Karachi blast on 10th Muharram (28th December 2009) – An analysis
by Nadia Khan
Even though IG Police Sind is yet to confirm the Karachi blast as suicide attack, many media centres had presented an innocent scout as suicide attacker, but later corrected the story. There are various angles one would look at this Karachi blast:
o A suicide attacker blasted himself in 10th Muharram, Ashura procession, killing number of innocent participants. Even though Ismat ullah, a famous Taliban commander had accepted the responsibility of suicide but the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) wasn’t involved in looting, igniting fire, and damaging public properties. If so then wasn’t it a planned action?
o Retaliating the action of suicide attacker, number of angry protestors, mostly youngsters took the law in their own hands and for two and half hours thousand of shops and buildings came under fire. Who were these people?
o All video footages show that Police remained the silent observer while the game of fire was in action. Why Police remained silent?
Out of these questions, one point is evident that present Karachi City administration under the leadership of Mustafa Kamal lacks the knowledge of Crisis Management or how to manage situations of like that kind is beyond their control especially when provincial government is not having friendly ties with them!
While we find the answers of above questions, we will see who is benefiting most out of this blast.
Taliban, or TTP, normally sends suicide attacker to specified targets especially the security agencies head quarters, or security apparatus infrastructure or Police centres or even mosques where security personnel’s gather. But in Karachi and on 10th Muharram, all the participants were common men & women, mostly belonging to Shia sect, with no security affiliations. Hence, the claim of TTP or Ismat Ullah needs more evidence or further investigation. Either, it was Taliban or someone hiding behind Taliban and owns the responsibility for some other hidden motives!
Then, why Police became silent when angry protestors were rioting and causing destruction to public property? This is possible only when they were given strict instructions from provincial Home Ministry to remain calms in case law & order situation becoming worse especially in processions! But for what! Was someone teaching the lesson to MQM, who holds the political majority in the city, for not being taking “his” side over infamous NRO or someone trying to expose that MQM and its Nazim is not capable enough to handle the crisis situation. Karachi, as MQM claims, is their city and within their city thousand of middle level businessmen lost their business & property while MQM & its team were helplessly watching it being destroyed. Sind home ministry under Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, few weeks before, under the fire line of NRO discussion and before Supreme Court verdict, was trying to expose MQM for not being joining them over NRO. Is this a lesson taught to Altaf Hussain in Karachi?
No matter what ever is the situation, Altaf Hussain, in his traditional crying voice, blamed Taliban for all such incidents. That’s good; he didn’t blame Taliban for destroying public property otherwise if it is not stored in video footage he could have lashed out Taliban for igniting fire and public property destruction. But Hussain’s all time hatred with Pathans, was equally responded by Shahi Syed, the Sind-based leader of ANP, during a counter press conference that the angry protestors of past such as mob of 27th December 2007 or 12th May 2008 wasn’t brought to justice, so as this one too, hence culprits are getting strength! No matter dozens of Karachities lost their lives but game of provincial politics to take over the city of Karachi has exposed! Today, while taking to religious leadership of Karachi, when Mr. Hussain has blamed Taliban and asked religious scholars (Ulemas) help to eradicate Taliban from Karachi – a city which he feels that he owns, it was shocking that one of the participant, on condition of anonymity, has said that “his (Altaf Hussain) hatred against Pakhtoons is evident since long and he is hiding it behind Taliban. Anyway, food quality was good and I had enjoyed!”
Another view, just a day before on 27th December 2009, the most aggressive speech of any President of Pakistan, was under fire from all corners. With Karachi sad incident, it went onto back burner as with the attack, all the provincial political leaders have started the blame game and within that noise President’s speech became out of focus! May be, someone very tactically has helped the lingering President to get rid of his most ridiculous -but full of blames over establishment- words! Also, with this sad news the infamous NRO and actions against the besieged President went of press, at least for the time being!
Though Black Water agents are progressing in Pakistan with all sorts of covert operations and destructions especially in FATA areas but their targets are well known (Taliban or elements fighting against US forces) and focused through drones. Their involvement in Karachi, ideally on a long-term basis could exist, but on 10th Muharram blast, it is quite difficult to agree with Mufti Rafi Usmani who has blamed them. Once, it is settled that was it a suicide attack or a planted bomb then many of the doubts would be washed out? PPP government will try its best to term it as suicide attack and with a fact that none of the government could prevent it, it will rescue itself. What if it turns out to be a planted bomb, probably in any of the windows of nearby-parked ambulance, then both MQM & security agencies, along Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, provincial home minister, would be under fire for inadequate facilities & operational risk mitigation measures.
For a simple reason - angry mob handling soon after the blast, both MQM and PPP internal rift (possibly over NRO) has resulted in loss of number of innocent lives as well as injured who could become permanently disabled or thousands who lost their businesses and in turn loss of jobs as a chain reaction!
Who will take care of such poor’s?