#NineZeroRaid: Why is MQM the only one being targeted?

Published: March 11, 2015

A paramilitary soldier stands beside detained supporters during a raid on Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) political party's headquarters, in Karachi on March 11, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

The early morning raid at Nine-Zero, the headquarters of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) has raised a series of questions. On one hand, it seemed like a well-coordinated search operation carried out reportedly upon a tip off by the intelligence agencies, while at the same time, the timing of the raid right after the Senate elections and especially when MQM, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had apparently turned over a new leaf, gives credence to some political back channel arm twisting either by PML-N or the ruling party in Sindh, PPP.

Such serious actions are usually taken when either there is a series of events that build up and take the form of a grand operation or there is a political objective to achieve by displaying of power and authority.

Could this be yet another attempt on part of the PPP to force MQM back into the ruling coalition setup?

Could this be a message from the armed forces of Pakistan or is it purely on merit and part of the on-going operation in the city?

If that is the case, then why only MQM?

Why haven’t the law enforcement agencies (LEAs) been able to remove barriers near Bilawal House and carry out a similar operation within and outside the PPP headquarters in search of the Lyari gangsters who are still in hiding? Or any such operation in Punjab for that matter?

If the government and the LEAs are committed towards improving the law and order situation in Karachi and want to put all criminals behind bars, why is Uzair Baloch still in Dubai? Why are delay tactics being used to keep him away from Pakistan? Which PPP leaders are reluctant in letting him return in order to keep certain information classified? If MQM was protecting terrorists, then who in the Sindh government is protecting a hardened criminal like Uzair Baloch?

Areas like Sohrab GothKunwari ColonyLyari are no-go areas for LEAs. They have to seek permission before carrying out raids in certain neighbourhoods within these areas and if not permitted, they cannot even enter. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Waziristan and Afghan refugees are well-stocked with assault rifles, RPGs, missiles, etcetera and yet they enjoy full waiver from LEAs and strike with impunity whenever and wherever they wish to operate from. We do not witness any grand scale operations in their strong holds or any recovery of illegal weapons. Even a party like Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), which has been exposed several times in the past for providing shelter to high profile al Qaeda operatives and leaders, is enjoying good relations with LEAs and therefore stays among the untouchables of the society.

When it comes down to religion-centric terrorism, we are yet to witness the arrest and hanging of someone on sectarian grounds. Mumtaz Qadri is being praised by the lawyers’ community as mard-e-momin while speedy justice seems to be a distant dream for the family of late Punjab governor Salman Taseer. Abdul Aziz is a free man despite his fiery speeches, direct links with the Taliban and recovery of gas masks, assault rifles of prohibited bore etcetera found in his compound. He is probably on good terms with the “establishment” and therefore enjoys complete immunity.

Who exactly is calling the shots then?

Is it the federal government, the Sindh government or the armed forces of Pakistan?

The answer to this question will never come to the lime light. More innocents will die and Karachi will continue to burn as long as double standards prevail and an across-the-board operation is not ensured.

Arsalan Faruqi

Arsalan Faruqi

An entrepreneur with a degree in computer engineering and an MBA from IBA Karachi. He tweets as @arsalanfaruqi.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Hammad Mian

    Because MQM is the party of criminals, extortionists and all evidences are on the record.Recommend

  • disgusted

    Way I See It
    “#NineZeroRaid: Why is MQM the only one being targeted”: because MQM is the terrorist gang. Convicts do not take refuge in Party HQ unless the Party sponsors them. Education is refined by possessing character.Recommend

  • FayezNoor

    Because MQM was hiding two people on death penalty inside Nine Zero.Recommend

  • Hammad

    basically GHQ, federal govt and sindh govt, all together are calling the shots. its a mutual strategy to malign MQM like 92 and steal the mandate from karachiRecommend

  • Zee

    Should I remind you that police killed 14 people in Lahore Punjab whiles removing barricades! If you want such an operation then be ready for at least a week shutdown! Further, where in Pakistan you find convicts taking refuge in party headquarters?

    What are you writing? On routine basis, we see that Police and rangers are doing raids in the areas you mentioned? Recommend

  • riz

    Afsos on double standards in taking actions against culprits.
    may I ask why rangers and PARAMILITARY FORCES are reluctant in raiding at taliban hideouts in karachi ….?Recommend

  • Ozi

    Lol..steal the mandate..u mean the rigged mandateRecommend

  • Parvez

    The so called political leaders have been at the helm for close to 8 years……..has there been ANY improvement in ANY department regarding the people ? apart from the vast improvement in the wealth of these leaders.
    I doubt the common man on the street has any sympathy towards these looters and plunderers, who do so with impunity under the guise of ‘ democracy ‘.Recommend

  • none

    MQM is the biggest urban terrorist network in Pakistan. need to hang all of themRecommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    The simple and long long overdue solution :- A separate province for Muhajjirs.
    They do not not want to be under the Punjabi Rule from Punjabistan or Pathan
    domination. The PM and his brother are the most corrupt thugs around. They
    even made deals with extremists and terrorists to leave Punjabistan alone. Same
    with Pathanistan. Let the Sindhi waderas loot their peons and jiyalas. And build
    bigger mausoleums to dead people. The current CM is an 80 year old Sindhi.
    He need to retire but wont. Anyway a separate province is needed. Urgently.
    The Muhajjirs have had enough. They are the most educated and progressive of
    the whole Pak population. Karachi is the financial and manufacturing hub of the
    country. Yet they are treated as second class citizens. Even after 67 years.
    Looks like severe trouble is already brewing. And Sharifs or U Turn Khan or
    Mr. 10% Zardari are not the solution.Recommend

  • Amer

    Who’s mandate does MQM have in Karachi ? ? The people that they force to shut down businesses every other day or the ones who they force to pay BHATTA ? ?Recommend

  • Concerned

    @ hammad
    I am from khi and was big supporter of mqm but I have now had enough. ppp and mqm both have not let Khi prosper like it has the potential to. I say we have had ENOUGH we just want peace and rule of law.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    wow, what a biased article. Just because someone else is free to roam about MQM should be allowed to do the same. Jungle has the laws of the jungle and Pakistan, although quite close to a jungle has some little teeny tiny laws which are not the laws of the jungle.
    the argument is imbecilic because if this is allowed no one will ever be caught, because everytime someone is raided they will say, “hey that and that person are also criminals , catch them first”. So of course someone had to be the first, MQM is the first, may they not be the last.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    along with enough weaponry to start a small war. I think there are some countries who do not have this much firepower.Recommend

  • Queen

    I am from Karachi and I know very well how MQM works in the city on the basis of extortion and criminal activities. If MQM is so innocent as it claims to be, can MQM leadership provide an explanation regarding why two wanted criminals were present inside MQM headquarters at the time of the raid?Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    Is that surprising to you? Want to know how much fire power is in
    Sohrab Goth? Karach….Afghan Basti? Karachi….Orangi? Karachi.
    S.I.T.E. area? Karachi. Manghopir,? Karachi…these are all pathan
    extremist/terrorists areas,..er..HAMARA BHAI areas.[per U turn Khan
    Chd. Nisar, PM Nawaz, his brother Shahbaz] It will make your hair curl upRecommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    The the brother of the prime minister nawaz is making deals with
    terrorists to leave Punjab alone. OK to go plunder the rest of the country..
    That is fine? Not a problem? No. unacceptable. No more punjabis
    or pathans or sindhis in Karachi telling the Muhajjirs what to do.
    This is heading towards a separate province. or something worseRecommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    The argument is not imbecilic at all. The MQM did not support PML-N
    candidate for the senate chairmanship. That is why the hammer came
    down. This is revenge from Nawaz and his brother Shahbaz, the owners
    of Punjabistan. Good and well. These are the same brothers whose proxy
    Sanaullah [ex law minister of Punjab] is the chief go between them and
    extremists. Even the Dehati Aurats will tell you this. Lets say the die is cast
    now. It will be a Second Balochistan in the making. You all a free to call it
    Baloch Two. That, spells serious serious trouble for the Land of the Pure.
    Looks like the Muhajjirs have had enough. from Pathans, Punjabis, SindhisRecommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    good try at hijacking the discussion. the simple fact remains that they had banned weapons and they are going to be punished for breaking the law. You break the law, you get punished, how do you argue against this without being an imbecile?
    BTW your comment is very suspicious, when the leader of MQM has conceded that his party was in the wrong.
    Many Indians have been masquerading as Pakistanis on Et recently. I caught three of them in the previous weeks.Recommend

  • Dirty Old Man

    No such event took place. SS was misquoted.
    But tell me does that justify the headquarters of a political party sheltering condemned convicts?Recommend

  • Dirty Old Man

    They are welcome to migrate back to India. Nobody invited them here. They came because they saw an opportunity to exploit a new country and Liaqat Ali was there to help till we got rid of him. Pakistan is not theirs to split.Recommend

  • Dirty Old Man

    They are doing just that. Nobody can cure your blindness.Recommend

  • Xyed Baqir Husain

    SHADES OF DHAKA 1971: Racism against one individual and India’s yet to response for the Kargil warRecommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    Before MQM provides you with an explanation, how about YOU tells us
    about the 14 shot dead in Model Town. on orders of Shahbaz. That
    makes him a murderer. And he lives at the CM house in Lahore !
    If you can also explain the old old news of Shahbaz making deals with
    extremists to leave Punjab alone. [Rest of the country is on its own]. Could
    you also throw in an explanation about the Joseph Colony Massacre that occurred on Shahbaz’s watch. Also about the rampant corruption prevalent
    in Punjab. Take any major airport there..you have to PAY to clear customs!
    Or you could be held up on the whims of custom inspectors.!!Recommend

  • Queen

    Don’t try to play the Muhajir card to cover up MQM’s wrongdoings. The people of Karachi and especially the Urdu-speaking community are well aware of how the MQM has promoted this discrimination among us Pakistanis. If the MQM is so sincere in addressing the issues of Muhajirs then it should focus on developing Karachi and not on initiating turf wars with other political parties. If the MQM is so patriotic then why demand a separate province? Why not emulate other provinces and make Karachi a model city?Recommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    You caught three? Wow! Counting is not your strong forte.
    You forgot to include yourself. That makes it four. Quattro.
    What is evident is your need to be “correct” all the time. Be sure you don’t throw a tantrum.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    Sterry, rest assure they will stay. And rest assure they will
    have their separate province.Recommend

  • Queen

    I have never said that there is heaven-like situation in Punjab. Our leadership is unfortunately incompetent in handling the issues being faced by our country and the incidents which you have highlighted in your comment are some of the examples of clear lack of leadership abilities in our leaders. However, the situation in Punjab or in other provinces cannot be used as a reason to justify MQM activities in Karachi. Why can’t MQM emulate other provinces and convert Karachi into a model city? As a Pakistani and as a Karachiite, it is my right to demand an explanation from the political party which claims of being a major political stakeholder in my city.Recommend

  • afza

    i am a muhajir and i dont want a separate province.period.
    get over your superiority complex. karachi can become a model city if mqm lets go of its criminal activities.i dont say that other parties dont have criminal wings but none is as hostile, barbaric and inhumane as mqm.Recommend

  • Syeda KAzmi

    much like the maps of “Mahajirpur” they were having in 90s.. which was later revealed to be a conspiracy..Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    again you ignore the real thing. Don’t worry I don’t mind people like you who pretend to be Pakistanis. Makes me feel good that an Indian goes to the trouble of masquerading as a Pakistani cuz he cannot show his face around as an Indian.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    Emulate other provinces? God forbid they should emulate
    OTHER provinces! Besides, they are not in charge of the
    Sindh province. Only Karachi, Hyderabad, Thatta and other
    connected areas. If they had their own province, it will be
    “Their Province” For better or worse. They can sink or swim.
    No one can blame anyone else. for their issues. What the
    Muhajjirs are well aware of is how blatantly they have been
    discriminated against by pathans, sindhis and punjabis.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    As the commenter..’Dirty Old Man ‘ said you are welcomed to go live
    in another province. No one will stop you. But you do not reflect any
    Muhajjir’s sentimentRecommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    You have had a tiring day. Time for your nap.Recommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    You have had a tiring day. Time for your nap.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    Sure, you know everything Shahbaz Sharif does. You are his Chowkidar.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    Sure, you know everything Shahbaz Sharif does. You are his Chowkidar.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    You don’t say it, but the ghost is in your comment
    By the same token…” Physician heal thyself ”
    Let those in charge of the whole sordid mess known
    as the allegedly ‘elected, duly appointed govt.of Pakistan’
    show leadership,.. before they go targeting a political party. And an ethnic group….the Muhajjirs….Recommend

  • Hoshang Ansari

    Are you naive?…You remember the Karachi airport attack?
    That went on for 9 hours ! Army had to step in. Because police
    Rangers failed to show up. And Airport Security ran away. Do you
    remember ? So what’s to prevent a suicide attack on Nine Zero?
    How will they protect themselves if it happens? They call the police?
    MQM has been threatened by extremists and terrorists and other
    political parties. So should they be able to defend themselves? By
    sticks? Rocks? Stones? Time to grow up. Modi is calling…for you.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    What time is it in India btw?Recommend

  • sterry

    Making a separate province for Indian Muhajirs with the support of Indian agencies will never happen because Sindis will never allow a piece of their land to be taken away. Similarly no province for Afghan Muhjairs or any other Muhajirs should be allowed. Anyone who is not happy in Pakistan should go back to where they come from. Trying to make up excuses for the criminal acts proven by the presence of convicted murders doesn’t fly here!Recommend

  • Zee

    Muhajir! Oh Sindhi Muhajir I think! You better accept that now MQM is not same as that of past and bunch of criminals barring few! Though I don’t agree with your most of the comments because you just spewing venom against other Pakistanis along the ethnic lines but yes a separate province is needed not in Sindh only but in rest of the Pakistan for good governance.

    And not all Muhajirs support your views! This is coming from a diehard x-APMSO worker and Muhajir as well but this term is no more in use by me and other x-co workers.

    We love to call ourselves as Pakistanis! And I wish and pray that MQM regains it glory again but for this, they need to let go all the criminals and stop terrorising people. Sooner they do it, better things will be. Otherwise, vacuum will be filled with other party and PTI is getting too much support from the Karachi.Recommend

  • Zee

    Keep dreaming! Recommend

  • Zee

    Two wrongs don’t make one right mate! Success is always achieved on one’s own qualities not on others’ mistakes!Recommend

  • sterry

    Sure you want to have a separate province but do the native people of Sind want it? I don’t think so. Your insistence on making a separate province on someone’s else’s land will never amount to anything. Wake up from your slumber and realize the only way forward for migrants is to blend in with their adopted country. Criminality by the MQM or any other party should be stopped and I applaud the action of the Rangers. You should applaud them too whether you want to be called Hoshang Ansari or Hyderabad Wala or India wala.Recommend

  • zack

    I am a Pakistani American who happens to be a Urdu speaking, I left Pakistan in 1972 after completing my Senior Cambridge from Abbottabad boarding school. I knew all along that Pakistan is not the country for Urdu speaking, What the Shameful Rangers did by attacking MQM on the orders from Nawaz and Nisar is dispicable and proves what I always believed. It was a big mistake to create Pakistan as it was created only for the Punjabis!! Effective today I no longer have loyalty to Pakistan..Recommend

  • ZACK

    You must be a Punjabi for whome Pakistan was created!! SHAME ON YOU PEOPLE…Recommend

  • Queen

    Bro, I am from Karachi yet I am saying that it is high time MQM eliminate its militant wing and focus on the development of Karachi. We are fed up of ‘Namaloom afraad’ closing down the city after every few days. MQM should think beyond these ethnic issues for the national interests of our country especially for the interests of Karachi. No one likes to ‘target’ any ethnic group, why is MQM providing a reason to people to malign its image? I reiterate that as a Pakistani, as a Karachiite, and also as a voter, it is my right to demand answers from MQM because MQM claims of being the major political stakeholder of my city.Recommend

  • Maximus Decimus Meridius

    PROTECTION? you need rocket launchers for protection. LOL.Recommend

  • Queen

    You loyalty toward Pakistan changed when you left this country for greener pastures in 1972. The recent incident does not make any difference.Recommend

  • ab

    you, i , all know what mqm is all about so please stop playing!.Recommend

  • Htderabad wala

    It only flies in Punjabistan. Where the brother of
    PM of Pakland makes deals with terrorists to leave
    the the Sharif Family Conglomerates alone. And,
    secondly,a far distance second, leave Punjabistan
    alone.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    No problem. You can applaud.
    It is the sentiments of the Muhajjirs to get their own
    province. Not what the the thugs in Punjabistan decide
    while they make deals with Indian backed, terrorists.Recommend

  • Hyderabad wala

    Moderators you censured ‘simian feet’ ! That is
    an accurate description. Simians can clap with
    their feetRecommend

  • guest

    Bilawal House should be raided next so that there are no more questions left unanswered.Recommend

  • Mika

    Its surprising to see educated people supporting a party like MQM which everyone knows is a terrorist gang. #NineZeroRaid was a successful operation by Rangers to get hold of convicted murderers and get hold of such massive collection of weapons. While one of the MQM person communicated that the weapons were for self defense, Bhai took a complete U-turn and had the opinion that Rangers brought this with them during the Raid.
    Law Order Institutions need to start somewhere and its great start . Let’s please support our Army and Rangers instead of defending MQM terrorists .Recommend

  • yyy

    .u can’t make a separate province against the sentiments of native people..and most of the urdu speaking community agrees with your views as you can see..and stop playing the victim now, , it’s relatively easy to climb the ladder while living in karachi..it’s a completely different story in punjab..stop playing victimRecommend

  • Alter Ego

    Silencers and Rocket Launchers are good for protecting against Taliban.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    Silencers and Rocket Launchers are good for protecting against Taliban.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    I am sure
    K2
    Silencers and Rocket Launchers
    Baldia Fire
    Faisal Mota
    12 March Firing
    Hate filled speeches by Bhai

    are all conspiracies as well bought by Rangers in Blankets.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    I am sure
    K2
    Silencers and Rocket Launchers
    Baldia Fire
    Faisal Mota
    12 March Firing
    Hate filled speeches by Bhai

    are all conspiracies as well bought by Rangers in Blankets.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    The operation is started in the time of the Nawaz Sharif against Taliban , perhaps MQM should do the same against its criminal elements huh?Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    You must be a Karachite who must be so blind to see that Karachites are being daily killed not Lahorites,not Balochis,not Pathans but Karachites and still you support them , tears on your ignorance.Recommend

  • Sohail

    MQM is the dark reality of liberal and secular fascism. Would the liberals accept this and call a spade a spade.Recommend

  • Alter Ego

    Two wrongs make one right.
    And 14 killed in Karachi is almost a daily occurence while 14 killed in punjab raises some questions.
    See some difference.Recommend

  • Syeda KAzmi

    i don’t disagree with the list u have mentioned.. but why MQM is the scapegoat? Are all other parties corruption free? These are the lollipops we are receiving from rangers in the name of operation against illegal weapons and corruption.. The problem is much more than just MQM..Recommend

  • idea Beyond

    the idea of operation is not to target any political group but the accused ones only. unfortunately un rational population of Karachi is biased (lingual). we are neutral and have provided information about all involved political parties and their respective crime practices. http://www.ideabeyond.net/karachi-the-city-surrounded-by-terror/Recommend