May 24, 2007

Karachi mayhem continuation oftribal areas bloodbath: Asfandyar
By Shamim Bano


Awami National Party (ANP) chief Asfandyar Wali Khan has said that the Lal Masjid episode and Karachi carnage on May 12 were intentionally created to convey a message to the Western world that if he (Musharraf) were not in power, then nuclear-armed Pakistan would fall into the hands of militants.

He said this while addressing the lawyers at the Karachi Bar Association on Monday. He said that the Lal Masjid issue had once again been created to divert the attention of the masses from the Karachi mayhem.

“The May 12 incidents should be viewed in a broader spectrum as it was the continuation of what is happening in Waziristan, Wana and Bajaur, pushing the country into darkness,” he said. “The writ of the government was applicable when Nawab Bugti was killed, but where this writ of the government has gone when a handful of ladies of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafsa have challenged the same, he asked.

Asfandyar said that Musharraf wants to prolong his power by creating such situations as he wanted to make his masters believe that the time is not ripe for him to hand over the power to the elected representatives.

While appreciating the lawyers’ ongoing movement, he said though the political parties failed to materialize the street power but it were the lawyers who fought for the supremacy of the judiciary and the rule of law and he assured all out support on behalf of his party to the lawyers.

He ruled out any dialogue with the government saying talks would only be held if we were assured that Karachi is for all and not controlled by a coterie (tola). He refuted the statement of Chaudhry Shujaat that dialogue was being held with the ANP saying he (Shujaat) had exchanged a few words with him asking about his whereabouts, and that doesn’t mean that any negotiation was going on between them.

“I am the heir of Bacha Khan, who always promoted the lesson of peace, and I would not favour imposition of any restriction against the citizens to move to any part of the country and, he said, it was not easy to crush the loyal citizens at gunpoint.

“We (Pakhtoons) never compromise on principles and would not surrender in front of the militant group,” he said. Asfandyar called upon the political parties and the civil society to unite on a one-point agenda of getting the country rid of the army rule once for all.

He said soon he would approach all political parties to sit on a negotiating table to ponder over a strategy to rid the country of military rule.

He categorically denied that the May 12 killings were ethnic but political ones as workers of every political party including PPP, PML, JUI and even Urdu speaking were killed on that day. “But the MQM did not bury none of its workers as we did,” he said and added that he did not accept the MQM as a political party.

Later, talking to the media, he said that arms and ammunitions in the city were due to the wrong policies adopted during the Afghanistan war. He demanded that a case be registered against Musharaf as he was the main ‘culprit’ of the May 12 bloodbath.

On that day, he said, weapons were distributed from official’s cars and held the provincial as well as the central government responsible for the May 12 carnage. “If the federal government had taken comprehensive security measures on that day, the incidents would not have occurred,” he said and added that it was all pre-planned.

On the question of strike call given by the Loya Jirga, he said that the decision was taken by the Loya Jirga and he could not dare to resist the decision. He denied that he had come to the city on the invitation of the provincial government and the MQM saying that his sole purpose was to offer condolences to the families of the May 12 victims.

Qazi Hussain condoles with Asfandyar Wali

By our correspondent


The President of Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) and Amir, Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan, Qazi Hussain Ahmed on Wednesday met the President of the Awami National Party (ANP) Asfandyar Wali Khan and condoled with him on the death of ANP activists who lost their lives in the Karachi violence and bloodshed of May 12.

The meeting took place at the Karachi residence of the President of Sindh chapter of the ANP, Shahi Syed, where he also offered Fateha for the departed souls.

Meanwhile, the MMA’s central leaders Qazi Hussain Ahmed and Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, who is leader of opposition in the national assembly, visited the residence of Faisal Tariq, a sympathiser of Jamaat-e-Islami in the city who lost his life in the Karachi violence and terrorism of May 12. The two central MMA leaders condoled with the bereaved family of the Jamaat-e-Islami supporter. They also offered Fateha for the departed soul.

Sindh President of ANP Shahi Syed, Sari Gul Rahman of Jamiat-e-Ulama-e-Pakistan (S), Jamaat-e-Islami, Karachi chapter, Amir, Dr Merajul Huda Siddiqui, Qari Usman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (F), and Maulana Abdul Karim Abdi, were also present during the visit of the two MMA leaders.

Meanwhile, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, on the second day of his Karachi visit, on Thursday (today) will address the members of the Malir Bar Association.

The Jamaat-e-Islami Amir will also visit the residences of various political workers who lost their lives or got injured in the violence and bloodshed of May 12, for expression of solidarity and sympathy with the victims and their families.

Later in the day, Qazi Hussain Ahmed will meet the family members of the late MMA leader, Shah Ahmed Noorani Siddiqui, at their residence.

JI LEADER’S CLARIFICATION: The Central Naib-Amir of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Prof Ghafoor Ahmed, has said that during his meeting with the Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ebad Khan, he had categorically communicated to the Governor the responsibility and role of President Gen Pervez Musharraf and Muttahida in the Karachi violence of May 12.

In a press statement on Wednesday, the central JI leader said that he was under serious obligation to inform the Governor about the facts of the May 12 terrorism and bloodshed.

He said that Gen Pervez Musharraf and the MQM bore total responsibility for the violence and terrorist incidents in Karachi on May 12 in which around 50 opposition political activists and other innocent civilians lost their lives due to blatant use of the latest weaponry.

He said that due to obvious terrorist and violence tactics adopted and used by the MQM the major cities of Sindh had turned into centres of lawlessness and crime causing immense damage to the cause of public safety and security. He said that due to activities of terrorist and anti-peace elements many notable personalities in the city including politicians had lost their lives

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