KARACHI: A judicial inquiry tribunal has been formed by the Sindh government to investigate the recent spate of targeted killings in the city in which an estimated 30 men have so far been shot dead.
Retired Sindh High Court judge Ali Sain Dino Metlo has been appointed the head of the tribunal, according to an official at the Sindh Home Department, who told The Express Tribune that a notification has been sent to the chief secretary.
The official added that no other members of the tribunal have been nominated yet.
The decision to form a tribunal comes in the wake of Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s recent visit to Karachi, where he conducted a joint press conference with Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and told the media that a tribunal would be formed with a fact-finding mandate for the drive-by shootings that started in January this year.
The tribunal would submit its report to the Sindh government in 30 days after recording the statements of the victims’ families as well as leaders of political parties.
The chief of the Awami National Party in Sindh, Shahi Syed, told this newspaper that their party had not been informed whether or not their activists will be investigated by the inquiry tribunal.
“I think the tribunal is a good way to investigate the killings but what about investigations into earlier incidents,” questioned Shahi Syed. He hoped that the tribunal would look into who was responsible.
The deputy parliamentary leader in the National Assembly for the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, Haider Abbas Rizvi, was unaware of the formation of the tribunal and therefore declined to comment.
In 2008, a tribunal of inquiry was held into the Oct 18, 2007 attack on Benazir Bhutto’s homecoming parade. The PPP went to court, however, saying it had no confidence in it. In another instance, a tribunal was held into a Khori Garden stampede in 2009.
Rangers, police arrest 43 suspects
The police and Rangers launched a joint crackdown and managed to arrest 43 suspects in 24 hours, said a statement issued by Pakistan Rangers Sindh on Tuesday.
They seized arms and drugs from the possession of the men and after preliminary investigations the suspects were handed over to the police.
Residents can inform the Rangers of any suspicious activity at the following numbers: Karachi South 021-343895505, Karachi East 021-99248932, Karachi West 021-36871452 and Headquarters Pakistan Rangers (Sindh) 021-99205277.
Imran Khan on target killings
A vocal critic of major political parties, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s Imran Khan, called the recent violence the collective failure of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Awami National Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement.
He said that these parties have been in power in Sindh for the past two and a half years and a government that cannot enforce its writ, simply has no business being in power.
Khan accused the ruling government in Sindh of politicising the police and civil administration by posting favourites to key positions instead of following the rule of merit. He advised the president to devote his attention to solving Sindh’s issues instead of whiling away his time in Dubai for his birthday celebrations.
Imran Khan’s stance has twice earned him the ire of certain political parties, especially the MQM. He was twice banned from visiting Sindh, once in 2007 and again in 2009. In 2007, he reached the city but was deported after the home department restricted his entry for 30 days.
ANP a ‘slave to foreign elements’: MQM
The Awami National Party (ANP) is no longer a political party as it now supports land mafias and drug peddlers. It has also deviated from the guidelines set by Bacha Khan and Wali Khan by becoming “slave to foreign elements,” read a statement issued from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) office on Tuesday as the party condemned a resolution passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa assembly.
President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani must take notice of the resolution, the party demanded as it claimed that the approval of the resolution is an indication of the ANP’s justification of the attacks on the MQM office, which led to the death of an activist and left many people injured.
“The people who died in the recent spate of violence belonged to different communities, but the ANP has only called the Pashtuns ‘martyrs’,” it was also stated.
“Provincial minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain’s son was also ‘martyred’ and the attack on the minister’s residence proves that the ANP has failed in establishing peace in the province,” the MQM claimed.
They added that instead of admitting its failure and leaving the government, the ANP is “busy accusing the MQM”.
Additional input by Online and PPI
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2010.
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