Thursday, May 3, 2012

PPP Vs. Lyari

So this time the raids in Lyari started, and to the surprise of everyone, they weren't the cosmetic raids like they have been traditionally. That immediately sent up all kinds of bells and whistles going in the thinking person's mind. And the thought process went something like this: Lyari is an area of PPP loyalists, its patrons (Zulfikar Mirza and the happy band of PPP biggies) are in power, the police and CID follow the orders of the government, so why is there an earnest attempt to actually bring order to Lyari?

Without sounding too much like a conspiracy theorist, I felt that there was something not right with that picture. The only thing that was making sense was that the PPP-backed element that was in iron-clad control of Lyari had somehow gotten on the wrong side of their lords and masters. Could it be the meeting between the banned outfit, People’s Amn Committee or PAC and PML-N? Nawaz’s people made the effort to go to Uzair Baloch’s house and conduct that meeting. Not only had there been a conversation, but the leaders of PAC had given the impression that maybe it was time for them to explore political options other than PPP.

The powerscape of Lyari was changing with the release Arshad Pappu. He was let go after 60, yes folks, 60 cases against him were dismissed.  There was talk of him teaming up with Katchi Raabta Committee and threatening the power of PAC. I guess when all the criminal elements were given refuge in the heart of Karachi amidst innocent fathers, mothers and children, it was never considered that their loyalty would be in question. They would have the run of the Lyari, have a free hand to torture and kill for their benefactors and serve PPP. They would not only create a zone in the heart of the city where bodies could drop and detractors tortured like nobody’s business but they would also preserve a huge vote-bank for PPP.

It seemed that as soon as the integrity of that vote-bank was threatened, the green light was given for this raid. Hit ‘em hard and teach ‘em a lesson. The strange thing was that something so clear to some of us was not being discussed by everyone. People were quick to jump on the “Hate MQM” bandwagon saying that the violence was MQM backed because they wanted to gain hold of Lyari. But that all changed with PAC member Zafar Baloch’s bombshell interview. According to him not only did PPP want them neutralised for leaning towards PML-N but specifically wanted him dead because he could provide priceless testimony against PPP. He claimed that PPP was not only responsible for the violence but also for provision of weapons to the gangs in Lyari.  Now Uzair and Zafar Baluch have been placed on Exit Control lists.The PAC has all the hounds of PPP in full pursuit of them.  The drop-scene of this fiasco promises to be intriguing. How will Dr Frankenstein deal with this out-of -control monster?

Apparently, even as the violence in Lyari is dominating the news desks, it is not considered prudent by the government to send in the Rangers for a quick resolution! Is curbing “lawlessness” in non-violent MQM dominated areas so important that the Rangers are focused there rather than where they are needed most?

All political parties have an agenda and it is those agendas that make them appealing to different people. But when these political parties blatantly defy the laws of not only their country but of God, it is up to the people to hold them accountable. It does not help that as soon as questionable events happen, we throw blame at everyone except the political parties that we follow. Loyalty is admirable but blind faith is ignorance. Stand up to what is wrong and make your voice heard. There are more of us then there are of them. As a wise man once said: “ All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing”.

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