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MQM chief demands handing over Karachi to army


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MQM chief Altaf Hussain. — File photo
MQM chief Altaf Hussain. — File photo

KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain demanded Tuesday that the administration of Karachi should be handed over to army personnel, DawnNews reported.

In a statement issued from London, Hussain said the situation of Karachi was worsening day by day and prime minister Nawaz Sharif should hand over responsibilities of the city to army personnel.

Hussain said the Sindh government, which was led by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), had failed to provide protection to residents of Karach’s Lyari neighbourhood despite the fact that the area was steeped in violence and gang-wars and several people had died due to terrorist attacks.

Earlier this month, Pakistan's president-elect Mamnoon Hussain indicated in a TV program that the army’s assistance could be sought for restoration of peace in Karachi.

Mamnoon moreover said if MQM was a patriotic party, it would not have objections to seeking army persons for provision of security in Sindh’s metropolis.

The president was of the view that extreme measures would have to be adopted in order for peace to prevail in Karachi.

Karachi is home to multiple conflicts that frequently turn violent, including gang wars, ethnic and political rivalries. Militants are said to use the city as a hiding place and a source of funds obtained through bank heists, extortion and kidnapping for ransom. Moreover, political parties have increasingly started using the city as a battleground for their conflicting interests.

Comments (58) Closed

Hasan,SZ Aug 27, 2013 11:42am

About Karachi I cannot say, but he must be handed over to the Army.

syed wasim haider Aug 27, 2013 12:00pm

There is no doubt about the inability and incapability on part of Sind Govt. to maintain law and order situation in Karachi and especially in Liyari. Enough is enough;it is high time to handover the control for a specific period of time.There should be no derailment of the process of democracy. PPP should listen to Mr. Altaf Hussain for the sake of poor people of Liyari.

Mirza Aug 27, 2013 12:01pm

MQM didn't want army at the time of elections because they knew of their wrong doings which was planned, now that things have changed he is talking about bringing the army back. I find him quite Hallrious most of the times.

farooq Aug 27, 2013 12:05pm

atlast some wisdom, please send army soon to bring peace to the people of karachi who are living in fear.

liaqat Aug 27, 2013 12:39pm

army is good decision if karachi clear from weapons so there is no ressen

mazharuddin Aug 27, 2013 12:48pm

Army cannot control the situation till root causes of problems not addressed and perpetrators of crime not dealt with iron hand. Sectarian strife is a big issue that needed to be discussed in public enable people understand religion and leave all extremist activities and falsehood.There should have complete ban on religious activities at public places and educational institutions as these encourage sectarianism. Also the extortion issue be discussed with all groups. Media should also play honest role, should not have one sided view. This is very serious that sectarian killing and its perpetrators in Karachi have been left unchecked since years.

Khanm Aug 27, 2013 01:18pm

Karachi has always been the seat of money economy

Dr Khan Aug 27, 2013 01:51pm

Why MQM chief did not demand ARMY when it was in power for over 12 years?Urban crimes can be best dealth by an independent police force appointed on merit and with out any political affiliations.

sajid Aug 27, 2013 01:53pm

He knows it won't happen, army already refused it

m h kayani Aug 27, 2013 02:16pm

Not only Karachi but the whole Pakistan should be taken over and run by the army. NO more these corrupt politicians and no more democracy in Pakistan. there will be NO Pakistan left if this continue for next five years.

Uza Syed Aug 27, 2013 02:47pm

Whether one likes Altaf Husain and MQM or does not like them but fact just so happens that he and MQM seem to feel the pulse of the citizens here all the time and whatever they say sounds like true echoes of our sentiments. Ask any ordinary or not so ordinary peace loving citizen and you can't fail to get the same message that Altaf Husain is communicating. People of Karachi, rich and poor and in between, all are fed up with this lawlessness and killings and looting, random or planned. It's common sentiments and demands of all Karachi walas that enough is enough, we wish peace and rule of law and we don't really care who ensures this basic right of people here, if military rule is the option then lets not wait any longer and waste more innocent lives. Let our Army come in and let them take care of those who threaten us here.

gangadin Aug 27, 2013 02:52pm

Demands? He never learnt a lesson.

Faran Ali Aug 27, 2013 02:54pm

@Mirza: Ohh please. With the by-polls over where Army was both inside and outside, MQM still won so at least now don't blame them. All big TV anchors and analysts are saying this that MQM has washed away all the dirt now by winning in by-polls. Also this statement "Mamnoon moreover said if MQM was a patriotic party" is more for a political gain then truly caring for the Karachites. Now Nawaz should send Army as MQM has welcomed it.

kashif A Aug 27, 2013 03:38pm

@Mirza: i am sure on may 11 election Mqm must have had the freedom to increase the vote count in their favor. but during the bielections results were the same with the full presence of army. NA250 was never mqm's seat except for 2008 i think.

IBN-E-ASHFAQUE Aug 27, 2013 03:50pm

@Hasan,SZ: Hasan the person you referred to is the creation of the army.

Azhar Aug 27, 2013 04:24pm

The day Karachiates trun their back on this foreigner and stop listening to him, peace will steadily but surely return to Karachi.

zaheer Ul Hassan Aug 27, 2013 04:34pm

that is the only way out to provide security to residents of Karachi as the Sind Governament is incompetent and naaive in dealin g with "LAYARI GANG WAR GROUPS"

DMDiL Aug 27, 2013 04:34pm

why we have to listen to guy who is sitting outside country for so long? what does he know about us? i don't get why people even vote or mention his name. he is literally nobody.

Dr. Rahman Aug 27, 2013 04:55pm

@Hasan,SZ: You just made my day......... thanks buddy.

kin Aug 27, 2013 05:06pm


Most of the MQM haters are not from Karachi, or Imran Khan supporters of good looks from Clifton, or havent had any interaction with MQM, and simply base their opinion on what they see/hear on tv... Im uk born and bred and lived in Pak for a few years. Our local MQM councillor was really helpful and use to win convincingly based on his performance.

muzammil ullah khan Aug 27, 2013 05:16pm

If the city is handed over to the Army then the CJP should be kept out of it as he is a hurdle in implementing law and order as opposed to his professed keenness to restore law and order . The Army MUST have its own courts to try the culprits and carry out sentences . The judiciary is absolutely incapable of punishing the terrorists as they fear retaliation by the colleagues of the criminals and fear for their lives .

Shariq Iqbal Aug 27, 2013 05:19pm

in my view a comprehensive approach is needed for Karachi,as the problem(s) are not just of law and order only,There must be a conference of all with vested interest and not so vested interest. All parties must spell out their position(s)and lay out in open,any compromises,they(parties)can live with. I think ,a military operation should be use as tool ,to force all parties to come to the table to hash out a long lasting solution.

Abdullah Hussain Aug 27, 2013 05:40pm

Since long views favouring deployment of Army in Karachi to save karachi are regularly appearing with no action by the authority. If the Nawaz government is really serious in containing crimes & providing heavenly relief to all sections of the peoples residing in Karachi then the ONLY OPTION is to deploy troops for a limited time with orders & powers to acid wash Karachi to flush out terrorists & criminals. The action should be across the board with the only intention to restore real time peace in Karachi.

Aam Chowdhry Aug 27, 2013 05:44pm

The governmanet sould take all measures into consideraion in order to bring Karachi back to its normal life and make it a peaceful and safe city it used to be. If for a short period army is required to control it, it must be done without wasting any tme. All the gagngsters and the extremists must be handled with iron fist and the culprits must be punished without any delay.

Raja Aug 27, 2013 05:51pm

Nice Call Altaf. Since the local government has failed to provide security to people, it is wise to hand over Karachi to Army. Geo Altaf.

Parvez Aug 27, 2013 05:55pm

I think that MQM wants in Karachi to make it fail and then make the case that only they, themselves, can run the city. I hope Army does not fall into the trap and recognise their limits.

moidulhassan Aug 27, 2013 06:10pm

I fully endorse the views of MQM chief to restore peace and tranquility in Karachi since Sind govt should be held to account for this impasse and unrest brought about by the unruly and unchecked killings.Only Army is the solution.

Magister Aug 27, 2013 06:19pm

I don't know why people are complaining about Altaf when the whole country is ruled from a special neighborhood in Washington D.C.

Babar Aug 27, 2013 06:24pm

Thank you Altaf Bhai for your demand consistent with public demand. Army should be called in Karachi and Karachi should be either declared a province or federally administered area. MQM's demand should also be accepted for local govt system empwoered by people. Mustafa Kamal has proven track record of building Karachi he has the will and required skills. Long Live Altaf Hussain.

Muhammad Naeem Aug 27, 2013 06:38pm

the situation of Karachi was worsening day by day...... Update: Bhatta-Parchi virus has expectedly transmuted and now targetting ordinary peoples of of Karachi as well. My friend family has received a threatening phone call followed by a Parchi asking them to pay or face dire consequences. I think there is probably a case that people should stop paying taxes altogether and look for other avenues to protect themselves!

Ardsher Cowsjee has really nailed it when he said (repeatedly) something like: The first, foremost and fundamental duty of a state is to protect live and property and guarantee safety of its citizen--- government(s) which fails on this front has no moral authority to continue in power!

It no longer matter who is demanding this intervention and to what aim but a clinical military operation in karachi and in other troubled parts of country is the need of the hour.

Gerry D'Cunha Aug 27, 2013 06:45pm

the federal govt. should impose army rule in karachi, as the sindh government under its present chief minister is incompetent in safe guarding the situation of karachi

ailly Aug 27, 2013 06:47pm

with his end looming around in very near and short future, this selfish and mindless person does not wish to let MQM continue after his political demise .... made a quick deal with PMLn to let him live in UK .... now, intends to hand-over Karachi to Army.? mqm leadership in Pakistan got to ponder over this ?

Usman Ahmed Aug 27, 2013 06:54pm

@Dr Khan:

"Urban crimes can be best dealth by an independent police force appointed on merit and with out any political affiliations."

Thanks for making me smile. this was really funny. We all know that can never happen with PPP

a Aug 27, 2013 06:59pm

I never thought that I would ever agree with this guy, but I agree to what he says now. Give Karachi to the Army and everything will be normalized.

Ajukis Rambler Aug 27, 2013 07:15pm

The dynamics of war against terror being fought long for now by the country demanded on the first day of start of imposing of emergency in the country and then to fight it out as that war are fought with all seriousness by establishment of military tribunals for speedy and effective handling or disposal of terrorists or criminals now said to have found grounds in Pakistan's biggest city for hiding and only cause for bringing beasts like destruction and killings at will. That also demanded ousting of powers of normal civilian courts and suspension of fundamental rights to deny the culprits the legal remedies and refuge by which they get themselves released. It is not understood why for last over a decade of this ongoing war why this has not been done and complications are being faced in the form of various verdicts of the courts like about missing persons etc.

Rauf Aug 27, 2013 07:17pm

I don't know when Pakistanis will get rid of foreign nationals commanding group of killers in their towns.

Kamran Shaikh Aug 27, 2013 07:21pm

Such an advise from a so called democratic leader is nothing short of hypocrisy, MQM bears a heavy burden for what Karachi has become. Culture of violence for political and financial interest was introduced by MQM and now other sense less groups are following the suite. Peace can come back to this city only by involving Karachittes in the process of law enforcement, building trust and confidence between the citizens and the law enforcement agencies, so people can come forward to identify the violent parties and individuals so that a more focused action against those groups can be taken rather than these wild operations engulfing the whole city. Residents of Karachi have suffered enough a different approach with an honest collaboration between citizens and civilian law enforcement could bring a lasting peace and prosperity to my beloved city.

Khan Aug 27, 2013 07:23pm


Well, brother Hasan:

Please keep your evil wishes to yourself. The people of Karachi have spoken and voted in favor of Mr. Altaf Hussain. So no need of your unwanted advices.

athar Aug 27, 2013 08:01pm

stop the mass migration from the rest of the country including Afganistan in to Karachi then situation will improved. Otherwise its a well thought conspiracy towards Karachi so that MQM becomes in minority. Why this mass migration does not take place in Lahore, Faislabad & so on why only in Karachi?

javaid ishtiaq Aug 27, 2013 08:35pm

@DMDiL: Why ca'nt we make it a law for the FOREIGN CITIZENS not to be a member or chairman of a political party, as they are not allowed to be a member of parliament!

O Khan Aug 27, 2013 08:51pm

@m h kayani: Army is not corrupt?

Dawar Naqvi Aug 27, 2013 08:53pm

I agree with MQM Cheif Altaf Hussain Karachi should be handing over to Pakistani armed forces before enemies ot the state take over completely.

Iqbal Aug 27, 2013 08:56pm

Please bring Army to Karachi. Americans to Karachi. Whoever to Karachi. When a person's life is at stake, does it look like I care about the "sovereignty of Pakistan"? Honestly, I feel safer everywhere else except Karachi.

Rogers Evans Aug 27, 2013 09:26pm

Altaf seems to be out of mind with such demand. He does not understand what he is talking. May God bless him with right mind !

HM Aug 27, 2013 09:42pm

Justified demand to hand over Karachi to Army. Democracy has failed Karachi. Other face of democracy is Qaim Ali Shah. The incompetent CM. Shame on people of Sindh to vote for such people. Now reap what you sow.

Mirza Aug 27, 2013 09:55pm

To all my friends who replyed me . Well we all know how mqm won . I was there too for elections and I saw what happened. I am sure each and every person in Karachi knows exactly how Mr Altaf is controlling Karachi with out being in the country for more than a decade.

GKBaloch Aug 27, 2013 10:05pm

Altaf demands this, Altaf demands that- same theatrical statements .Before election he opposed army supervising election booths , he now wants army back in Karachi. If Army is back in Karachi, first priority, check out what goes on at NineZero.

Sheharyar Khan Aug 27, 2013 10:43pm

Well, this is something really shameful especially a statement by a democratic party....This is basically a slap on democracy.....He should not have asked Army to come and rule fact, they should look into making things better themselves, or else, they should resign and leave parliament.

The Power of Reason Aug 27, 2013 11:02pm

To any long term and permanent resident if Karachi, it is obvious that the city's issues are more municipal in nature and more related to lack of good governance than to sectarian or ethnic roots. If the latter had been the case, communities would have been attacking each other which has not happened at least yet. Karachi needs to be ruled by its own representatives, Karachi needs to be policed by its own representatives, Karachi needs to move through mass transit, and Karachi needs to have its due money spent on itself. Army's intervention is welcome but only to conduct LG elections under the last LG system of Musharraf era further strengthened to have police and transport system placed squarely under its control. Army can of course always remain a presence to ensure that the party who comes to power in the local government serves all segments of population with good faith. This is the only path to put Karachi on its path to former glory. The above action shall need to be accompanied by a constitutional amendment mandating Karachi to have a maximum population of say 15 million - the present figure of 18 million quoted for Karachi should obviously b considered exaggerated in the absence of a credible census. Lastly and very importantly any unnatural and contrived effort to alter Karachi's urdu speaking character should be avoided lest this risk affecting the very patriotism of its denizens.

salim Aug 28, 2013 12:06am

Jamat-e-Islamai, ANP PTI & all politicians demands armi in karachi now they opposite the statement because MQM demanded ? Please see the difference

Adnan Aug 28, 2013 01:42pm

@Parvez: Please look at the message and issue rather than the person. That you dont like Altaf Hussain is fine, but to shade this issue with a jaundiced view is detrimental. I am not a fan of Altaf but here he is echoing a valid point that the President designate has already indicated. It is pretty simple to understand that an army cleanup will take the teeth out of MQM the most, as would the excellent bill to deweaponise Karachi. Yet we trash these recommendations only because they came from MQM. There has been enough bloodshed in Karachi and the past 6 years have proven the Police+Rangers solution as rubbish. It is about time the army is asked to protect us and our children.

Pakistan Aug 28, 2013 01:51pm

altaf bhai is trying his best to get back to government, that's it. he doesn't care for the people of Karachi. Good news is that Army is led by Kayani sort of pragmatics now, and most of the new general lot who are going to overtake from him are going to hate this Altaf dude more and more because they hate foreign interventions whichever country they are originating from.

fawi Aug 28, 2013 02:42pm

well! well! WELL!.........Kia bath hay.........YAR KUCH TOH SHARAM AUR GHAIRAT KARO

gangadin Aug 29, 2013 02:11am

Come back to Pakistan with your demands.

KHAN Aug 29, 2013 03:23am

Karachi has been rated amongst the 10 worst livable cities in the latest "The Economist Intelligence Unit Survey". Some other cities are from Countries like Cameron, Algeria, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. We have sacrificed one of the greatest cities in the world for the sake of fulfilling our own political desires. What a shame!!!

Afzal A. Aug 29, 2013 04:50pm

Altaf , if he is so much concerned, why does n't he come back to Karachi ? Benazir & Nawaz Sharif came back. He is a remote control, always trying to lead his party from the rear, never facing anyone head on.

muslim Aug 29, 2013 07:50pm

nine zero must be the 1st place to be searched by the army

Raja Aug 30, 2013 03:24am

Question to those who are against Altaf's call, do you have another choice? and don't talk about democracy, it did not, is not and will not work to bring peace in Karachi.