The genie is out

Mirza may have helped the Zardari/Malik duo to achieve the end they sought.


Shaukat Qadir September 05, 2011

It was an unusual sight; a senior PPP member holding the Quran to lend authenticity to his diatribe directed at PPP’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik — currently, President Asif Ali Zardari’s right-hand man — and at the MQM, the party that Zardari has tasked his trusted henchman Malik to woo back into the Sindh coalition government. Zulfiqar Mirza is no ordinary member of the PPP. A bosom pal of Zardari, senior minister Sindh, senior leader of the Sindhi chapter of the PPP, whose wife is Speaker of the National Assembly; he is not an individual to be taken lightly.

Essentially, there are three things he stated in the press conference: a) Rehman Malik being his most prominent target was identified as “Pakistan’s greatest enemy” and “a compulsive liar”. b) The MQM was behind the target killings in Karachi and c) the MQM was actively engaged with the US in a programme for the dismemberment of Pakistan.

Actually, there was really nothing new in the first two disclosures. Malik is almost universally acknowledged as Pakistan’s greatest bane and the MQM has a long history of violence in Karachi/Hyderabad. The exclusion of the PPP among those responsible for the ongoing mayhem in Karachi was prominent by its omission, but that should not be surprising. The US plan for the Balkanisation of Pakistan is more than a decade old. I doubt it has been sanctioned, but the fact that a prominent member of the party manning the treasury benches should publicly say so was a surprise.

Mirza also brought along numerous documents which (according to him) contained incontrovertible proof against Malik and the MQM. What is more, he claimed that these documents had signatures of members of numerous intelligence agencies, police officials, serving army officers etc.

Given his stature in the party and his close bond with Zardari, the scepticism with which analysts initially reacted to his disclosures was to be expected. However, it was his late night interview that was more enlightening and might have put most suspicions to rest.

What seemed apparent was that Mirza had finally cried ‘enough’ and permitted his pent up fury to finally vent itself. What gave this credence, in my view, were his contradictions. “I will appear before the Supreme Court (SC) and make my disclosures, but not in camera”; “if Zardari tells me to, I will keep quiet”; “I have made my disclosures public. It is now up to the government to act on them”; “if Iftikhar Chaudhry (the Chief Justice) has the courage to call me, I will speak”; “which ordinary citizen can refuse to obey the SC?”; “if the SC wants these documents, they are public record, not my personal property”; “I am not afraid of anyone”; I will lead the war against injustice in Karachi”; “I am Zardari’s man till death”; “my resignation is the triumph of falsehood and the defeat of truth”.

These were not coherent, well-rehearsed utterances; rather disjointed ones likely to come from one acting on impulse, without adverting to consequences. He kept contradicting himself in how far he was prepared to go and appeared to be magnificently oblivious to the fact that his indictment of Malik could not but indict the man who lets him run rife: either the prime minister or the president. Most of all, the individual that he acknowledges as his benefactor and continuously swore loyalty to — Zardari!

Mirza is right about one thing though, he has certainly set the cat among the pigeons and, on top of that, he has thrown down the gauntlet for whoever chooses to pick it up. It is now impossible for the SC to ignore his disclosures, nor can it afford not to summon him as a witness. Whether Zardari tells him to keep his mouth shut from now onwards or not is irrelevant. In the light of his public indictment, he can no longer afford to do so.

Time will tell how this drama will conclude but it seems to me that, albeit inadvertently, Mirza may have helped the Zardari/Malik duo to achieve the end they sought. The MQM may no longer be in a position to afford sitting in the opposition in Sindh!

Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th,  2011.

COMMENTS (15)

What?! | 10 years ago | Reply

@Syed Ali Bravo!!! for pointing out accurately the bane of our society - lack of merit based system. the Quota system, while keeping the demented in power, has lead to the degradation in quality of human capital. Imean, why would you work hard to enhance your skills if you are going to get a job anyway under a specific quota - just align yourelf with one or more political forces and start boot licking. This is what we have taught our people to boot lick and get jobs. a merit based system would enahce human capital - be it Sndhi, Muhajir, Pashto, Baloch, Ounjabi, Seraiki, Hindu Muslim, Sikh, Christian, etc, etc. This is what secularim means - secularism which was envisioned by Quaid - e - Azam for the state of Pakistan (well in any case, nowdays he is only good for bank notes and "hazris" by dignatories on special occassions - nobody pays need to what he said). The "Islamic Republic of Pakistan" was later founded by ZAB in the 1970s - ironic, a left leader trying to please the ultra right mullahs.

Our Liberal firend has quoted that Sindhis dont get jobs in Karachi, well Syed ALi answered him under the quota system, let me add another tit bit of information. "brother i dont know whether you live in Karach or not - in any case i think you should do a round of hospital in Karachi - private ones, where merit is more important than quota - and see how much of the staff - doctors, nurses, clerks etc. - are Sindhi - definetly more than the numbe rof urdu speaking working in interior Sindh. Ziauddin Hospital - Clifton is practically run by Sindhis who are there on MERIT no quota. so brother, if you have a personal greivance, try the quota or the merit. Yes i agree that competiion in Karachi is harsh because skilled labour available is not just Karachiite but also from all across Pakistan.

Irshad Khan | 10 years ago | Reply

Mr. syed Ali is very right in his opinion. Karachites have always been target of biased behaviour of ruling class. So much so that a head of state threatened to through them into the sea if they agitated against his dictatorship. He got out of bureaucracy as much as possible by fake screenings and harassments. He shifted the capital near to his home town and to get maximum rid of Muhajirs from services. He and his sons looted shops and houses of Muhajirs to take revenge of supporting Fatima Jinnah in Presidential Elections. Nobody in the country raised voice against that brutality. He planted Ghunda elements in Karachi in all fields to harass civilised Karachites. Nobody protested rather appreciated as a lot of propaganda was made against Karachites/Muhajirs. As a matter of fact Muhajirs were and are most talented, most civilised, most faithful citizens of this country. Karachites have contributed finacially most in times of need in earth-quacks, floods and wars. Karachites have invested most in industries, Saving schemes, research work and development schemes of this country. Inspite of this they are again being harassed by all biased and propaganda effected persons. The same behaviour has been given to Bengalis and Balochis and results are there. Abusing any community never give good results and should be understood by all. May God give a little insight to the people who are spreading hatred against Karachites/Muhajirs.

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