There might have been some fuss over the holding of the All-Parties Conference in Islamabad on National Security, but things were happening in Karachi that made the APC seem to happen in a sort of void.
True, the APC did place the responsibility for the security of both Sindh and Balochistan in the provincial governments, but the MQM showed it counted in Karachi. Look at the protest it held against the arrest of its former MPA. Suspected of being involved in a cop killing. Not just Karachi, but also Hyderabad was shut down. So if a low-level conspiracy against the Muhajirs could have that effect, just imagine what will happen if the British conspiracy against Altaf Hussain, upon whom they pressed their citizenship (which he did not wish to accept) succeeds, and he gets arrested?
Since arresting anyone is a sign of conspiracy, what is releasing someone? Shahrukh Jatoi and the other accused walked free from the courtroom, after having been forgiven by the family for the murder of Shahzeb Khan. That also caused a great deal of hand-wringing, especially among all those who protested at Shahzeb’s murder, and the failure to arrest his killers. True, there have been various learned arguments put forward to show that Shahrukh shouldn’t have been pardoned, but I suspect that his real punishment would have started, at home, with the constant reminders of how much was paid to have him let off (and if Shahzeb’s family didn’t make them pay through nose, then they indeed sold Shahzeb cheaply). The MQM reaction to any accusation makes one wonder against whom is the conspiracy for murder to take place. Was the conspiracy against the whole of humanity?
It’s interesting, but no one has made the terrorism argument against Shahrukh Jatoi, who has got away only after a conviction. If he had been accused of being a militant, especially if the late Shahzeb could be shown to have been spying for the Americans, he would probably have been sold to the USA. They might have tried to pin the Syrian chemical weapons attack on him. The USA seems to have cancelled their own attack, though, which should be a great encouragement to Bashar Al-Assad. Look, if he didn’t use the chemical weapons, then at least he hasn’t been attacked. He stays in the mess he is in, which is that someone other than him is using chemical weapons on people. And if the Syrian state hasn’t failed completely, and it was itself responsible for the use of the chemical weapons, Obama just said that it got away with it. For Iran, that means that it can afford to ignore US sanctions, safe in the knowledge that it can avoid any attack by offering to place its nukes under international control. If you ask me, more than Iran, North Korea will be watching, and not with reference to chemical weapons, but its nuclear. I mean, if the USA is willing to do nothing about one set of WMD, so long as it brings it under the sort of control that makes sure it poses no threat to Israel, maybe it will do the same about another. Maybe the North Koreans are now working on how to ensure that they can be described as posing some sort of threat to Israel.
I wonder if that is a solution to Karachi’s problems. No, not place the city under international control, just the MQM. Of course, the MQM is already under British control, through Altaf. But does that really count? I mean, British control, Pakistani control, American control, it’s all national. What we need is international control. Like Syria’s chemical weapons. You know, one country that will be happy to see the last of Syria’s chemical weapons will be Israel, but who really cares? Both the USA and Russia are big fans, remember. Perhaps the MQM’s problem is that no one is big enough a fan. The MQM also has a problem in not having won Israel’s notice, whether in friendship or enmity. By the same token, Shahzeb was also not noticed in Israel. Nor was Shahrukh Jatoi and his accomplices.
There is a lot of stuff happening that could be seen as terrorism. Like the rape of a five-year-old girl in the city, and the release of the accused by an ASI. The ASI probably assumed that the accused would go free anyhow, so he should probably make some money while the going was good. The sort of money that Indian cricketers, Sreesanth the most prominent, were found guilty of making.
Actually, terrorism is the charitable explanation in cricket, for otherwise there is matchfixing. Look at the recent series with Zimbabwe, where we lost the last Test, despite Misbahul Haq’s playing what is called by the sportswriters, a ‘captain’s knock’, even though it should have been known as his ‘Indian summer.’ It seems Misbah will die on the job. Want to bet on it? But is no one to take Zimbabwe to account? No daisycutters on Harare? No SEALs to handle Robert Mugabe the way they handled Osama Ben Laden? Someone should tell the USA that Zimbabwe now have a Muslim in their ranks. Then you’ll see them move.