By Dr Arif Alvi
I’m Urdu speaking, my grandparents made a lot of sacrifices and migrated to Karachi, Pakistan, from India.
Karachi was a city of lights until nearly 30 years back when MQM started showing its true face. I will tell you how MQM works and I have experienced all of this myself. This is a very well-managed organisation, which works under a tight command and control mechanism. They have divided Karachi into a number of sectors; each sector is divided into units. The first tier is called the unit. There are MQM units in every nook and corner of Karachi. Every apartment complex has one unit, and nearly one in every 500 houses there is a unit. The units report to a particular sector under which they come. Each unit has a unit in-charge and other proper posts. As these guys live among us, they know each and every house and shop that comes under their supervision. The unit in-charge literally controls whatever goes within the jurisdiction of his unit. From cable persons reporting to him to the SHO of that area; everyone obeys that unit in-charge.
They snatch mobiles, get bhata from shops, get their students cheating in exams, confiscate hides on Eidul Azha and collect fitrana on Eidul Fitar, etc. The collections from units go into millions and collection from Karachi goes into billions. The units report and submit their loot to the sectors. Each unit in-charge has to sit in his sector on a frequent basis from where they get instructions. The sectors report to Nine Zero (90 is the address of the house of Altaf Hussain in Azizabad Karachi); this is the headquarters of the MQM. This is the reason why within minutes they can jam Karachi, as they just need to make one call from 90. The instructions go to sectors where they call units in-charge who have sufficient arms and ammunition. No Karachiite can stand in front of them, as they easily, and without mercy, kill. If they want to threaten someone, they write on their house wall “Jo Qaid ka ghaddaar hai woh mout ka haqdaar hai” (anyone who defies the ‘leader’ is liable to death).
Following in their footsteps, other parties, such as ANP, Aman committee of the PPP and Sunni Tehreek, now are doing the same. Sometime fighting starts over whose units will control the area. Karachi is a goldmine and everyone wants it. The people of Karachi, who are very patriotic, have to live in a constant fear. They cannot even carry a decent cell-phone in this city. They get looted at ATM machines and believe me that the people do not even decorate their houses nowadays during weddings, as they are afraid to come in the eyes of these bandits. Even now and then, there are strikes; children cry during the night due to gunfire, if a call is not for a strike, the call is for “Youm-e-Sog” (day of mourning), which in fact is another name for strike. One cannot imagine what Karachiites have to go through daily. One even gets afraid driving a car when a motorcycle passes nearby. The real disappointment is that everyone knows this, as this is so clear. The police, the Rangers, the army, all are aware of this, but they do not take action, hence are equally part in it. May be they don’t want to make MQM angry, as they have seats in the National Assembly. How they get these seats is: they hijack complete polling stations, they ask their boys to either stamp on the kite themselves or someone stands beside voters when the person is about to stamp on his choice. This time, when the people wanted to vote for the PTI, they (MQM) did not let them. At some places they put the thapa (stamp) themselves, at other they did not let the polling start. There were boys standing inside the booth, monitoring, and they even closed the gates of the apartments when fearing that the residents would vote against them. The people of Karachi wanted to exercise their right to vote, but alas! They were not allowed. The MQM again claims that they have the mandate (false mandate) of Karachi. And alas! All Urdu speaking are called MQM people by the people of other provinces. Is every Pathan an ANP supporter? No! Similarly, every Urdu speaking is not an MQM supporter. The most depressing thing for Karachi is that the situation will remain the same for another five years, and maybe even after. The ECP, the police and the army are all part of it. They close their eyes to what goes on. Moreover, this again means more seats for the MQM, and hence; the vicious circle starts again.
I equally blame the ANP, the Aman committee and the Sunni Tehreek in this, as they are similar vultures like the MQM, trying to rip the flesh out of each and every citizen of Karachi. Moreover, MQM threatens the Urdu-speaking people that if we do not support them, the other ghundas (goons) will hurt us, our women and children. Hence, it is better to come under protection of a bigger ghunda to save oneself from many small ghundas. In the absence of police and law enforcement agencies, the people of Karachi are helpless. Sorry, my dear Karachi, you have been thrown into another five years of turmoil, bhata khori (extortion), strikes and the worst of all fears – extreme fear. You had a choice to go for PTI this time, and you tried your level best to vote, even people came from abroad to cast a single vote, but how can they compete against the thappa mafia which works under the supervision of administration, police, army and the ECP?
Everybody heard what Altaf said, but not a word of condemnation from the army, the administration and the ECP. The army was most vigilant in standing for a few of its corrupt generals, but will never say anything against Altaf. The only solution to all this was a cleanup across the board, with any criminal belonging to any caste, creed and race, belonging to any political party, big or small, sent to the gallows. This is what Imran Khan was saying. This is why we as Karachiites supported Imran. But we were not allowed to exercise our right to vote. This is why we, under great threats and even death threats, are still protesting. But we know there will be no help. But remember everyone, there is a power above all. Uss kay haan dair hai, andhair nahi. Uss ki laathi bay-awaaz hai. (Before making a judgement about what was written here, please think for one minute and ask your heart if any of this is a lie. Please share, and spread the plight of Karachiites.