Sunday, January 29, 2023

Civil-war like conditions in Karachi?

  • Army chief orders probe while PM keeps quiet
  • Sindh IGP arrested, coerced into signing arrest order
  • Nawaz Sharif’s daughter booked, son-in-law arrested
  • Money laundering case against Opposition leader Shehbaz

There are unconfirmed reports of civil war in Karachi, a port city in Pakistan, with clashes between the Karachi Police and the paramilitary forces controlled by the Army. It appears to be the worst political crisis since Imran Khan took over as prime minister two years ago. The paramilitary forces, called rangers, have been accused of raiding the house of Mushtaq Ahmed Mahar, the Inspector general of police in southern Sindh Province.

The paramilitary forces kidnapped the IGP and forced him to sign an order to arrest Safdar Awan said Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar, a spokesman for Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, whose party is in power in Sindh, according to Dunya TV on Tuesday. Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa has ordered an inquirty into the rumours that the Sindh police chief was kidnapped by army troops to coerce the top cop into arresting Safdar, son-in-law of exiled former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. The Army chief has asked for a probe report as early as possible while the prime minister has kept quiet.

Democratic movement

An alliance of 11 opposition parties (Pakistan Democratic Movement) has been holding a series of rallies across the country demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Imran Khan for food shortages and unbridled inflation. The Opposition combine has also been demanding that the Army should confine itself to the barracks and not indulge in politics.

Ever since Pakistan came into existence along with independent India 73 years ago, the Army had directly ruled the country half of the time. The Army has played major role in foreign affairs and national security matters. Under Pakistan’s Constitution, the Army and the judiciary cannot be criticized. During Imran Khan’s rule the Army had expanded its footprints.

Maryam Nawaz calls Imran Army’s puppet

Meanwhile, Nawaz Sharif’s daughter and Opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s vice-president, Maryam Nawaz was on Tuesday booked along with some two thousand party workers for holding an anti-government rally in Lahore. Maryam had openly called Imran Khan, in the rally,  a ‘coward, selected and puppet.” She alleged that he (PM) hid behind the Army to cover up his bad governance.

Maryam’s husband Capt. (retd) Mohammad Safdar was named in the FIR (First Information Report). He was earlier arrested in Karachi for allegedly violating the sanctity of Quaid-e-Azam (Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah) mausoleum. He was released on bail.

Nawaz Sharif’s brother jailed

In a related development, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief and Opposition leader in the National Assembly, Shehbaz Sharif, younger brother of three times prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, was sent to jail on Tuesday in a money laundering case. He was earlier arrested by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). When he was produced in court, Shehbaz told the judicial officers that no questions regarding money laundering were asked during his custody. He called it political vendetta and attacked the unholy alliance between Imran Khan and the NAB.

K. Ramachandra Murthy
K. Ramachandra Murthy
Founder & Editor

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