Ten-party alliance: When it goes breaking, a Call from Darul Uloom keeps it intact



KARACHI: This was not any political pundit or head of an advocacy group who saved the ten-party alliance from cutting down to nine-party alliance but it was Jamia Darul Uloom Karachi, a prestigious and modern religious seminary, that meddled in the decisive political affairs impinging on the electoral politics of the Sindh province in general and Karachi in particular.

Sources said a person on the other side of phone set from Darul Uloom, Karachi, calling to both head of JUI-F, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and chief of JI, Syed Munawwar Hassan delivered a sermon on the importance of unity of religious forces and fruits of patience.

The sources privy to this development said the important religious personality would also give some good citations from Islamic history for teaching the political leaders how much rendering sacrifices for collective cause was valued.

The prestigious seminary is run by most respected sons of Mufti Aazam Pakistan, Mufti Muhammad Shafi namely Mufti Muhammad Rafi Usmani and Justice (R) Mufti Muhammad Taqi who are president and vice president of the most modern religious institute respectively. Unlike the “Jamia Uloom-ul-Islamia” Banuri town the seminary run by Usmani brothers has never been actively involved in politics.

But it helped intact the alliance from being upset after the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) announced to kick off the electoral journey individually. In a statement issued by Aslam Ghauri of JUI-F Sindh to media a few days ago had made it clear that the party valued collective efforts but it could not do it at the cost of destroying the party. With this firm declaration, the party’s press release had also listed candidates for national and provincial assembly from different constituencies of Sindh.

The ten-party alliance which had been decreased to nine-party alliance for two days with this declaration was the outcome of claims by both religious parties JI and JUI-F, both being stuck to their demands.

On other hand, the PML-N was interested in few of the seats while PML-F had got more than loin’s share in the interior Sindh. The nationalists had been realistic that they could not grab seat from the port city of Karachi.

These were the two religious parties which were showing stubbornness but a call did what leaders of 8 other parties in the alliance could not do in more than a week time with many rounds of meetings, sources told this scribe while demanding complete anonymity.

But this was not the only rescue effort that comes from outside as when serious differences developed among his party workers for giving away more seats to PML-F, the PML-N leader and former Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif, had also to fly to the coastal city in order to control the damage and save the ten-party cruiser from being wrecked and drowned.

Published on 19 April



A Lokhandwala? Mastermind of AbbasTown carnage killed after arrest

Singam style SSP innocently says the deceased militant misled police



Naimat Khan

KARACHI: The alleged mastermind of AbbasTown bombings, Aslam Mehsud, who was in the police custody, got killed during an encounter with militants in the Surjani town area of the city.

The police during investigation from the accused got information that a big terror plan was finalised and the militants were going to attack on a hospital in the heart of the city. On this, the police prepared a team and conducted a raid at the spot which was mentioned by the under-custody militant, Aslam Mehsud.

Talking to The Frontier Post, the police officials were unable to give satisfactory answer when asked as why a high profile militant involved in the bombings was taken to the spot without providing him proper security cover.

The SSP Crime Investigation Department (CID) Chaudhry Aslam Khan while talking to this scribe claimed that Mehsud was given the appropriate security of five police mobiles but as they approached towards the explosive-laden vehicle which he had spotted during the investigation, the militants opened fire on the police team in which Aslam Mehsud was killed while two cops were also seriously injured.

“He had told us about the location of car and not that the militants may also be there” the ‘innocent’ SPP told this scribe.

According to the reports, the CID police had conducted an operation in the Surjani town area late in Saturday night and claimed to have foiled a major bid of terror in the city. According to police, Taliban commander had told that the car stationed in Surjani was ready to target the AbbasiShaheedHospital to play havoc in the centre of the city.

He said other targets were MQM’s headquarters, Nine Zero and American consulate on MT Khan Road in the south of the coastal city.

A sub-inspector of police, Khalid Saeed, a head constable, Punnu Khan and the militant in custody came in the line of fire.

It may be mentioned that after arresting him along three of his accomplices a day before, the SSP CID had claimed the militant was not only the mastermind of the AbbasTown mayhem but also the commander of Taliban’s militant wing in Karachi.

It also pertinent to note that the Supreme Court had taken notice of the AbbasTown carnage but the killing of its mastermind due to police’s negligence may cease the further developments of the case.

 Published on April 15, 2013


Debut of MWM; Can MQM retain its Karachi seats?

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: With anti-MQM alliance in making and Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) making its electoral debut, it will become difficult if not impossible for the Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) to retain its electoral position in the city, say political analysts. But the party said it is well aware of all these developments and well prepared to face these challenges with best election strategy it has formed. “MQM has it own dynamics, it has services for the city and it has its own political outlook so if free and fair elections are held, both the entry of MWM and emergence of anti-MQM alliance will not bar it from retaining its position” said Nair Jamal, a joint incharge of MQM’s information department, adding, party has delivered to the people and it has its own pledges that bring it a strong support of the masses. 

The Majlis Wahdat-ul-Muslimeen (MWM) if contested elections would definitely affect the vote bank of MQM in Karachi and that of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Punjab, opined Professor Dr Tauseef Ahmed, a well known political analyst who has been closely observing the politics of Karachi for the last few decades. Professor Ahmed is, however, cynical of any strong anti-MQM grand alliance at this point, saying if any of PTI and PML-N allied with Jamaat-e-Islami in Karachi, the other one will automatically back out. He said there are many issues pertaining to seat adjustments among the grand alliance parties which still require time to come out with clear picture.

MQM which first made its electoral debut in 1988 got 11 out of 13 (85%) National Assembly seats and increased its success ratio to 92 percent in the next 1990 general polls by grabbing 12 out of 13 seats from the port city. The party boycotted next general elections of 1993 which gave PML-N a chance to grab six of the total seats. 

The party’s share cut down a bit when it won 10 out of 13 seats (77%) which further went down to 60 percent in 2002 when Muttahida Majlis Amal (MMA) became successful in getting 5 seats from Karachi which was one of the best performance by religious parties in the city. 

MQM regained its strength in 2008 elections partially due to split of MMA and subsequent boycott by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI). It clinched 85 percent of national legislature share as it won 17 out of 20 seats from the costal city.

Jamaat-e-Islami, which boycotted the 2008 elections, is geared up while its alliance with anti-PPP and MQM parties will give it further benefit during the 11 May general polls, said Zia Ur Rehman, a Karachi based political analyst and author of the “Karachi in Turmoil” who thinks the emergence of MWM and ASWJ, both sectarian political clicks, on electoral front will certainly cut down the votes of their previous beneficiaries.

“If the MWM is going to affect the votes of MQM and PPP, the ASWJ will divide the voters of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F, especially on the PS-128 a Landhi seat from where the ASWJ leader, Maulana Aurangzeb Farooqi, is contesting elections” he said. 

Majlis-e-Wahdat-e-Muslimeen has fielded 14 candidates for National Assembly and Sindh Assembly from Karachi. The party is confident it will make its way to the legislature to raise voice for the community which has been exploited and targeted. 

Talking to The Frontier Post, spokesman of MWM Karachi, Ali Ahmar, said the parties especially MQM, PPP and PML-N while enjoying the votes of 5 crore Shias have never protected them from the brunt of terrorism against them.

MWM is contesting elections from NA-250, NA-239, NA-252,NA- 253,NA- 257 and 258 besides running for the PS-102, PS-118, PS-94, PS-107, PS-117, PS-119, PS-126 and PS-127, he informed.

Ahmar is confident that his party will win the elections on most of the seats as it has chosen only those seats where it has strong vote bank. PS-117, PS-127 and PS-126, the later also having Abbas town and Hussain Hazara Goth in its limits, have whole localities of Shia and they will vote for MWM, maintained Ahmar. “We also have strong chances of wining NA-252 and NA-253”, he claimed.

We will also win from NA-250 as nearly the whole phase-4 of Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has Shia inhabitants while there are over 750 houses in other phases of the same constituency who will support the Shia candidate, said Ahmar while citing a sit-in in front of the Bilawal House against Quetta carnage which was staged by a large number of residents of the DHA.

When asked as MQM shared a common stance over the act of terrorism including those against Shia, Ahmar said MQM could not support Shia despite being in the government for the last five years while Shia had been playing a major role in electing its candidates to the national and provincial legislatures.

“A group under a certain banner will grab some of the votes and it can certainly leave negative impact over MQM but given the services rendered by MQM for the people of the city and its best election strategy, such group may not become successful” said MQM’s Nasir Jamaal, adding, the one Tehrik-e-Nafaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jafaria (TNFJ) with better grounds as compared to Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen could not attain success in the past.

He said Taliban were openly threatening MQM due to its strong opposition and protest over the acts of terrorism including those in which the people of Shia community had been targeted. 

MQM is well prepared and we have made an election strategy keeping in mind all these factors, said Jamal.


4 Rangers perish in Karachi blast, Taliban claims responsibility

Naimat Khan
KARACHI: At least four Rangers personnel were killed and several others injured in a bomb blast which the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed they carried out on Wednesday in Karachi.
According to reports, the Improvised Explosive Device (IED), planted close to the Rangers’ vehicle near the Bhittai Rangers Headquarters located in Korangi No. 5 area, went off which the Bomb Disposal Squad (BDS) officials said was detonated with remote control device.
Soon after the blast, rescue and emergency response teams reached the spot and shifted the injured to the Jinnah Hospital where Dr Seemi Jamali, in-charge of the emergency department confirmed four of the injured expired.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Police, Tahir Naveed told media that seven people including two civilians were injured in the blast.
The vehicle of Rangers was completely destroyed in the blast which spread fear and panic among the local residents as shops and small businesses were reportedly shut after the incident.
Meantime, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack on Rangers force in Karachi. Speaking to media from an undisclosed location, outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said that the Rangers had been targeted because of their hostility towards Taliban.
The TTP spokesman said that the law enforcement agencies were protectors of secular rulers who had been following the agenda of outsiders.
Meanwhile, different political leaders condemned the attack on Rangers in the troubled metropolis. ANP president Asfandyar Wali Khan and Sindh Chapter president senator Shahi Syed in a statement flayed the attack.
Chief of Muttahida Quami Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain also strongly condemned the bomb attack on Rangers while expressing his grief and sorrow on the killing and wounding of Rangers personnel in the attack.
Hussain said that terrorists of banned outfits were targeting police and security forces in Karachi and they were bent upon destabilizing the country by unleashing terrorism. He said that he had been warning for a long time that Karachi was becoming a hotbed of terrorists of band outfits who were now attacking the personnel of police, Rangers, CID police, and other law-enforcing agencies besides common people.
Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari has strongly condemned a blast near headquarters of rangers in Karachi and expressed heartfelt grief and sorrow over the Shahadat of rangers personnel in the cowardly terrorist act.
The President directed the authorities concerned to apprehend the culprits involved in the heinous crime and bring them to book besides submitting a report in this regard.
He also conveyed his heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the victim families and prayed for the eternal peace of the departed souls.
The President also directed the authorities concerned to provide best medical treatment to the injured.


Flat in Clifton just for four lakhs!



KARACHI: The rates of property in Karachi have gone down over the last couple of years but not that much that someone may purchase a flat in lakhs.

The average residential apartment in DHA and Clifton areas of the port city ranges from Rs 6 millions to 10 millions but many may surprise that a flat owned by Khushbakht Shujaat, a nominee from Karachi, situated in Shangrila residential apartments Clifton is worth just Rs 400,000 as per the nomination papers displayed on the website of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

A glance over her nomination papers shows that she has purchased two plots in Bahria Town Islamabad worth Rs 576,000 much below the price of her Toyota car of model 2006 which is Rs. 1025000.

This might not be an effort to conceal assets as she has already shown her total assets of worth Rs 18,493,820 including property, vehicles, jewelry, furniture and other assets on her own name as on 30th June of the financial year 2012 but the price of the flat is certainly not more than 8 months rent paid by tenants in the same area.

It is pertinent to note that the nomination form contains a declaration in which the nominee declares by saying: “I do hereby solemnly declare that the above statement of assets and liabilities of myself, my source(s), dependents as on 20th June 2012 is correct and complete and nothing has been concealed”.

The candidates of forthcoming elections have already declared it a very difficult form. The form, which to them seems to be designed by NAB and not ECP, cannot be filled without hiring the services of lawyers because any incorrect statement may cause them rejection.

Meanwhile, like other provinces of the country, the scrutiny process of nomination forms in Sindh continued for the second consecutive day in which the returning officers tried to judge the ‘faithful’ by asking about the number of their spouses, recitation of Kalma Tayyaba, Dua-e-Qunoot and date of birth of the founder of the nation etc.

Some of the nominees were also asked to recite any Surah while others were asked as how many Raka’ats were there in the Fajjar prayers.

Published on March 3 2013