By Waqas Habib
Democracy is going to bring some long due respite for Karachiites, as soon we will see a major targeted operation in the city. An operation that will not be carried out by the Army but by the Police and Rangers
After May 11, 2013, few things have changed – call it the loyalty of the people of Sind or a strategic initiative by them. They elected a PPP government into power with a clear majority – a no compromise strategy. Hence they are free to make their decisions on an executive level in Sind. They do not need MQM or ANP’s support to sustain their government in the province.
PMLN too is not carrying baggage in the Federal government. They want peace in Karachi so they can fulfill their biggest slogan in the elections; the promise of a better economy. Karachi being the center of Pakistan’s economic activity cannot be left out, bleeding and shattered, to achieve better economic status in Pakistan. A principal decision has been made to take the Karachi issue head on.
The federal government is going to take the lead with regards to the issue of violence in Karachi through a cabinet meeting to be held in the city. Farooq Sattar has also been called in to attend the cabinet meeting. The MQM will be on board as a result, although unwillingly. PMLN and PPP are going ahead with it, and the Supreme Court is pressing on the case – the apex court is very close to calling the Sind government a failure.
MQM is well aware of this situation. So the question is, why call in the army? The answer can be best summed up with the lyric “Hum too doobay hain sanam tum ko bh lay doobain gay”. Yes this operation is going to hurt MQM the most. Politically? No! By cutting down their militant wing? Yes! ANP will suffer as well in the same context and PPP can be placed at 3rd position.
MQM looks toward the army just so their loss is equal to that of the ANP and PPP. We all know how they opposed the army’s intervention for the last 5 years so vigorously. We all know the situation is still the same and hasn’t gotten any better with regards to target killings. Things did not change much except that MQM are neither in the provincial nor in federal government.
Will the army be called in to take over law and order situation in Karachi? No. Democratic forces would not like to involve the army in an issue which is mostly believed to be created by political forces, their power struggle and political indecision. Nawaz Sharif has talked at length how the army should not have an active role in the political system/democracy. PMLN will not want democracy to look incompetent, that too so early after the transition.
If the army is called in, PPP will lose its grip on Karachi and eventually Sind. They will be labeled ineffective. A political force can be defeated by another political force but to be made to look ineffective by the army is not an option for Zardari. But this is the exact reason pressure is mounting on them to take serious steps to curb terrorism and target killings. PPP and PMLN are going to have to work in tandem to eradicate all kind of terrorists in the coming days.
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