Damage control: Fury prompts govt to offer olive branch

MQM blames Zulfiqar Mirza for spike in violence.


Zia Khan July 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


A fresh wave of deadly violence in Karachi on Friday provoked a reaction from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) in the National Assembly, prompting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani to offer an olive branch in damage control.


Earlier on Friday, the MQM legislators also walked out of a Sindh Assembly and Senate session over the same issue.

Both the MQM and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had shown restraint overnight, and refrained from going overboard in their criticism of each other.

However, angered by the killing of its supporters in various localities of Karachi, MQM members squarely blamed the controversial PPP leader, Sindh Senior Minister Zulfiqar Mirza, for the violence, calling him a ‘notorious patron of terrorists’ and an ‘engineer of violence’ against political opponents.

Just a few days ago, Mirza had claimed that he had met with Afaq Ahmed, the jailed leader of Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqiqi (MQM-H) – Muttahida’s arch rival in Karachi.

MQM lawmakers staged a token walkout to protest against the latest killing spree in Karachi when it was joined by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in an apparent attempt to consolidate their bid for a joint parliamentary opposition.

MQM lawmaker Sajid Ahmed was the first to raise the issue in the house.

Flaring tempers and stirred emotions created a panic in the ranks of the ruling PPP, inducing Prime Minister Gilani to condemn the killings and promise a probe.

“Karachi is an important economic hub. We can’t afford the city to plunge into violence. We all will have to look for a solution,” said Gilani.

The premier said the government would make sure that peace was restored and order established in the city. He did not elaborate, however. He did not respond to allegations against Zulfiqar Mirza and the Sindh government either.

He restricted himself to a condemnation of incidents that took place in Malir and Landi localities earlier in the day.

‘Innocent’

While the MQM legislators remained focused on the spike in Karachi violence, PML-N members kept defending a party colleague who escaped from the custody of Islamabad police last week.

MNA Anjum Aqeel, who is facing a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) probe, was brought to the house by police after Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi ordered his production overnight.

In an uncharacteristic, emotional speech to the house, Anjum pleaded not guilty and said charges against him were ‘fabricated’ at the behest of former law minister Babar Awan.

He offered himself up for an inquiry by a bipartisan committee of the house.

Another PML-N lawmaker Khawaja Saad Rafiq also blamed Awan and Interior Minister Rehman Malik for wrongly involving Aqeel in a criminal case.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2011.

COMMENTS (2)

Sajida | 10 years ago | Reply People in power have the rural village mindset. If they had a modern mindset, Pakistan would have many cities contributing to the country, not just one! You should see how different Turkey is from Pakistan. EU has saved them as it forced them to change local system. See: http://citiwire.net/post/2167/ Istanbul — A Megalopolis That’s Beginning to WorkSee: “Studies towards restructuring local administrations launched in 1980s in Turkey gained an impetus with the adoption of European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. In this context, policies directed towards the establishment of Metropolitan Municipalities (MMs) and delegation of provincial duties and authorities to local administrations by central government started to be implemented. The number of metropolitan municipalities initially established in three biggest cities of Turkey with the Law no: 3030 and dated 27 June 1984 reached to sixteen in 2007.” http://www.environmental- auditing.org/Portals/0/ AuditFiles/Turkeyseng_ MetroMunic.pdf Coordination of infrastructure works By metropolitan municipalities See report which illustrates how many large European cities are decentralizing. This is just a report on capital cities, so it is limited by its subject matter.: http://www.gle.co.uk/ downloads/Reports/ CapitalCities-2003.pdf EU capital cities study 2003
H.A. Khan | 10 years ago | Reply

If Karachi burns,Pakistan burns

Do the people in power or out of power realise that Karachi contributes over 60% of revenue collected by FBR,Karachi’s GDP contribution is around 20% of the total GDP of Pakistan. It is city with population of about 20 Million

Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

E-Publications

Most Read