President Zardari blamed ISI for Karachi blast? - Analysis
by Nadia Khan
Two news items are worth noting in today’s press. First, from President Zardari that Aashura blast in Karachi is the reply of my 27th Dec 2009 Naudero speech. Second, that Tahreek e Taliban Pakistan official spokes person Azam Tariq has clarified that they had nothing to do with Karachi blast. These two information pieces reflects someone’s internal mindset and are time-bombs for various sections of society. Here we take them one by one:
Why President Zardari came to a conclusion that his 27th Dec speech is responded in Karachi with a blast that took 44 innocent lives, made hundreds injured and billion of rupees properties got destroyed. In his Naudero speech, though most aggressive one by any of the President of Pakistan has mostly indications against some hidden forces, ‘non-state actors’ or ‘political players.’
Many analyst agree that his target on 27th Dec, was military establishment when he was using the word ‘tum’ (equivalent of you) referring to corps commanders who had shown total dissatisfaction against Zardari-Haqqani favourite Kerry-Lugar bill. If Karachi blast is the reply of President 27th Dec speech then in other words he is trying to say that ‘a military agency, likely their ISI or MI wing, is behind this attack.’ That’s how President got responded, in his own words! Because in his 27th speech he was quite vocal against military establishment, though indirectly but with usage of careful words. This appears to be the most dramatic statement after Kamal Azfar’s statement, later termed as personal remarks, in full court that “democracy is in danger due to GHQ and CIA.” Hence, President Zardari today’s statement could align towards ISI or military establishment only as his last few speeches also indicates his uneasy frame of mind with military janta.
If we consider that non-state actors such as Taliban has responded President Zardari 27th Dec speech in the form of Karachi blast then it wouldn’t work factually. President didn’t lash out Taliban in his most aggressive speech even once. His audience were some other section of Pakistani society who belongs to ‘tenure-post’ category and Taliban don’t come under that fold!
If CIA has responded President 27th speech in Karachi blast-form then what CIA will gain out of it against PPP or Zardari government? Even though President was accusing US for Iraq and Afghanistan institutional damages but its worth mentioning that at the time of riots the strange behaviour of Police, where they allowed all protestors (non-state actors) to perform their terror task easily, reminds that they must be having provincial govt instructions (likely from Provincial Home Minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, a close aide of President) to stay away from protestors and allow them to do what they want to for few hours! This action negates President Zardari stance that ‘Karachi blast is my 27th Dec speech response’ as his own Peoples Party government appeared to be involved in the aftermath of blast.
If infamous BlackWater retaliation against President Zardari 27th speech is considered in Karachi blast, as highlighted by Mufti Rafi Usmani or group of Deubandi Ulemas, then we need to know that what benefit they would reap after this blast? As of now, it appears nothing, in any short term case! Especially in Karachi, a pro American British-based politician Altaf Hussain is in control of the city and any disturbance here may cause damage to MQM or Altaf Hussain credibility. So in other words, Karachi is already in the hands of pro US secular forces, fully against of Taliban even Pathans presence in the city is not welcomed, as they might resemble like Taliban. So for what Black Water could trigger law & order status in Karachi, trying to create ethnic polarisation between Shia’s & Sunnis!!!
If we look at ISI involvement in Karachi blast, we find no reason from them to create unrest in the city. Karachi destabilisation will not add any value for ISI or agencies, either against President or ruling PPP in Sind. Neither security agencies are willing to open any front with MQM or Altaf Hussain -as of now- unlike 1992 as MQM coalition with PPP in Sind is a sort of stability in the province when North West Frontier province is under heavy fire. Nor MQM is confronting with powerful security agencies especially their stance over NRO, even when they are aligned with PPP govt & refused to accept it, was termed as an acceptance of dictation from powerful players of Pakistani politics. A minimum result out of this MQM-agencies-alliance is that port-city is not witnessing any unrest or strikes since then MQM is at its prime target; walking in the corridors of powers!
Second, press statement from Taliban spokes person indicates that someone who has accepted the responsibility two days before, wasn’t Taliban spokes person or he was pretending himself as Taliban commander. Or someone has asked purposely to make it public that Karachi blast is carried out by Taliban. Till now Sind Police is trying to establish that it was suicide attack but so far no luck! Hence, this didn’t work out that Taliban is behind this blast.
Also, this situation is quite embarrassing for politician who condemned Taliban only for this blast. Taliban involvement theory is yet to be proved, hence the slogan ‘Taliban Bhagawo – Mulk Bachawo (Kick out Taliban & save Pakistan)’ will not work in this case.
No matter who is responsible for this heinous act but residents of Karachi could not turn out to be scapegoat for a lingering President who is hinting at its own security apparatus or a provincial home ministry that could be trying to divert attention from his chairperson when he has made a flamboyant speech, or a weak chief minister who’s Police remained silent when public lives and properties are being damaged and helplessly no one came for rescue or it could be inter-party rift -likely over NRO support- to teach the lesson to one another or a weak mayor (Nazim) who has no ability of crisis management techniques & situations!
Karachi resident should file a suit in Sind High Court for a full and impartial inquiry and those who are culprits should be brought to justice!