Eye on Pakistan

Blackwater in Karachi?

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on November 24, 2009

Another addition to the debate over the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan. Citing a “military intelligence source”, the American The Nation claims that Blackwater has a secret ops centre in Karachi. They stand ready to snatch and assassinate, amongst other things.

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BBC Audio slideshow: in Karachi

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 23, 2009

BBC audio slideshow in Karachi, includes a visit to an IDP camp. See here.

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The Demise of MQM (Haqiqi)?

Posted in Domestic Affairs by onpakistan on June 8, 2009

On hearing news of a spate of targetted killings of MQM Haqiqi ‘workers’, I wonder: is MQM Haqiqi still a significant force in Karachi? If so, who or what sustains them, and why? Are these killings a sign of Haqiqi’s recently declined or declining power (e.g. a temporary MQM and ANP rapprochement) or its increasing assertiveness? Are these killing perhaps a manifestation of a general turn against the Pakistani Taliban (recall that Haqiqi was closely allied to the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (now Millat-e-Islamia Pakistan) in the 90s)?

Blog discussions imply these killings are a sign of Haqiqi’s weakness and perhaps ultimate demise. They may be a prelude to a bigger power struggle within Haqiqi following the imminent release of jailed Haqiqi leaders Afaq Ahmed and Amir Khan. Haqiqi is increasingly polarising around these two, with Amir Khan’s fraction, in particular, tilting towards Altaf’s MQM. On the other hand, there had been talk of possible reconciliation between the two Haqiqi factions, with support from Imran Khan’s Tehrik-e-Insaf. MQM (Haqiqi) General Secretary Shimshad Ghuri made a rather intriguing statement the other day, noting that “every year as the month of June starts, which is the foundation month of MQM-Haqiqi, rival gangs start targeting and killing their workers to instil fear among them”.

PS: A potted history of the politics surrounding Haqiqi (dated March 2009) can be found here.

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