribune, July 13th, 2011.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (27)

  • Ammar
    Jul 13, 2011 - 9:35AM

    Good! Now the top brass is giving assurances and advising/directing the government what to do. Very Good!!!

    Recommend

  • sajjad
    Jul 13, 2011 - 9:37AM

    “Sources said that the PPP was planning either to make Mirza governor of Sindh or to assign him a portfolio in the federal cabinet after getting him elected to the Senate. Reports of such a move had earlier begun appearing in the media. But the military is said to have precluded such a move.”
    Who the hell is the Army to give orders to the elected Govt to do or not to do some thing? their job is to follow the orders given to them… its the job of the Govt to give orders not the army as it is answerable to the defense Secretary which is a grade 22 officer of the Govt of Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2011 - 9:54AM

    I dont understand when will they realize bullets are not the substitute of peace, love and harmony.Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2011 - 10:13AM

    Why do I feel like getting a totally biased opinion from this post. ABSOLUTLY ONE SIDED

    Recommend

  • Khan
    Jul 13, 2011 - 10:14AM

    No one in Pakistan can understand this courrput leadership of all politcal parties as how they are master in chaging their path in great interest (LOL) of Nation…………. Look at Malyaisa, singapore , hong kong even bangladesh has making progress due to their good leaders and we pakistani going down deep in HELL as life in Pakistan looks like living in HELL………

    Recommend

  • Bilafond
    Jul 13, 2011 - 10:19AM

    Any thing, any living matter which starts with Zee can not be trusted.

    Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2011 - 10:37AM

    Sources said that the PPP had planned an operation against the MQM, particularly against it supporters among the Kacchi community in Malir. And Mirza, who has good relations with the Sindh police, had alerted the police officials belonging to interior Sindh but serving elsewhere in the country. Mirza’s plan envisaged an operation against the Urdu-speaking people in order to coerce the MQM into compliance

    is there any doubts left after reading above on what’s wrong with PPP policies in Sindh, especially in Karachi

    Recommend

  • Ali Turk
    Jul 13, 2011 - 11:01AM

    Tribune is becoming a tabloid

    Recommend

  • Ray of Hope
    Jul 13, 2011 - 11:11AM

    Zulifiqar Mirza like people are resource-eaters, see the lavish Land Cruiser car, you can see the Parliamentarians and Ministers of MQM. Has anyone in MQM has Land Cruiser, Pajero, Range Rover??? No one. People open your eyes and see the lifestyle of both parties parliamentarians. Allah keep this country away from Zulfiqar Mirza kind of people, Ameen.

    Recommend

  • Shahid Khan
    Jul 13, 2011 - 11:20AM

    Dr. Shahid Masood has joined Express group. No wonder such news will become regular. ‘Sources’ told Tribune….what a joke. Stop conspiring for MQM.

    Recommend

  • anna
    Jul 13, 2011 - 11:25AM

    strong text How come a report from LAHORE can Analyze the SINDH POLITICS ?? Totally Biased & Horribly misleading report… A household woman like me can smell the Fabricated story !

    Recommend

  • Haris Farooq
    Jul 13, 2011 - 12:22PM

    MQM should not be handled by force, but government should try and find a political solution. Karachi is not Waziristan to launch operations. After all in a democratic country a large party of most populated city should not be treated badly.

    Recommend

  • Ali
    Jul 13, 2011 - 12:35PM

    operation should be launched in karachi in order to stabilize the conditions as karachi is financial hub of pakistan. This operation should not be against any specific party rather it should be against all terrorists no matter who belong to which party. Like this we can assure peace in karachi and give some relief to the people of karachi.

    Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2011 - 12:36PM

    US Team:
    US CFR Politicians
    PPP
    PML N
    PML Q
    Police
    FIA
    TTP
    Al Qaeda
    LeJ
    US Aid funded Media

    Team Pakistan:
    Pakistanis
    Businessmen
    Students
    PTI
    MQM
    JI
    JUI
    Islamic Scholars
    Army
    ISI

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Jul 13, 2011 - 1:14PM

    Thank God for the army, otherwise PPP would have killed thousands of innocent people in Karachi. It still may!

    Recommend

  • Salman Orangiwala
    Jul 13, 2011 - 1:50PM

    This was long anticipated .PPP never learnt lessons from history .

    MQM is the sole reprentative of Urban Sindh . any undemocratic action would have resulted / will be resulting in something , which is beyond Mr.Zardari and Mr.Mirza’s comprehension .

    Army has rightly intervened , they know PPP is using the Sindh card , the moment they are ousted off power , the same slogan will echo , “Pakistan na khappay’.

    Recommend

  • YAMYAM
    Jul 13, 2011 - 1:54PM

    @Moise:
    What a great analysis. Correct!

    Recommend

  • Shahid Khan
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:04PM

    Express Tribune has become party news paper of MQM, publishing fake stories for its party!

    Recommend

  • Khobar From United Kingdom
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:05PM

    Never heard of Abdul Mañan before. As if he has been told by military top brass that they resisted PPP government’s efforts to use military against MQM. Load of rubbish.
    Police and rangers should be used against law breakers. MQM should not worry as they say they are not involved in terrorist activities.

    Recommend

  • YAMYAM
    Jul 13, 2011 - 2:10PM

    Yaar PPP is operating like monarchy in the mask of democracy.

    We need to out these OLD RICE Politicians. We dont need any of them GO OUT Please! you are unqualified leaders those are not eligible to handle a nation.

    We need new faces, We Pakistan’s Youth are not blind we are watching everything you are doing with our country and what future you are providing us, HUNGER, KILLINGS, Illiterateness……. You are taking us to StoneAge like Afghanistan.

    Please have fear of Allah and the Judgement Day. What will you answer??

    Recommend

  • saadi
    Jul 13, 2011 - 3:08PM

    Funny how ppl call it a party news paper when a news item appears against their views.
    There is a famous saying of a foolish king who said “Dont confuse me with facts, I know what is right”

    Recommend

  • Observer from UK
    Jul 13, 2011 - 3:14PM

    Load of rubbish in this article.Everyday a new complaint comes from MQM leaders. Just have a heart you nuts. In Mush’s days you brought legislations which have now been reversed with majority. So why the hell you are crying foul.

    Recommend

  • Khan
    Jul 13, 2011 - 3:30PM

    @Moise:

    Please define Police, PPP, PML FIA etc … more than half of population is PPP and PML and there are thousands of people working in Police etc so you mean to say all of them are not Pakistanis ? and unpatriotic ? … Or may be you meant any one right wing extremist is Pakistan otherwise not ?
    Every time we get humiliated Army is involved in it … JUI etc should be banned at least if not more … these people don’t understand simple things and are self proclaimed leaders… If you want to survive then give nothing but quality education to your population .. only then you will have self reliance and can create / invent things. West is ahead of us only because of education due to that they don’t have to beg others for everything.
    They manufacture every thing on their own from a mobile phone to computers, cars, planes, electricity, machinery etc just look around your self each and every thing we use. Not a single thing that we use was invented by us almost all of them are imported. And how can we change this when half the population stays home .. Another half goes to madrassahs & govt schools where instead of teaching and learning we ask them to learn by heart like a parrot just to pass examination, Instead of asking them to read and write in your own words by using your own brain to develop their creativity they are asked to answer what ever they have “read” in books.

    Recommend

  • Jul 13, 2011 - 9:29PM

    @Khan:
    You mean the fake 37 million votes population?

    Recommend

  • Omer
    Jul 14, 2011 - 7:45AM

    It is dissappointing to see that some people, instead of sympthaizing with the plight of Karachiites, are showing their ethnic biases. It is time for us to unite against corruption and ethinic biases.

    Recommend

  • ScoobyDoo
    Jul 14, 2011 - 12:22PM

    “Karachi is the economic hub … therefore we should maintain peace in Karachi” . “Mishandling Karachi’s situation, or using coercive means against the MQM, is not something the country can afford at ‘this’ point in time,”. what do such statements mean? Is maintaing peace is primarily for economic gains?, is it a matter or affordability and suitability to use coercive means against MQM ?

    Recommend

  • Jul 14, 2011 - 5:52PM

    Terrorists are the same whether in white cap or in Jeans, action needs to be taken aginst them. Military shouldn’t be giving advices to the government rather recieve the orders and do accordingly. How is that we are fighting the terrorists in FATA wearing white caps and not those in Karach, our beloved city, wearing jeans.? Or is it that military is staging a dram again agianst the elected government??

    Recommend

More in Pakistan