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.
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@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.
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.
I still remember when i was child, my parents strictly forbade me not to swear upon God no matter whatever the situation is? until and unless things got dire or serious. I couldn't understand our dear political leaders, our ultimate source of inspiration who brood over the media all the time are giving our youth a lesson to swear upon Holy Book. Could not understand Why On Earth People Are Praising Zulfiqar Mirza? I want to ask a question from all of you that anybody Who Swears Upon Holy Book is good for u guys? I couldn't find any difference between an Ex Minister and "Sabzi wala" who can go beyond all religious limits to sell their product. We are in drastic need of some morality and use our brains. We are unable to understand the gravity of the situation, when our country fights through heavy rains, flood, dengue virus, target killings, street crimes and kidnapping. A person of flesh and bones just like us, swears upon Quran and we become insane in terms of praising and we forgot all other things. Why we are having STM (Short term memory). Wake up and Smell the coffee.
@LiberalPakistan: Please pardon me for any misconception. My point is a single word" merit". Ethnicity, religion, race, caste, color, political affiliation or any thing else should not be considered for admission to colleges or jobs or any other state priviliges across the country. This is exactly the spirit of secularism but unfortunately, true liberals in Pakistan were always a minority. The left was mostly occupied by pseudo liberals who lived aristocratic lives and benifited from the very system thay were fighting against. Thats why, when USSR collapsed, it took less than a moment for these intellectuals to shift their loyalities to the west.
Syed Ali had the most valid point , the so "good" urban/rural quota only is in Sindh !!!!!
This was the root of all ill to start with . So funny and inaccurate that Sindhis are eing stopped from jobs .... The Rural Sindh's 60% quoata is fully utilized by the Sindhis , the rest 40% of th eso called Urban is again shared by Sindhis and all living in Karachi .
Visiting any Govt , semi govt, police , traffic department will open up your eyes who really are the beneficiaries . And pls dodnot use threatful language , this will bring no solution ,rather more hatred . The problem wiht us we just try to get more and more share of everything for ourselves only .
@Syed Ali: You make me laugh at your state of mind.Fools always praise themselves as only intelligent and all wise.You are propagating Quota issue but at the same timen but would you please answer me why people from other districts get admission in Karachi?Why Sindhis are stopped to get jobs in Karachi?If you people think that you use MQM as violent political organization to supress the Sindhis and get them out of Karachi,then you live in fool's paradise.Live with us in Sindh as brothers but if you have problem with Sindhis,you are free to go out of Sindh.
It seems ET is leading a Punjabi led onslaught on the mandate of Karachi... from General Durrani to this gentleman all they can find are army men to vent their hatred for Karachi.
So, Brig Sab, in what new way have you enlightened us about this issue? Please give back 5 minutes of my life wasted on this article!
It is quite obvious there is more truth to it than meets the eye. This overt hostility was a political move to bring the MQM to heel and has succeeded.for the time being. Who knows what the future holds but as things presently stand because the MQM has been pushed to a point between 'a rock and a hard place.'
So with this outburst, with seemingly veritable documents, lets see what the Supreme Court decides what and the future holds for peace in Pakistan. But for the moment the Many a times the intelligentsia wonders what 1947 was all about?
Lyariites rule the roost. Salams to Pakistan.
The problem of Karachi started after imbalanced and fundamentally wrong Quota system that marginalized very intelligent and competent MUhajirs and Punjabis. ZA Bhutto wanted to please sindhi waderas and Jagirdars and his planl also had an appeal for bloach and pakhtoon nationalists. What a mess we get because of that? A sheelry incompetent beurocracy, tribalisim, ethnic division and above all a total kill of merit system. Government after governemnet in sindh and Baluchistan and to some extent in KP failed to improve infra structure or education system in their small cities and towns. This was intentional and not just circumstantial. They knew, that they got their share in jobs, admissions etc regardless of their competency. So they never focussed on that. Instead, they continued to enjoy benifits and at the same time continued to curse Islamabad, Punjab and establishment.
The only way to reduce the menace in KArachi is to give MUhajirs back the respect they desrve. JObs, admission or other priviliges should be soleley based on merit and not on ethnicity. If we do not do this, we do not need US or USSR to break us apart. We will do it on our own.
Ethnic killings in Karachi started in 1980s, so US plan for balkanization was sanctioned 3 decades ago when we were a major US ally against Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I think US had asked Soviets to invade Afghanistan in order to destabilize Pakistan :)