Aapas ki Baat

News Desk
Monday, May 18, 2015
From Print Edition
LAHORE: Senior journalist Najam Sethi on Sunday said Sindh Governor Dr Ishrat-ul-Ebad would have a role, if a new MQM leadership took charge, but the army was not part of the move to replace Altaf Hussain. He said the military establishment did not need Ebad immediately, adding that pressure would increase on the PPP and the MQM in the coming days.

Expressing views in Geo News programme ‘Aapas ki Baat, he said it was not the first crisis for Ebad, who was currently in a very difficult situation. The MQM was of the opinion that he should protect the party in every predicament, but he was unable to do so either because of being weak or moving away from the party, he said, adding that in both cases, he was of no use to the MQM.

According to Sethi, Ebad acted as bridge between the MQM and the government for the last 13 years, but the current party leadership had disposed it of. Nawaz Sharif had not removed him from the office on the insistence of Asif Ali Zardari.

The federal government, army, corps commander and Rangers are feeling that the political administration – PPP and MQM – in Sindh is creating hurdles and, therefore, pressure will increase on the two parties.

Those expelled from the MQM will become the alternative party leadership. But the situation is unlike 1992 when the MQM-Haqqiqi appeared and the military establishment is not following any plan for bringing a new MQM leadership.

Moreover, Zardari too doesn’t need Ebad after the MQM distanced itself. It is now up to the governor how he convinces the federal government and the establishment. But he would again become useful, if the MQM changes its mind.

Sethi said India was funding and supplying arms to the Baloch separatists, Mullah Fazlullah and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi-like outfits through RAW and wanted to damage the new status of Pakistan earned through China Pakistan Economic Corridor. New Delhi, he said, was also unhappy over improving Pak-Afghan ties, he added.

About RAW supporting a political party in Pakistan, he said BBC correspondent Owen Bennet Jones had written in an article published in 2013 that the UK had very soft approach towards the MQM because of outsourcing the intelligence in Karachi to the party and the MQM, therefore, was an asset for the UK. Bennet also wrote that many documents – which he had seen himself – were found during the investigation of Imran Farooq murder, showing that the MQM enjoyed close links with RAW, Sethi added.

Those things were resurfacing, meaning that there was something fishy, Sethi said while mentioning that Defence Minister Khawaja Asif also stated that RAW was supporting a political party.

He said the London Metropolitan Police was pressing for handing over Moazzam Ali and two others in Imran Farooq murder case, but the military establishment asked the government not to accept the demand hastily, as they wanted the Baloch leaders in return.

According to Sethi, the British government has decided that Altaf and his leadership have become obsolete and they are no more an asset; therefore, the murder trial should be initiated against them.

About NA-122, Sethi says the PTI has entered into a conflict with the Nadra and declaring its chairman a liar after he presented the evidence and shared technical reasons with the tribunal. The PTI is now searching for the “Pappu”.
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