The Global Social Network
Here are some excerpts from Wikileaks on the "Gangs of Karachi":
US embassy cable - 09KARACHI138
SINDH - THE GANGS OF KARACHI
Origin: Consulate Karachi
Created: 2009-04-22 11:52:00
Summary: The police in Karachi are only one of several armed groups in the city, and they are probably not the most numerous or best equipped. Many neighborhoods are considered by the police to be no-go zones in which even the intelligence services have a difficult time operating. Very
few of the groups are traditional criminal gangs. Most are associated with a political party, a social movement, or terrorist activity, and their presence in the volatile ethnic mix of the world,s fourth largest city creates enormous political and governance challenges.
MQM\'s armed members, known as \"Good Friends,\" are the
largest non-governmental armed element in the city. The police estimate
MQM has ten thousand active armed members and as many as twenty-five thousand armed fighters in reserve.
This is compared to the city\'s thirty-three thousand police officers. The party operates through its 100 Sector Commanders, who take their orders directly from the party leader, Altaf Hussain, who lives in exile in the United Kingdom.
Low to middle-ranked police officials acknowledge the extortion and the likely veracity of the other charges. A senior police officer said, in the past eight years alone,MQM was issued over a million arms licenses, mostly for
handguns. Post (Consulate) has observed MQM security personnel carrying numerous shoulder-fired weapons, ranging from new European
AKMs to crude AK copies, probably produced in local shops.
MQM controls the following neighborhoods in Karachi:
Gulberg, Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Korangi, Landhi, Liaquatabad, Malir, Nazimabad, New Karachi, North Nazimabad, Orangi Town, Saddar and Shah Faisal.
MQM-H (Muhajir Quami Movement-Haqiqi)
5. (S) MQM-H is a small ethnic political party that broke away from the MQM in the mid-1980s. MQM-H has its
strongholds in the Landhi, Korangi and Lines Area neighborhoods of the city. The MQM regarded these areas as
no-go zones when it was in power during the Musharraf presidency. As a condition for joining the Sindh government
in 2003, it asked that MQM-H be eliminated. The local police and Rangers were used to crack down on MQM-H, and its leaders were put behind bars. The rank and file of MQM-H found refuge in a local religious/political party, Sunni Tehrik (see para 9). The local police believe MQM-H still maintains its armed groups in the areas of Landhi and Korangi, and that the party will re-organize itself once its leadership is released from jail.
The ANP represents the ethnic Pashtuns in Karachi. The local Pashtuns do possess personal weapons, following the
tribal traditions of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP),
and there are indications they have begun to organize formal armed groups. With the onset of combat operations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas in August 2008, a growing number of Pashtuns fled south to swell the Pashtun ranks of that already is the largest Pashtun city in the world. This has increased tensions between ANP and MQM.
7. (S) If rhetoric of the police and the ANP leadership is to be believed, these armed elements may be preparing to challenge MQM control of Karachi. In March, the Karachi Police Special Branch submitted a report to the Inspector General of Police in which it mentioned the presence of \"hard-line\" Pashtuns in the Sohrab Goth neighborhood. Sohrab Goth is located in the Northeast of the city.
8. (S) The report said this neighborhood was becoming a no-go
area for the police. The report went on to claim the Pashtuns are involved in drug trafficking and gun running and
if police wanted to move in the area they had to do so in civilian clothing. A senior member of the Intelligence Bureau in Karachi recently opined that the ANP would not move
against MQM until the next elections, but the police report ANP gunmen are already fighting MQM gunmen over
ST (Sunni Tehrik - Sunni Movement)
9. (S) ST is a small religious/political group with a presence in small pockets of Karachi. The group has only
managed to win a handful of council seats in local elections but militarily it is disproportionably powerful because of
the influx of MQM-H gunmen after the government crack-down on MQM-H (see above). ST has organized the party and its gunmen along the lines of MQM by dividing its areas of influence into sectors and units, with sector and unit commanders. ST and MQM have allegedly been killing each other\'s leadership since the April 2006 Nishtar Park bombing that killed most of ST\'s leadership. ST blames MQM for the attack. There appears to have been a reduction in these targeted killings since 2008.
10. (S) PPP is a political party led by, and centered on the Bhutto family. The party enjoys significant support in
Karachi, especially among the Sindhi and Baloch populations. Traditionally, the party has not run an armed wing, but the workers of the PPP do possess weapons, both licensed and unlicensed. With PPP in control of the provincial government and having an influential member in place as the Home Minister, a large number of weapons permits are currently being issued to PPP workers. A police official recently told
Post that he believes, given the volume of weapons permits being issued to PPP members, the party will soon be as
well-armed as MQM. Gangs in Lyari: Arshad Pappoo (AP) and Rahman Dakait (RD)
11. (S) AP and RD are two traditional criminal gangs that
have been fighting each other since the turn of the century in the Lyari district of Karachi. Both gangs gave their political support to PPP in the parliamentary elections. The
gangs got their start with drug trafficking in Lyari and later included the more serious crimes of kidnapping and robbery in other parts of Karachi. (Comment: Kidnapping is such a problem in the city that the Home Secretary once asked Post for small tracking devices that could be planted under
the skin of upper-class citizens and a
satellite to track the devices if they were kidnapped. End comment.)
12. (S) Each group has only about 200 hard-core armed fighters but, according to police, various people in Lyari
have around 6,000 handguns, which are duly authorized through valid weapons permits. In addition, the gangs are in
possession of a large number of unlicensed AK-47 rifles,
Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers and hand grenades. The weapons are carried openly and used against each other as
well as any police or Rangers who enter the area during security operations. During police incursions, the gang
members maintain the tactical advantage by using the narrow streets and interconnected houses. There are some parts of Lyari that are inaccessible to law enforcement agencies...
13. (S) A Senior IB officer recently opined to Post that \"All Pashtuns in Karachi are not Taliban, but all Taliban are
Pashtuns.\" The size, scope and nature of \"Talibanization\" and true Taliban terrorist activity in Karachi is difficult
to pin down, but Post has increasingly received anecdotes about women, even in more upscale neighborhoods, being
accosted by bearded strangers and told to wear headscarves in public.
14. (S) There has not been a terrorist attack against U.S. interests in Karachi since 2006. There are several theories
about Taliban activity in Karachi and why they have not staged an attack in so long. One school of thought has it
that MQM is too powerful and will not allow the Pashtuns to operate in Karachi, and this, combined with the ease of
operating elsewhere in Pakistan, makes Karachi an undesirable venue. Another line of thinking claims Karachi is too
valuable as a hiding place and place to raise money.
15. (S) In April, the police in Karachi arrested Badshah Din Mahsud, from their Most Wanted Terrorist list, known as the Red Book. It is alleged he was robbing banks in Karachi at the behest of Baitullah Mehsud, from the NWFP, and the money was being used to finance terrorist activity. There is a large body of threat reporting which would seem to indicate the equipment and personnel for carrying out attacks are currently in place in Karachi. In April, Karachi CID told Post they had arrested five men from NWFP who were building VBIEDs and planed to use them in attacks against Pakistani government buildings; including the CID office located behind the US Consulate. CID also claimed they had reliable information that suicide vests had been brought to Karachi.
16. (S) Comment: The importance of maintaining stability in Karachi cannot be over-emphasized. Traditionally, Karachi was at the center of lawlessness, criminal activity, and politically-inspired violence in Pakistan. But with the
security situation in the rest of the country deteriorating, the megalopolis has become something of an island of
stability. Nevertheless, it still has a number of well-armed political and religious factions and the potential to explode
into violent ethnic and religious conflict given the wrong circumstances.
17. (S) The PPP,s decision to include MQM in coalition governments in Sindh Province and in the federal government
has helped preclude a return to the PPP-MQM violence of the 1990,s. But the potential for MQM-ANP conflict is growing as Pashtuns challenge Mohajir political dominance and vie for control of key economic interests, such as the lucrative trucking industry. Any sign that political violence is returning to Karachi, especially if it is related to the
growing strength of conservative Pashtun \"Taliban,\" will send extremely negative shockwaves through the society and likely accelerate the flight from Pakistan of the business and intellectual elite of the society. End comment.
FAKAN ( US Consul General Stephen Fakan)
Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant For Gangster Politicians of Karachi
MQM Worried By Karachi's Demographic Changes
Karachi Tops World's Largest Cities
Karachi Tops Mumbai in Stock Performace
Eleven Days in Karachi
Pakistan Most Urbanized in South Asia
Karachi: The Urban Frontier
Do Asia's Urban Slums Offer Hope?
Orangi is Not Dharavi
Climate Change Could Flood Karachi Coastline
Karachi Fourth Cheapest For Expats
Karachi City Government
Karachi Dreams Big
Pakistan Census 2011
Jinnah's Vision of Pakistan
High Cost of Failure to Aid Flood Victims
World Memon Organization
Urbanization in Pakistan Highest in South Asia
Crime Down in #Karachi, Paramilitary in #Pakistan Shifts Focus to Top Political Parties in Sindh http://nyti.ms/1RErdl5
Paramilitary troops have become ubiquitous around this sprawling Pakistani port city. They watch over police officers at traffic circles, their convoys patrol thoroughfares, their raids drive daily headlines.
After years of crime and militancy that had made Karachi a byword for violence, an extended operation by the paramilitary force — the Sindh Rangers, who are ultimately answerable to the powerful Pakistani military command — has been working. Officials and residents report that crime is notably down across the city.
But in the name of security, the force in recent months has also begun upending the city’s political order. The crackdown has expanded to target two powerful political parties that have long been at odds with the military establishment. And it has left a broad trail of human rights violations — including accusations of extrajudicial killings, in which officers shoot suspects after taking them into unlawful detention, according to rights advocates and members of those parties.
The crackdown, which began two years ago, was initially limited to the slums and outskirts of the city, where Taliban militants and gangsters wielded influence. But this year, the military ordered that the dragnet be thrown wider, especially targeting the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, or M.Q.M. The political party has controlled the city for decades through the powerful combination of a large ethnic support base, political acumen and armed gangs.
And in August, the Sindh Rangers arrested and brought charges of financing terrorism against Dr. Asim Hussain, a close aide to former President Asif Ali Zardari, who heads the Pakistan Peoples Party, or P.P.P. Several top leaders of the party, which in addition to its national profile controls the government of surrounding Sindh Province, have left the country, fearing arrest.
“We have dismantled the network of Taliban and criminal gangs of Lyari,” said one senior paramilitary security official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the news media. (Lyari is the name of a poor Karachi neighborhood infamous for gang wars.) “Now, it is the turn of militant wings of political parties and those who provided finances to armed groups.”
The leaders of both the parties say they are being targeted for political reasons and accuse the Rangers, and their military masters, of overstepping their mandate and meddling in civilian politics. Interviews with the police and paramilitary officials and political leaders reveal that even among those who support the military, there is a growing sense that the country’s generals have made a concerted decision to wrest Karachi from the M.Q.M.’s control.
Some analysts believe the politician Imran Khan and his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, have the most potential of any group to cut into the M.Q.M.’s influence in Karachi, especially given the widespread image of the party as being acceptable to the military.
But Talat Aslam, a senior editor at The News International in Karachi, said that Mr. Khan’s party, known as P.T.I., had not yet had much electoral success in the city and that at times it had misplayed its hand here.
“Very often, the P.T.I. gives the impression of being a force of outsiders that could arrive out of the blue to ‘liberate’ the captive and enslaved Mohajirs from the M.Q.M., which rules over them by force alone — a description that does not always go down well with the electorate,” Mr. Aslam said.
Political observers say the most likely consequence of the continuing paramilitary crackdown will be that no single political party will now be able to control the city. But for some here, particularly within the business sector, the improvement in overall violence has been worth the political upheaval.
“We do not care about the politicians,” said Atiq Mir, a leader of the local merchants’ community. “Peace is returning to Karachi because of the steps taken by the Rangers.”
Ex #Karachi Mayor Mustafa Kamal says #MQM #AltafHusain #India's #RAW agents, unveils new political party. #Pakistan http://www.geo.tv/latest/101720-Former-mayor-Mustafa-Kamal-to-addre... …
In a fiery tell-all press conference upon his return to Karachi, former city nazim Mustafa Kamal on Thursday announced a new party in a direct challenge to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).
Flanked by former fellow MQM colleague Anees Qaimkhani, this was the first media appearance by the two leaders after a prolonged absence from local political scene and rifts with the leadership of their former party, the MQM.
Addressing the media at the press conference in Karachi, Kamal lashed out sharply at MQM chief Altaf Hussain, with whom the former Karachi mayor has had a falling out since years since he left the party and moved to Dubai.
Before starting a presser which lasted for nearly two hours, Kamal told those present that the agenda of his press conference would be split into three parts, where he would outline why "I and Anees left the party. Second, why we have come back, and what we will do next.”
Kamal accused Altaf Hussain of insulting party workers several times in public meetings, especially once in May 2013 when he changed the party set up overnight.
He recalled that during his time in the MQM, the party's Rabita Committee would continuously be degraded and insulted by Altaf Hussain within weeks and months, but recently the situation had worsened so much that the Rabita Committee would now be insulted every few minutes.
What was first done in private settings was being done in public through media channels, he said.
He recalled how the MQM Rabita Committee was manhandled by people when the PTI secured 800,000 votes.
He also revealed that a time came when former Interior Minister Rehman Malik would dictate the press releases for MQM, adding that Malik had access to the MQM chief even more than MQM leaders.
'We have come to rebuild'
With tears in his eyes at one point, the emotional leader demanded to know why children of MQM workers continue to bury their fathers. He demanded to know what the agenda is behind all these sacrifices. “Is it to help fund Altaf Hussain's alcoholism, to finance their properties and wealth abroad?” he asked.
"We were a civilized community. We have now been reduced to RAW agents," he said. "What do you want us to see? More arrests? Torture? Martyrs? I agree you have to give sacrifices in movements. We are willing to sacrifice ourselves. But tell me what for?"
Kamal minced no words when claiming why he left the MQM after he realized that all his efforts and hard work was not for the benefit of the people but to fund the ills of one man.
“We have returned today because every child of Pakistan, every party, the establishment of Pakistan as well as the present and past government s know, that Altaf Hussain has links with the Indian intelligence agency RAW,” he alleged.
Also read: Former MQM leader confessed ‘Indian funding’ to London police
“When Dr. Imran Farooq was martyred, and the Scotland Yard started gathering evidence from his residence; they took away a truckload of evidence from his (Altaf’s) residence. For six or seven months, the investigators studied the evidence and documents that they had collected. Then they summoned the members in London, including Altaf Hussain who was interviewed for three days,” he said..
Mustafa Kamal claimed that during the Scotland Yard interviews, they were asked whether they were taking funds from India.
He added that all the individuals denied the allegations for at least 10-15 minutes and then the Scotland Yard began serving them documentary evidence proving all the allegations that they had just denied.
Kamal claimed Altaf was misleading the people of Pakistan that “since he has raised his voice against the establishment of Pakistan, he is being cornered and silenced”.
49 of world's 50 most violent cities in #Americas plus #CapeTown in #Africa. No #Pakistan cities. http://econ.st/21TcZ3x via @TheEconomist
THE thorny task of comparing crime rates across the world is tricky because legal interpretations vary. Sweden's definition of rape is not the same as America’s, for example. Murder however should be easier to record because there is an identifiable victim, something that can be counted. But the way in which this is done in poorer, often more corrupt countries makes truly comparable statistics hard to pin down. Where there are inefficient public health systems or police, it is even harder. It is in such places that best estimates must be made—Venezuela is a case in point. We recently reported the latest annual ranking of 2015's most violent cities in the world (excluding war zones) by CCSP-JP, a Mexican NGO. The report placed Caracas, Venezuela's capital, at the top of a list of 50 cities (with populations of at least 300,000) with the highest homicide rates.
Crime statistics in Venezuela have not been officially measured since 2009 however, and are underreported according to experts. Where no official figures exist, CCSP-JP is transparent in its methodology: for Caracas it counted bodies from the city morgue (which covers a larger area than the city itself) between January and August, discounted a percentage attributed to accidental deaths, and extrapolated an amount for the full year to get a rate of 120 homicides per 100,000 people. The approach is obviously open to error and several groups have challenged some of CCSP-JP’s findings. One, the Igarapé Institute—a Brazilian think-tank on security and violence—compiles statistics on murder rates in countries and on more than 2,100 cities with populations of 250,000 or more, compared with the CCSP-JP's ‘hundreds’. Their data are only gathered from primary sources such as government, police or vital registration data, and from recognised sources such as the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime. In the above chart we present an alternative ranking which includes Igarapé’s findings using figures no older than 2013.
The broad picture in the rankings is roughly similar, however. Latin American and Caribbean countries suffer disproportionately compared with elsewhere, mainly because of inequality, poor rule of law, impunity and corrupt institutions that are infiltrated by drug cartels. Only two countries outside the region feature on either chart, South Africa and the United States (the list’s only rich-world country). Two US cities*—St Louis and Baltimore—appear on the latest ranking compared with four previously. The good news is that there has been a general decline in violence across the world everywhere except in Latin America. And even within the region, many of the worst cities in Mexico and Colombia are not as bad as they once were. Yet that is cold comfort to the residents of El Salvador, Honduras and Venezuela.
BBC News - #Pakistani #MQM linked to 'dozens of UK bank accounts' . 70 accounts total, 26 in #AltafHusain's name
UK police documents obtained by the BBC list more than 70 London bank accounts related to a Pakistani party being investigated for money-laundering.
Twenty-six are in the name of MQM leader Altaf Hussain. UK-based party officials are waiting to hear if they will face money-laundering charges.
Six British detectives were recently in Pakistan seeking co-operation in the alleged money-laundering case.
The MQM has said Scotland Yard's claims about the bank accounts are baseless.
British police have been investigating the MQM, one of Pakistan's main political parties, for several years but the pace of their investigations has picked up markedly since a meeting in London in April between Pakistan's Interior Minister, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, and Home Secretary Theresa May.
The Scotland Yard documents, which include details of both open and closed bank accounts, were submitted to Pakistan's Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) as part of a British request for assistance.
Scotland Yard has declined to comment on the documents.
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service is already considering whether leading MQM officials should be charged with money-laundering offences but police say that does not stop them making further inquiries.
"The investigation continues and any further relevant information would be discussed with the CPS," said a spokesperson at Scotland Yard.
The British police team in Pakistan was also seeking to advance a separate investigation into the 2010 murder in north London of a senior MQM leader, Imran Farooq.
Three suspects in the case are being held in Pakistan. The UK police want to extradite one of the three - Mohsin Ali Syed - who they claim was present at the scene of the killing.
Pakistan is insisting that either all three should be extradited - or none at all.
The MQM denies any wrongdoing and insists that all the allegations made against it are false.
The British judiciary has been highly critical of the MQM. Back in 2011 a British judge adjudicating an asylum appeal case found that "the MQM has killed over 200 police officers who have stood up against them in Karachi".
During their investigation into the murder of Mr Farooq the police found £167,525.92 (about $235,000) in the MQM's offices in London and a further £289,785.32 in Mr Hussain's home in Edgware, north London.
Previous investigations in London uncovered a list in Mr Hussain's home itemising weapons, including mortars, grenades and bomb-making equipment. The list included prices for the weapons.
The Scotland Yard documents include a number of other British requests for assistance from their Pakistani counterparts.
The British asked for information about cash and weapons found at the MQM's Karachi headquarters. They also asked for official confirmation of Pakistani media reports that the MQM was involved in extortion in Karachi.
Will #MQM power center shift from #London to #Karachi? #AltafHusain #Pakistan #India http://econ.st/2bkGTiV via @TheEconomist
FOR decades the fleshy features of Altaf Hussain have glowered over Karachi. The leader of the mighty Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) may have fled to London 25 years ago, but his image remains plastered on the streets of the city he controls. But it is becoming harder to find the posters and party flags that once fluttered from every streetlight. Mr Hussain has gradually been losing sway over Pakistan’s largest city to the Rangers, a notionally civilian security force under the control of the army.
In 2013 the government ordered the Rangers to rid Karachi of Islamist militants and criminal gangs. Last year they turned their attention to the MQM, a party successive governments have accused of deep involvement in Karachi’s criminal economy. Although it is ostensibly a relatively liberal and staunchly anti-Islamist political outfit, the authorities claim it runs a shadow organisation of extortionists and kidnappers. As evidence of the party’s unsavoury side, the Rangers point to weapons they discovered when they raided its “Nine Zero” headquarters last year.
This week Mr Hussain was at it again, with a speech in which he railed against television stations that had denied him coverage. One person was killed and several were injured when angry supporters ransacked the offices of two media companies. In response, the Rangers arrested senior MQM officials and shut Nine Zero. The police lodged a treason case against Mr Hussain, who had described Pakistan as a “cancer” in his speech. The interior minister complained to the British government about the conduct of Mr Hussain, who became a British citizen after fleeing an earlier crackdown on the MQM.
Mr Hussain issued a fulsome apology and said he had been under “immense mental stress”. It was not enough to avoid an unprecedented rebuke from Farooq Sattar, the MQM’s leader in Pakistan. All future decisions will be taken by the party’s leadership in Pakistan, he said, not from London. Mr Hussain appears to be acquiescing to this demotion: he has issued a statement promising to hand over “complete power”.
Sceptics say Mr Hussain will never willingly relinquish his grip. He stepped aside once before, in 1992, only to re-assert himself a few months later. But a comeback will be harder this time. The battering the Rangers have given the party’s heavies has greatly diminished his clout. His regular demands for citywide strikes used to turn Karachi into a ghost town. Shops now stay open, for the most part.
Yet the MQM’s local leadership will not want to cut all ties to Mr Hussain. He is the most charismatic figure in a party increasingly challenged by rivals, including the splinter Pakistan Sarzameen Party, which was set up by a former MQM mayor in March with, many believe, the support of the security services.
The MQM draws its support from the mohajir community—Urdu-speaking Muslims who fled India in 1947 and their descendants. They have remained a dependable vote block despite the many hair-raising claims made about the party, in part because they fear they will lose out to the city’s other ethnic groups, not least the fast-growing Pushtun community. For many mohajirs, the Rangers’ crackdown has only made Mr Hussain more popular. “Altaf is like the head of a family who has been fighting for us for 30 years,” says Mujahid Rasool, a 50-year-old shopkeeper. “Even when the eldest son starts taking more responsibilities, it doesn’t mean he is the family’s guardian.”
Uzair Baloch spills the beans about #PPP top leaders' corruption & backing of #crime, violence in #Karachi #Pakistan
In his confessional statement, dated April 29, 2016, Uzair testified that he joined a gang led by Abdul Rehman alias Rehman Dakait in 2003 and was incarcerated in the Central Jail, Karachi where he was appointed incharge of the prisoners belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on the recommendation of then jail superintendent Nusrat Mangan and PPP leader Faisal Raza Abedi.
In the statement available with The Express Tribune, Uzair disclosed that he assumed full-fledged command of the gang after Dakait was killed in an encounter in 2008 and formed an ‘armed terrorist’ group under the name of the Peoples Aman Committee (PAC) and became its chairperson.
He confessed to have collected Rs20 million extortion from different persons and departments every month, adding that the fisheries department would pay Rs2 million.
He also disclosed that PPP MNA Faryal Talpur, sister of party co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, was given Rs10 million extortion every month. According to the alleged gangster, Dr Saeed Baloch and Nisar Morai were posted to the fisheries department on his recommendation.
“I maintained a friendly relationship with the [then] Karachi Capital City Police Officer Waseem Ahmed, SSP Farooq Awan and his brother Shahadat Awan [a lawyer and currently posted as prosecutor general of Sindh],” Uzair disclosed, adding he had done several favours for them, including helping Farooq and Shahadat encroach land in Malir. He also got Farooq to collect Rs150,000 to Rs200,000 in extortion every month.
The incarcerated gangster disclosed that on the insistence of Senator Yousuf Baloch he met the then chief minister Qaim Ali Shah and Talpur and asked them to get the head money and cases against him withdrawn, which was eventually done by Talpur and Zardari.
In his statement, Uzair disclosed that after the Karachi operation was intensified he was called through Qadir Patel and Senator Yousuf by Talpur to her Defence residence, where Sharjeel Inam Memon and Morai were also present. According to him, Talpur discussed various issues the including Lyari gang war, and offered to hide his personal arms and explosives and have Sharjeel and Morai handle his financial affairs and Yousuf and Patel handle affairs in Lyari if he wanted to flee the country.
He testified to have done various illegal works for the party, including helping Patel encroach land and providing 500 jobs to criminals on Yousuf’s insistence. He also admitted to have helped Owais Muzaffar Tapi, Zardari’s foster brother, illegally occupy 14 sugar mills that were later purchased at lower prices.
Uzair also claimed to have sent 20 of his men to harass residents around Bilawal House on Zardari’s instructions and force them to sell 30 to 40 bungalows to Zardari at lower prices. The gangster said he came to know about a plan to kill him while in police custody, so he pleaded to have his custody transferred to the Rangers.
The former Lyari kingpin had also requested complete protection, apprehending that he and his family members could be killed after these revelations, as he expected revenge from Zardari and other politicians he named in his statement.
#Pakistani to make #Netflix original series debut with Omer Shahid Hamid's The Party Worker. “A story based in #Karachi's #political/#mafia past. In fact there is a novel by Omer Shahid Hamid on it: the party worker.” #MQM #Killing #Extortion https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/450564-pakistan-to-make-its-netfl...
Pakistan is now making its debut on Netflix with an original based on the work of well reputed Pakistani author Omer Shahid Hamid.
The 42-year-old writer who is also currently serving as a police officer announced on Twitter that he has already signed a film or series deal with the streaming giant for his acclaimed book The Party Worker.
The author publicized the news while a few curious souls on Twitter were discussing what Pakistan’s Netflix original would be like if there was one.
Responding to the tweet was a user who brought the attention to Hamid’s novel: “A story based in karachi's political/mafia past. Infact there is a novel by omer shahid hamid on it: the partyworker.”
Jumping in on the conversation was the ecstatic writer who wrote: “Funny you should mention it. Just signed a film/series deal for #ThePartyWorker #netflixherewecome.”
Omar Shahid Hamid
Funny you should mention it. Just signed a film/series deal for #ThePartyWorker #netflixherewecome #ifallelsefailsHumtvzindabad
Replying to @SudrishK
A story based in karachi's political/mafia past. Infact there is a novel by omer shahid hamid on it: the partyworker
3:21 AM - Mar 29, 2019
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Hamid’s book The Party Worker is cautiously divided into chapters dedicated to each character of the book that deliver their own perspectives and give birth to varying consequences to the eventual truth.
The book is set amidst the chaos and violence that lingers in the air of Karachi.
The ‘gangs’ of the Indus
Populations in the Kacha areas are one of the most neglected ones in Pakistan. Very little has changed in their lives
The stories that we read and hear about the Indus delta, generally known as Kacha in the Seraiki region and upper Sindh, are stories of crime. These areas get brief attention when ‘encounters’ between the police and robbers occur, or when the police launch operations to ‘clean up’ the region. Having walked through and travelled extensively in this region for about half a century, I find, regrettably, the stories to be half-truths and one-sided. There is some inconvenient truth about the region that needs to be told and simply, it is in three words: injustice, neglect and inequality.
True, there are gangs of dacoits who have presence here and might be involved in crimes. The question is: why is this the case? It is unfair to talk only about the robbers — who are not good enough to hide their crimes and commit them in the open — and ignore the very respectable power holders of the past and present who have plundered the country beyond imagination. We are too weak to talk against the extortion mafias in the big cities, the land grabbers and the very corrupt elite that have continuously pushed up the ranking of Pakistan among the most corrupt countries in the world. The point is that as long as they continue to dominate our politics and power system from the local to the national level as they do, injustice in society will continue to produce gangs around the Indus and up to the mountains of Balochistan.
Take justice as a broader term — giving people their due rights, privileges and facilities as citizens. The most basic need and very important to their existence as a civilised people is education. Everything else tails this basic public function of the state which is meant to give every child an opportunity to make the best of his or her talent. The populations in the Kacha areas are one of the most neglected ones in Pakistan. Very little has changed in their lives. Basic facilities like roads, schools and basic healthcare centres either do not exist or are just ‘ghosts’. One may spot some of these generally empty structures serving as guesthouses for locally influential persons. There is no evidence of even sporadic action against ‘ghost’ teachers and their bosses in the district education offices. They are the real dacoits, along with their political bosses, who extend patronage to them.
I wish to quote from one of my stories I wrote three years back, “The dacoit’s dream”. A social mobiliser from Lahore had the task of travelling to the delta, talking to people and setting up a school. On one of his first trips, one of the notorious dacoits of the Ghotki area stopped him on his way. A fearless and devoted person to the educational cause, he was not deterred by the presence of the dacoit or dissuaded by the fear of being kidnapped while in the proverbial hornets’ nest. In that moment, his only thoughts were whether this was the end of his mission and maybe his life.
“The dacoit asked him questions about what he was doing in his domain — the Kacha areas. When he learnt about a school being conceived in the nearby locality, he began to beg the mobiliser for a school for his community. In a beseeching tone, he said he wanted his son to go to school, to be educated and to never follow in his footsteps. The dacoit received the promise of a school and a facility was built for his community and many surrounding communities to share. Education and development are the keys, and not just ‘encounters’. And so, what about the big robbers?”
Kamran Faridi — Karachi criminal who turned into FBI spy before losing it all
When condemning the US Federal Bureau of Investigation’s valued secret agent Kamran Faridi, 57, to seven years in jail in December 2020, Judge Cathy Seibel of New York’s Southern District Court described it as “perhaps the most difficult sentencing I have ever done.”
The judge commented that the case carried facts, “unlike anything I think most of us have ever seen”.
She had reached that conclusion after learning the startling facts of the Karachi-born spy’s history.
Faridi’s "career" had started with hustling on the rough streets of Karachi, segued into major crimes, and then swerved towards a life of dangerous undercover operations for American secret services.
He ultimately ran afoul of his handlers for issuing death threats to three former colleagues — his FBI supervisor, an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) officer, and his former FBI handler — in February 2020.
This correspondent reviewed court papers and spoke to Faridi, who is currently serving time in a New York jail, to piece together the extraordinary life of a man whose career in criminality started after he became associated with student politics in Karachi while still in his teens.
Faridi was born and grew up in Block 3 of Karachi’s Gulshan-e-Iqbal area. He joined the Peoples Students Federation (PSF) — the student wing of the Pakistan Peoples Party — when he was a grade-9 student at the Ali Ali School and had started hanging out at the National College, Karachi University, and NED University. Faridi eventually grew close to PSF’s Najeeb Ahmed, then a well-known student leader.
This was a time when student unions were — quite literally and violently — at war with each other. Faridi told this reporter that he started running guns and got into kidnapping for ransom, carjacking, and armed attacks.
As he lived in an area dominated by the rival Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), it soon became difficult for him to operate from home ground. Najeeb helped Faridi shift to Times Square, where he joined other PSF activists living in the apartment complex.
Local police and the Crime Investigation Department (CID; now known as the CTD) soon had arrest warrants out against Faridi. At the same time, MQM activists were hunting him down.
Aware of the danger, Faridi’s family paid off a human smuggler and arranged for him to travel to Sweden. In Sweden, however, Faridi was unable to keep a low profile and soon got into fights with the local Albanian and Bangladeshi gangs.
He was arrested a few times by local police, and in 1992, Swedish authorities blacklisted him and refused to give him a visa due to his bad conduct.
Now an illegal immigrant, Faridi went into hiding at an island, where he was allegedly helped by Greenpeace activists. A local human rights activist, according to Faridi, arranged a fake passport for him to travel to Iceland, from where he went to America and started a life in New York City.
He later moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1994 and bought a gas station in a violent neighbourhood called Bankhead Highway.
Recruitment in the FBI
According to Faridi, Atlanta police used to hustle him regularly for bribes. Fed up of their harassment, he reported them to the FBI. This is how Faridi first came into contact with the federal agency.
The FBI agents he was in contact with, Faridi claimed, told him that they would help him, but only if he would help them first. They wanted him to infiltrate a local Urdu-speaking Pakistani gang that had been causing difficulties for local law enforcement.
The FBI saw value in Faridi’s fluent command of Urdu, Punjabi, and Hindi, and in 1996 he became a full-time informant and agent.
How Pakistan’s Most Feared Power Broker Controlled a Violent Megacity From London
Though he was born in Karachi in 1953, Hussain has always identified as a Mohajir—a term that refers to those, like his parents, who left India after partition. In Agra, about 140 miles south of Delhi, Hussain’s father had a prestigious job as a railway-station manager. In Karachi he could only find work in a textile mill, and then died when Hussain was just 13, leaving his 11 children dependent on Hussain’s brother’s civil-service salary as well as what their mother earned sewing clothes. Such downward mobility was common among Mohajirs, who were the target of discrimination by native residents of Sindh, the Pakistani state of which Karachi is the capital. Hussain was enraged by his community’s plight. He and a group of other Mohajir students founded the MQM in 1984, and Hussain gained a reputation for intense devotion to the cause. After one protest, when he was 26, he was jailed for nine months and given five lashes.
Religiously moderate and focused on reversing discriminatory measures, the MQM built a large following in Karachi, winning seats in the national and provincial parliaments. It didn’t hurt, according to UK diplomatic cables and two former Pakistani officials, that it received support from the military, which saw the party as a useful bulwark against other political factions. Although Hussain never stood for elected office, he was the inescapable face of the MQM, his portrait plastered all over the many areas it dominated.
From the beginning, the MQM’s operations went well beyond political organizing. As communal violence between ethnic Mohajirs, Sindhis, and Pashtuns worsened in the mid-1980s, Hussain urged his followers at a rally to “buy weapons and Kalashnikovs” for self-defense. “When they come to kill you,” he asked, “how will you protect yourselves?” The party set up weapons caches around Karachi, stocked with assault rifles for its large militant wing. Meanwhile, Hussain was solidifying his grip on the organization, lashing out at anyone who challenged his leadership. In a February 1991 cable, a British diplomat named Patrick Wogan described how, according to a high-level MQM contact, Hussain had the names of dissidents passed to police commanders, with instructions to “deal severely with them.” (Hussain denies ever giving instructions to injure or kill anyone).
Even the privileged came under direct threat. One elite Pakistani, who asked not to be identified due to fear of retribution, recalled angering the party by having the thieving manager of his family textile factory arrested, unaware the employee was an MQM donor. One afternoon in 1991, four men with guns forced themselves into the wealthy man’s car, driving him to a farmhouse on the edge of the city. There, they slashed him with razor blades and plunged a power drill into his legs. The MQM denied being behind the kidnapping, but when the victim’s family asked political contacts to lean on the party he was released, arriving home in clothes soaked with blood.