12 May Karachi carnage – A lesson taught on May 28, 1916

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Main alleged accused of May 12, 2007 killings of lawyers and political workers are yet to be tried or even arrested though 10th anniversary of this horrific incident is being observed today (Friday) in Karachi.

Known as the Cosmopolitan City, Karachi has a long history of riots, killings and crimes. The city that was also known as City of Lights in 70s has now become a witness of killings of innocent citizens.

International mafias started harbouring in Karachi in early 80s in the result of a political experiment conducted by dictatorial rule of deceased General Ziaul Haq. He produced test tube political party Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) to marginalize Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Jamaat-i-Islami Pakistan (JIP) in early 80s. Now MQM is considered as anti-Pakistan party having links with the Indian intelligence agency RAW though this party was a component of political force led by former army dictator General Pervaz Musharraf till his rule ended on November 28, 2007. Now he is an announced-fugitive and absconder declared by several courts of law in Pakistan but enjoying his life aboard.

The political history of Pakistan would remember him for Kargil disaster, booting out of legitimate elected government of the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, birth of homegrown terrorism, different failed political experiments and May 12, 2007 massacre in Karachi.

At least 40 people were killed and over 150 others injured as MQM workers allegedly attacked rallies conducted by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Awami National Party (ANP).

Workers of Awami National Party (ANP), PPP, lawyers and media persons were targeted by MQM when they were protesting against removal of the then Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry by General Musharraf. MQM was main force of General Musharraf with whom he had cordial relations even before toppling Nawaz’s government.

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The then deposed CJ of SC Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry reached Karachi airport to attend Lawyers convention and to lead protest of political parties but he was not allowed to exit the airport, and rallies of PPP and ANP were attacked at Sharea Faisal by MQM workers.

The city of Karachi was engulfed by smoke of burning shops and cars while sound of bullet firing was the only sound in the ambiance of terror ridden Karachi till late evening of May 12, 2007.

ANP, PPP and lawyers claimed that people responsible of killing included Chief of MQM Altaf Hussian, the then President General Musharraf, Chief Minister Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad Khan, Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Home Affairs Waseem Akhtar.

After 10 years of this incident, it is known that MQM Altaf Hussian is enjoying his life in United Kingdom, former President General (retired) Musharraf is spending his time in Dubai, Europe and United States, Chief Minister Sindh Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim went to Dubai in 2008 and came back Karachi in 2013, Governor Sindh Ishratul Ibad Khan ruled the province as Governor till 2016 and now traveling in and out of country while the than Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Home Affairs Waseem Akhtar is now ruling Karachi as its Mayor.

The then deposed CJ of SC Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was reinstated out of sacrifices of thousands of people including victims of Karachi killing and now enjoying life after his retirement in December 2013.

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What is not known is where families of victims are and in what conditions they are living in?

“Activism and sacrifices are owned by working class but being enjoyed by elite class,” said Ivan Yakovych Franko  who was an Ukrainian poet, writer, journalist, economist, political activist and doctor of philosophy. Do you know how did he die?

Ivan Yakovych Franko was honoured after his death
Ivan Yakovych Franko was honoured after his death

Ivan Yakovych Franko died with hunger on May, 28 1916 and a group of his students who came to meet him found him dead on coffee table covered with nothing but a ragged sheet. His autopsy report confirmed that he was hungry for several days before he died with hunger.


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