Ever since 18feb 2008 elections nearly 60 political workers belonging to MQM's rival parties including Sunni Tehrik,Muhajir Quami Movement,ANP and PPP have been killed/burnt, besides these political workers,non political personalities like lawyers are not spared either, 2 lawyers and 5 other innocent karachiites were burnt alive after locking them up by MQM's arsonist in broad day light right in front of police and police just acted as silent spectater just like it acted on 12 may 2007(coz of clear instruction from MQM's criminal Governor Sindh who have strickly forbidden police to touch MQM's terrorist)
A repeat telecast of May 12
March 20, 2008
By Pulse Report
Armed men were pulling hair of some women carrying their infants. Some were being dragged on the road as several rowdy women and men were throwing rotten tomatoes and eggs at them. A group of armed youths was hammering their rival women and a few men with sticks and TT pistols. Riot police stood guard on the venue to ensure full security to the armed rioters to do their business with impunity. That was not all. The police arrested two of the critically injured men and handed them over to the rioters, who took them half a kilometre away, and riddled their bodies with bullets in broad daylight. One may think, this all occurred in a far-flung village of Dera Ghazi Khan, or Mianwali.
But this is neither Dera Ghazi Khan, nor Mianwali. This is Karachi, once known as the city of lights. This was, undoubtedly, the repeat telecast of May 12 carnage, but the only difference was that this time it all went unreported. This gory incident took place outside Karachi Press Club on March 12, when a group of 30 to 40 female activists of Afaq Ahmed-led Mohajir Qaumi Movement, a splinter faction of Altaf-Hussein-led Muttehida Quami Movement, gathered to protest against detention of their chairman and restoration of judiciary. The ill-fated women would think that the results of Feb 18 elections had changed the country's scenario, therefore they could exercise their fundamental right to assemble freely. But they forgot that there is no change in Karachi's atmosphere.
As soon as the female activists of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement (commonly known as Haqiqi), most of them veiled in traditional Burqa assembled outside Karachi Press Club, a group of 60 to 70 Muttehida female workers, and 30 to 40 male workers, led by the MQM (A) Burns Road Sector In Charge Fayaz Khan and escorted by the city government's newly formed community police attacked the protesters with batons and pistols. The Muttehida activists were brought to the press club in the vehicles of community police, which later also helped them beat Haqiqi women.
A community policeman was so furious that he continued to drag a Haqiqi woman activist carrying her infant despite repeated requests by the newsmen. Citizen circles have already expressed their concern over establishment of the community police, which consists of workers of Muttehida Qaumi Movement. The female Muttehida activists were fully prepared to humiliate their fellow colleagues. They were carrying baskets filled with rotten tomatoes, and eggs. Chanting slogans ' Jeay Altaf", "Altaf Hussein our Leader", "terrorists go away", and so on, they started throwing eggs and tomatoes on Haqiqi female workers. Some of the Muttehida females went a step further, and started pulling hair and Burqas of Haqiqi women. Some of the infants carried by Haqiqi women fell on the road amid hue and cry.
The area in front of the press club presented a scene of a battle field as the Muttehida men jumped into the fray and joined their female colleagues to beat up and drag the Haqiqi women on the road. The most lamentable part of the story was that dozens of police personnel led by TPO Clifton, Asif Aijaz Shaikh, remained present there but did not intervene to avert the vandalism. A critically injured man fell on the bonnet of a car. Some of the newsmen who were covering the event, moved to help him out, however, the TPO Clifton wearing sun glasses, and a neat and clean starched police uniform, stopped them from doing that. "This is none of your business.
You are here only to cover the event", Mr Shaikh reportedly told a senior journalist who diverted his attention towards some serious injured women and men. "We have no orders to intervene", Mr Shaikh frigidly replied. Police sources told weekly Pulse that IG Sindh Azhar Farooqi, who had superceded various senior police officers and was appointed as Sindh police chief on the pressure of MQM, issued orders to the police to provide full security to the rioters instead of the victims. It is to be recorded that Mr Farooqi as CCPO Karachi had ordered the police to remain inside the police stations following widespread violence in the metropolis after assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007. In recognition of his "commendable" performance, he was promoted to the IG rank. "Nothing special has happened. It's just a routine affair in Karachi", the IG Sindh told newsmen in reply to a question about abduction and later killing of four Haqiqi workers.
Two of the deceased were abducted from outside the press club with the help of police. Two other workers were kidnapped from different parts of Karachi, and were later shot dead. The commotion continued for an hour as some of the Haqiqi women and men managed to escape the scene, while others were either arrested by the police or held hostage by the rioters.
The rioters also held hostage a driver of News One TV channel, who was waiting for his crew members outside press club. "They took me to the basement of Sidco Center (a nearby building) where some 10 persons were already held hostage. They started beating me up alleging that I had brought Haqiqi workers to the press club for demonstration,” the driver told newsmen upon his release. "After being satisfied that I am a mere driver, they let me go and threatened that if I inform anyone about what happened to me, I will be responsible for the dire consequences,” the driver added. The rioters whisked two critically injured Haqiqi activists, Shafiq and Naveed, away with them, and later their bodies were found lying outside YMCA building. Eyewitnesses say that the critically injured activists were first arrested by the community police personnel, who took them in their mobile.
The injured activists were later handed over to the rioters who riddled their bodies with bullets without wasting any time. The story didn't end here. Now it was journalists’ turn. After "dealing" with the Haqiqi activists, the rioters turned towards reporters, cameramen and photographers of different newspapers and TV channels who were covering the event. The rioters started beating up cameramen and reporters, and snatched their cameras. They deleted all the photos, and footage, and forced the newsmen to run away from the scene. The newsmen requested the TPO Clifton for help, however he remained silent and let the rioters manhandle them. They tried to kidnap a senior journalist, Laiq Yousafzai, who tried to stop the rioters from beating up the journalists and women. "My only sin was that I told them (rioters) that Has Altaf Hussein taught you to beat up the journalists? This was my only sin.
They started beating me up, and tried to kidnap me. I, however, managed to enter the press club premises, and remained there for the next six hours", Mr Yousafzai told newsmen. The armed assailants continued to siege the press club building for next four hours. Despite repeated attempts to contact IG and CCPO Karachi, the police did not act against the armed men. They withdrew the siege only after the MQM leadership was approached. Later in the night, the two MQM MPAs, Askari Taqvi and Anees Qureshi arrived at the press club, and expressed their party's disassociation with the armed rioters. They, however, could not reply to a question asked by a senior journalist that "if they didn't belong to you party then what propels you to come here and explain your position?" That was not it. On Friday night, March 14, eight armed men barged into the press club and asked about KPC President Najeeb Ahmed, KUJ President Khursheed Tanvir, Secretary Khursheed Abbasi, and other senior journalists who had delivered speeches against the incident at a protest meeting on the very next day of the incident. Earlier, on March 10, the MQM activists abducted six journalists when they were returning after covering a press conference of Mohajir Qaumi Movement in Gulistan-e-Jauhar area.
They took them to an under-construction building and kept them hostage for 45 minutes, deleted all photos and footage of the cameramen and then allowed them to go. "It looked like a party office located inside an apartment building. But I cannot tell you about that specifically. I asked a youth about his identity, who introduced himself as Ahmer, but didn't tell about his party affiliation,” one of the journalists who were taken hostage told reporters.
He said the youths asked the photographers and the cameramen to hand them over their cameras so that they could delete photographs and footage. "They deleted the photos and films, and returned our cameras, besides offering us tea,” he maintained. Another photographer said that he tried to persuade the captors not to delete their films and photos as various others had also covered the event. "But they told us that this was none of their business,” he added. TRAGIC PART: The tragic part of the above-mentioned incidents is that the electronic media, which dubs raining as breaking news, chose to completely black out the event. What happened on May 12, everybody witnessed through cameras, but this time nothing like that happened. Presumably, the rioters were fully aware of the fact this time. As soon as the fuss commenced at press club, the TV channels received threats by telephone that if they dare to act in line with May 12, they would be directly attacked this time. Mohajir women were being beaten up and humiliated by Mohajirs, but the otherwise powerful electronic media appeared to be so tamable before the Haq Parasts. This complete blackout of attack and abduction of journalists suggest that whoever has the power, can subjugate the media. Is the media supposed to say Kalma-e-Haq only against weak groups? This oblivious attitude of the APNS and the CPNE towards such a lamentable incident, which is a direct attack on freedom of press, raises some serious questions. It is so deplorable that even a single statement has not so far been issued either by the CPNE office-bearers or the spokesman.
These organizations should have convened an emergency meeting and issued a statement to express solidarity with our fellow journalists, while condemning this gory incident and advising the MQM to desist from such tactics to gag the media. One wonders if these organizations cannot stand alongside our fellow journalists at this testing time, then what is their purpose ? Are they meant to act only against weak, and bow to the powerful groups? Senior journalists think that this is very dangerous trend, because now all the groups will try to subjugate the media by force. They have come to know that media can express itself only against the weak.