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Anti-US protesters warn against attack on Pakistan

Karachi: Hundreds of protesters belonging to the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) gathered outside the US Consulate in Karachi on Tuesday to vent their anger over the US allegation linking Pakistan’s premier spy agency to the Haqqani network, a militant group blamed for attacks on American installations in Afghanistan.
Also, members of the Youth Parliament staged a demonstration outside the Karachi Press Club to condemn US allegations and support the ISI.
The PPP protesters, most of them coming from the PPP stronghold of Lyari, burnt US flags in front of the US Consulate on the busy Mai Kolachi Road in the wake of simmering Pak-US ties after US military chief Mike Mullen blamed Pakistan for supporting Haqqanis in Afghanistan.
Carrying flags of the PPP, Pakistan and the People’s Amn Committee, a group banned by the government, the protesters staged a sit-in on the Mai Kolachi Road after breaking blockades erected by law enforcers to stop them from approaching the US Consulate. Some women even tried to climb the wall of the consulate’s building.
The protesters sang national anthem and chanted slogans in favour of the Pakistan Army.
Addressing the protesters and later talking to media, General Secretary of the PPP’s District South, Zafar Baloch, who was arrested and then released by Rangers officials a few days ago for his alleged involvement in criminal activities, said the US was threatening Pakistan despite the fact that the country had rendered tremendous services in the war on terror.
Baloch said that during last 10 years, after Pakistan joined the US-led war on terror, around 35,000 Pakistani civilians and 6,000 security personnel had sacrificed their lives for world’s peace.
The PPP leader, who had been associated with the banned People’s Amn Committee and was recently injured in a grenade attack, said terrorism had inflicted a loss of $65 billion on Pakistan’s economy during the last decade. “But still the Pentagon is threatening Pakistan and blackmailing us over the so-called Haqqani network.”
Baloch, who was carrying a PPP flag in one hand a national flag in the other, said that the retiring US military chief, Mike Mullen, had leveled allegations against Pakistan to cover up his failure in Afghanistan.
“US blames Pakistan whenever it faces defeat in Afghanistan. But this time, their attitude is humiliating towards Pakistani nation, our armed forces and the ISI.”
Responding to a question about their alleged links with Baloch separatists, Baloch said that activists of Lyari had nothing to do with the separatist movement in Balochistan. “We’re supporters of Pakistan, the armed forces and President Asif Ali Zardari. But we support provincial autonomy.”
Baloch said they were protesting to thwart US efforts to undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The protesters dispersed peacefully after submitting a memorandum with US Consulate officials.
Meanwhile, member of the Youth Parliament demanded of the United States to stop leveling false allegations against the ISI and threatening Pakistan’s sovereignty.
“Pakistan has lost almost 35,000 lives in the war against terror and witnessed suicide attacks on its mosques, schools, colleges, universities, religious institutes and even its military offices, but it never compromised on the war against terror and kept fighting extremists and terrorists who are a threat to international peace,” one of the demonstrators said.
They chanted slogans such as “shame shame Petraeus, shame shame Mullen” and stamped their feet in protest as they shouted: “If war is America’s right, our right is to fight.”
The group believed that America should rethink its statements, because the ISI had been cooperating with it for the last eleven months. “The Americans were not able to defeat one group, the Taliban, in eleven years. We are not a group, but a nation and we have our armed forces to protect our borders. Any attack on Pakistan will be considered an attack on the Muslim Ummah,” said Malik Zameer, President of the Pakistan Association for Young Leaders Development and Training, the umbrella organisation which caters to the Youth Parliament.
He also expressed concerns about the fact that an attack on the country will affect Pakistani nationals living abroad and threaten international peace. “It is high time the US begins exercising caution,” Zameer believed.
The young parliamentarians also urged the international community, especially NATO countries, to take notice of US threats, as an attack on Pakistan will affect every country whose interest is attached to Afghanistan.

http://images.thenews.com.pk/28-09-2011/ethenews/e-69720.htm

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2011 in Protest

 

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I am not a puppet: Arshad Pappu


KARACHI: In his Gadani jail cell, Lyari’s legendary kingpin Arshad Pappu seethes over the killings of Baloch in Karachi, especially since there is a perception that he and his men are partly to blame. Neither he, nor any of his men, are in any way linked to the massacre, he is at pains to stress.

“I’m a leader of the Baloch people of Lyari,” he told The Express Tribune in an interview. “My heart bleeds for the Baloch people.”

The question today for the people of Karachi is, however, who is killing the young men. If Pappu is to be believed, the actual fight is between the “Pakistan Peoples Party-backed Peoples Amn Committee (PAC) and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM)”. Both parties have, however, rubbished these claims.

The mess

After the death of Rehman Dakait in 2009, the mantle of the gang fell to Uzair Baloch, who is closely linked to Baba Ladla. Both men are central figures of the now defunct PAC, claim insiders.

The other group is the one led by Arshad Pappu from his jail cell. His network is currently being run by Ghaffar Zikri and Razzaq Commando.

Police and intelligence personnel allege that Pappu’s gang is backed by one party that is using his network to gain a foothold in Lyari. But Pappu challenges this. “I may be in jail, but I’m not that weak that I would end up taking shelter with a party,” he said. “I know how to fight on my own.”

“I am not a puppet of any political party,” he said, while referring to the MQM and to distance himself from the killing of Baloch men. According to Pappu, the perception that he is an MQM puppet dates to the Musharraf regime when his associate Ghaffar Zikri had lent support to the party in the general elections, while their rival Rehman Dakait supported the PPP. This claim has also been rejected by the MQM, which says that no such understanding existed.

According to Pappu, the current carnage in the city was nothing but “politics over bodies”. He laughed when told that police were saying that they were moving into Lyari and other areas to nab the target killers. “Mark my words, they’ll do nothing,” he said. “They could do nothing in the past and will do nothing even today.”

His heart fills with sorrow every time he learns the death of a Baloch or even an innocent Mohajir.  “I believe there is a conspiracy by forces from high above that want to see the peace-loving Baloch and Mohajir fight.” He promised that one day when he is set free, “God willing, [he’ll] make sure that there is unity among [them].”

Till then, the cycle of violence will continue to carry on unless something is immediately done to sever political backing for the warring groups. “I appeal to Zardari and the PPP to stop the bloodshed of the innocent Baloch people at all costs,” Pappu said.

For him, there should be no doubt that PAC was spreading terror in the city. “PAC has no fear because they are being backed by the senior leadership of the PPP,” he alleged, and went on to add Zulfiqar Mirza and Manzoor Wassan’s names as the ones who were openly supporting his rival group. This claim was strongly refuted by the leadership of the PPP.

The motive, Pappu said, went to the fact that there is a lot at stake, including mountain loads of money. “What do you think Baba Ladla (Dakait’s gang) does? He’s responsible for collecting extortion money from areas not only in Lyari but beyond them like Shershah, Ghas Mandi, Keamari. He then gives a generous share to party leaders,” he alleged. The PPP has also denied this and said that there is no iota of truth in it.

MQM ‘rubbishes’ claims of support for Pappu

MQM leader Faisal Subzwari has ‘rubbished’claims that the party is in any way associated with any of the gangsters in Lyari or was using any group to gain a foothold in Lyari. According to him, the whole world knows who killed Lyari’s Rehman Dakait. “The same people who killed Rehman have now taken over his network in Lyari and today the same party claims that they were his biggest supporters.”

About claims that the MQM was backing PAC’s rival group led by Pappu and Zikri, he said: “This is pure rubbish. The MQM never had anything to do with them in the past or even today.”

It is the government’s responsibility to take action against all criminals, including Pappu who is in jail and Zikri, who is hiding somewhere in Karachi.

About the elections when Zikri supposedly lent support to the MQM in Lyari, Subzwari said it was totally untrue. “Back then there was no PAC. However, everyone knows how the ballot boxes were stuffed on the directions of Rehman Dakait along with Habib Jan during the elections there.”

When asked whether it was true that the current carnage was a duel between the MQM and PAC backed by the PPP, Subzwari said that the only part that rang true was that PAC had the patronage of a political party that was spreading chaos in the city.

He stressed that innocent Urdu-speaking people were being targeted and until the killing came to an end, they could not think of rejoining the government.

PPP defends Mirza

Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Memon defended his fellow minister, Zulfiqar Mirza, denying that neither he nor any one from the PPP is supporting criminals.

“These are nothing but lies. There is not an iota of truth in it,” he said when asked about the accusations that PAC frontman Baba Ladla has the backing of senior party leaders. People who are saying the PPP backs PAC should remember the party actually disbanded it, added Memon.

“All this talk is to divide the people and incite them to violence,” he said. He warned that the people who are spreading these ‘lies’ should know that if the government wanted it could expose the ‘reality’ and show the world who the ‘real’ culprits are. “We have pictures that can expose who met the members of PAC,” he said.

Whether it is the MQM’s Rabita Committee or PAC, the fact of the matter is that innocent lives are being lost, said Fauzia Wahab, a member of the PPP’s central executive committee member. She stressed, however, that one must not forget how the current wave of violence was triggered. “The bodies of five Baloch men were found. Who was responsible for that?”

Who is Arshad Pappu?

Arshad Pappu reportedly has four sons and three daughters but they and his wife have moved out of Lyari because of threats to their life. He shot to notoriety during Musharraf’s regime and was eventually caught in 2006. According to one of his lawyers, Mohammad Farooq, Pappu was charged with around 50 cases of which 20 were for murder.

To date, Pappu hasn’t been convicted in any. In fact, he may be released soon, claims his lawyer. “Just two cases are pending against him,” says Farooq.

Pappu’s father Hajji Lallu was also released. One of Arshad Pappu’s brothers, Sher Mohammad has also been freed by the courts. His two other brothers Nasir and Yasir Arafat, are, however, with him in jail. Incidentally, the alias Pappu was given to him by his father. “During my childhood I was a very healthy boy which is why my father used to call me Pappu,” says the Lyari gangster. “Since then, everyone close to me calls me that.”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236027/i-am-not-a-puppet-arshad-pappu/

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2011 in Lyari Violence

 

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Grenade attack injures PPP leader in Lyari

KARACHI: A lobbed grenade by unknown assailants critically injured five people including the former leader of the defunct People’s Amn Committee, Zafar Baloch.

According to details, unknown assailants riding on motorcycles threw grenades, targeting Zafar Baloch. The explosion injured Baloch and four other people.

Baloch had been sitting outside his house in Gul Mohammad Lane, when unknown assailants threw a grenade.

Police has reached the spot and cordoned off the area.

The injured have been shifted to the Lyari General Hospital for treatment.

Heavy firing erupted in parts of Lyari where Baloch had been targeted.

Police officials believed that the same group may be behind the attacks which has been conducting grenade attacks in Lyari over the past few months.

There have been a number of incidents over the past four months in which unknown assailants riding motorcycles had hurled grenades at targets in Lyari. The People’s Amn Committee offices and leaders, inlcuding Uzair Baloch have been targeted by grenade attacks in the past.

 

http://tribune.com.pk/story/228094/grenade-attack-injures-ppp-leader-in-lyari/

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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