Akhtar’s indictment


Setting another example of delayed judicial process, an Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) has finally indicted Karachi Mayor Waseem Akhtar and others in a case pertaining to the May 12, 2007 riots, 11 years after the incident. Around 50 people were killed and over 100 wounded in attacks on rallies by different political parties and the legal fraternity who had attempted to receive the then deposed chief justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at the Karachi airport ahead of a lawyers’ gathering. The police have claimed that Akhtar, who was provincial home minister at that time, ordered firing on people who had assembled to welcome the then chief justice at the Karachi airport.

The indictment of the Karachi mayor has raised concerns about the involvement of mainstream political parties in terrorism. The issue with Karachi in the past was that each political party had its armed wing comprising of goons who could kill anybody in cold blood on the orders of their political masters. The practice of extorting money from businesses by terrorizing them was common. The police and law enforcement agencies had become helpless and citizens were at the mercy of these terror outfits. There is no doubt that Waseem being an active bigwig of the MQM played a big role in May 12 carnage, credit goes to the Rangers who brought this city from brink of total collapse to its normalcy. The killers irrespective of their political affiliation to various parties along with their handlers must be taken to task in the name of justice and fair play. The city of Karachi which is the capital hub of the country, needs eradication of these goons in form of armed wings supported by various political parties to fulfill their agenda of creating fear and terror to meet their ulterior motives.

The MQM was part of the federal government in 2007, and the reins of power were in the hands of the then president, Pervez Musharraf. The lawyers’ movement, spearheaded by Iftikhar Chaudhry, was against the “draconian” orders of Musharraf, who ultimately lost power as that movement became one of the catalysts that weakened his ostensibly infallible position. The involvement of Akhtar in the May 12 mayhem opens a new murky chapter in the dirty game of politics in Pakistan, and there are many dots that if connected may lead to some uncomfortable truths. The question is: what good would the truth do if the justice is delayed for so many years. For the last 11 years the May 12 carnage case has been lingering and highlights the real flaws in the judicial system which has failed to timely disseminate justice. In fact, the ATC needs to indict all those involved in Baldia Factory fire, and as well as persons like Uzair Baloch who are involved in innumerable killings in Karachi, their supporters, their financiers and their handlers.

Complete writ of law must be established in Karachi in particular and in Sindh in general, then only this province will prosper and develop. There should be no pressure group, no mafias, no land mafia and no extortion mafia.


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