Thursday, 25 August 2016

Human Cockroaches

This is just unending, pathetic diversion from mass murder.

In the golden period between 2008-2013, every other month, often week, the killings in Karachi would “get out of hand”, as one gent put it. Rehman Malik would fly to the city and hold talks with MQM. Everyone was supposed to pretend that after he “redressed” MQM’s concerns, the lull in killings was because the killers had their favourite show on, went out to get sushi, or in one memorable instance, the wives and girlfriends that were doing the killing had seen the light.

In any case, MQM and their supporters in what goes for journalism in this country would throw in a “hum pay jinnahpur ka ilzam lagaya gaya tha”, or “people up north don’t understand Karachi” just to keep everyone quiet.

Then came Zulfiqar Mirza, he didn’t keep quiet. Again we would hear “pehle bhi jinnahpur” or “people outside Karachi don’t understand”.

Then came the SC judgement that MQM, ANP and PPP indeed were killing people. “Jinnahpur”. “Prejudice up north”

The last year or so the following has happened. MQM London members admitted to police there that they take money from Indian intel. Then the MQM golden boy Mayor told everyone who would listen the same.

Couple of days is it now since Altaf Hussain ordered an attack on the media after denouncing Pakistan? Yesterday Altaf and the MQM rabita committee expressed their firm resolve to undo the country and launch a rebellion with the help of Israel and India.

What is the response? A garbage anecdotal piece on people outside Karachi being prejudiced against it? The irony of ascribing negative stereotypes to a whole people, based on your personal experiences with a few, as a means to decry negative stereotyping is just completely lost on the largely Karachi based journalists lapping it up.

For almost a decade now debate on MQM’s mass killing gets shut down over and over through this excuse, that people outside Karachi don’t understand, that they are prejudiced, that they shouldn’t speak.  

Just one man who hasn’t stepped foot in Karachi since the turn of the century can speak about it, this one.

The description of that tweet isn’t off at all. Altaf Hussain literally tells his followers to hammer nails into their opponents, not to shoot them because it wouldn’t be painful enough, instead to smash open their skulls and feed the brains to dogs.

Hear that one more time. He wants opponents to not be shot because that wouldn’t be painful enough. Instead to hammer nails in them, smash open their skulls and feed the brain to dogs.

This is the man that should speak, not you. These nail hammering, skull cracking orders are the tactics Dawn and journalists in Karachi at most call “strong arm”. This is the freedom of speech Asma Jehangir is fighting a court battle to restore.

Not yours though. You don’t know how it is.

 The narratives are so completely false and wilfully dishonest it leaves you awestruck. They’re created just for a single purpose, divert from the mass murdering of MQM. Thousands of people have been killed and a madman is ready to plunge the city into more violence; “2 guys in my office said this to me”...  What!?

What? What is that? Why doesn’t that come up when they shoot an elderly woman in the face for protesting rigging? Or when people decry extortion? Or when ramzan turns into a bloodbath? Why do these narratives only spring up when MQM is in trouble? How did they even come into being?

Consider a current one, MQM is marginalized. If you ask how, you get a retelling of 47 to 85. Stopping at 85 because every dictator since has had their back. ISI helped them rig an election. Musharraf handed them the city, let them kill off every policeman they had complaints against and, I am fairly certain, assumed the small spoon position in bed.

So how is it marginalized now? How is it persecuted by the establishment of all fucking things? There are many persecuted people in Pakistan, denied their rights. The Baloch can argue a denial of education, of resources etc. The peasants in Okara are agitating for land rights. Religious minorities can claim neglect.

In 2013 when the current operation started, what were the rights MQM was fighting for? And against who?

It was the right to kidnap, the right to street crime, the right to “china cutting”, the right to extort, the right to kill people who refuse extortion, the right to kill members of other parties, the right to kill immigrants of unwanted ethnicities, the right to kill relatives of the people they had killed to dissuade from pursuing the matter, the right to kill witnesses if the matter did make it to court, the right to kill police investigating cases or giving protection to witnesses and the right to kill journalists for favourable coverage. Oh, also, after doing all this, the right to have a peaceful life with their families while drawing salary from government offices they had never been to.

These rights are not guaranteed in our constitution, in any constitution anywhere in the world. They are frankly a little unreasonable. And who were they fighting against for these rights? PPP and ANP and ST and so on and so forth. The hell was the issue with the state?

By 2012 the target killings in Karachi had claimed 8 thousand lives. The current figure is anywhere between 10 to 13K. This is the scale of the violence, just these last 8 years, not the 90s. To put that into perspective, consider that suicide bombings throughout Pakistan’s history have claimed 6.5K lives.

The state’s reaction to that violence, egged on and cheered by every journalists providing cover to mass murder in Karachi, has been sustained military operations. Aerial bombardments, artillery shelling, gunships letting loose in bazaars, the complete destruction of whole city centres, villages raised to the ground, millions of people made to leave their lives and homes behind to become refugees in their own country. How many of them lost their lives we will never know because journalists in Pakistan don’t believe in outdated concepts such as reporting.

In Karachi the state’s reaction is paramilitary raiding MQM headquarters to arrest convicted, convicted, target killers housed there.

How is that persecution!?

Nor does it stop there. The operation in Karachi has again been falsely built up by journalists sympathetic to MQM’s mass murder as just against the party. Nothing could be further from the truth. MQM is the most untouched out of all the violent actors in Karachi during this operation, despite being the largest armed group present there with the lengthiest history of murder.

The worst aspect of the Karachi op is the extrajudicial killings. Two months ago MQM claimed 56 of its members had been killed without trial since 2013. Yesterday in a talk show one MQM member claimed the number is now 62. MQM claim, not verified by any independent body.


The number of people killed in extrajudicial killings in Karachi, according to HRCP, is 404. 404. This year. In 2015 it was 507 and in 2014 it was 925.

In all 3 years, 1836 people have fallen to extrajudicial killings by LEAs in Karachi.

Of them, by MQM’s own unverified claim as of yesterday, 62 belonged to MQM.

That is 200 less than the number of Police and Rangers, the “persecutors” that have been killed in just the first two years of the operation.

62 out of 1836.

That means 03.37 % of the extrajudicial killings in the city of Karachi in the last 3 years have been of MQM members.

How again is that being singled out for persecution? How is the operation being used just to target MQM?  Their supporters basically just make shit up out of thin air to keep the killing machine rolling.

The establishment doesn’t persecute MQM, that hasn’t been their history. That isn’t happening now. MQM falls foul of political governments and thrives under military rule. The most army is trying to do with the MQM is to wean it away from the drunkard in London because he’s become a liability.

The journalists and intelligentsia love MQM because its “values” align with their own; it fits the kind of country they want to see. Mass murder across 3 decades is small price to pay for politics of your liking.

What of the other 1836 killed in the operation? What of the thousands and thousands that have lost their lives since 2007 in Karachi? Nothing. You never hear a “you don’t understand Karachi” piece for them. That is only reserved for MQM. The pain of journalists and newspapers is only reserved for MQM.

The poor people in Karachi that die at the hands of MQM or at the hands of the state should now accept the fact that they are just little cockroaches in the grand scheme of things. That’s how they are toyed with, cut up and thrown away; like insects. For no good reason at all. Except that it was their misfortune to not be born in liberal, progressive MQM households. So now their fate is to die.

They have to die so the military can keep its pet hounds another decade, they have to die so MQM members get over their sense of marginalization, they have to die so Asma Jehangir can restore freedom of speech, and they have to die so DAWN can see the progressive politics it has overlooked 3 decades of mass murder for.

That’s what cockroaches are for, dying.

And if you aren’t okay with that, or with MQM getting away with mass murder over and over again, then you are just a prejudiced outsider.


The combined journo-military project to present an institutional killing machine as having a “non-criminal, non-militant” wing has gone off to a fabulous start. Since Ajmal Pahari wasn’t available, they have got the next best thing to be mayor of Karachi.

Waseem Akhtar once called a judge into his office and had him quash criminal cases against 5000, that is five thousand, MQM criminals in one go. Normally in Sohail Warriach’s “Aik Din Geo Ke Saath” the guests speak about the food they like, or what they do in their leisure time. Waseem Akhtar’s question was about which weapons has he used. Alhumdulillah, he replied in the positive to everything from a T.T. pistol to an AK47.

Now the Home Minister of 12th May and the man who armed MQM to the teeth in Mush era, you’re all welcome, will head the rebranded “political/Pakistan” wing of the party.

Expect more cockroaches to die.

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