Editorial: Reaction to IDPs in Sindh
At the call of the MQM, the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz and other “nationalist” forces, the province of Sindh experienced a virtual shutdown on Saturday in response. Outside Karachi, the strike was more or less peaceful, except in Hyderabad where there was heavy firing reported from many localities; a coaster and a car were set ablaze in Tandojam, and an agriculture department jeep was torched in Qasimabad. Scores of JSQM activists were arrested in Khairpur, Nawabshah and Mirpurkhas for forcing shopkeepers to close their shops.
In Karachi, the stronghold of the MQM, matters were different. During a near-total shutdown, a woman was killed when the rioters set a bus on fire while she was still inside. Three people were killed despite increased deployment of both police and Rangers, and young men on motorcycles torched at least 15 vehicles in the city, including several buses, two water tankers and a motorcycle. The reaction from the ANP, which defends the rights of the IDPs to take shelter anywhere in Pakistan, is a threat once again to resign from the Sindh cabinet. As usual, Mr Imran Khan has “slammed” the government’s decision to deny the Swat IDPs entry into Sindh even as the Sindh government denies it has banned entry to them.
The PPP federal information minister says the government is simply registering the IDPs before letting them into Sindh, and that takes time at the provincial border posts. The interior minister, Mr Rehman Malik, however, is clearly sticking to a policy of keeping the IDPs from scattering all over Pakistan. He says anyone leaving the NWFP and seeking refuge outside it will not get government aid. But the prime minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani, says the IDPs have the right to go anywhere in Pakistan, keeping in mind the Constitution of Pakistan which gives this right to them. Despite this, someone has gone to court in Karachi against anyone opposing the IDPs’ rights in this connection. But the picture is not as black and white as it appears.
Registration of IDPs was shown on TV as it was being done on the Sindh border. It is not an easy process for those who conduct it and for those who are subjected to it. The point made in favour of registration is that government aid will start flowing on this condition. But what if the IDPs say they don’t want any government aid? (This is what some of them actually said.) The other reason, however, is more worrisome, and that is that the government wants to make sure no Taliban terrorists are going in along with them. It is worrisome because one is not sure how the government plans to stop a Taliban onslaught in Karachi by this act of registration. There are already enough Taliban in Karachi to do the job and many of them are caught virtually everyday confessing that they have been “sent” by the Taliban high command to cause havoc in the city.
Nevermind the Bleeding Hearts..'Boldness', Track II Dippy and Non-papers.
Earlier JEM saar mentioned nothing but chai biskoot was happening from the Indian Side. I will try to post the interview of FM. Khurshid Memon Kasuri on Paki TV, which let slip some details.. And AFAIR.. it didnt look good (ie. Hudaibiya et. al). Now every politician in Pakistan's favourite words are "It was Musharrafs("I am the man you should negotiate with") Policy.. We dont have anything to do with it."
So begins Hijrat-E-Musharraf : Going after Musharraf
Former President General (retd) Pervez Musharraf said in an interview aired on Saturday that he would deal with the allegations being levelled against him in Pakistan. He said he had been living in Army House because the construction of his own house at Chak Shahzad had not been completed. He said he had bought a house in London, but his permanent residence would remain in Pakistan. He said he didn’t know anything about the low electricity rates he was paying for his residence in Chak Shahzad. He rejected allegations that he had rigged the 2008 elections and that he had pressured the PMLQ President Shujaat Hussain to accept the results.
There are many in Pakistan who want to see Mr Musharraf punished.
Mr Musharraf says he may have to live in London for the time being. There was always a muffled discussion in the corridors of power about whether Mr Musharraf should leave the country or stay on to face the post-incumbency music. It was decided in 2008 that he should step down but stay. With the passage of time however it may be becoming clearer that he should have left, like Mr Shaukat Aziz, to live abroad and wait for the verdict of history. *