I’ll make this clear at the very start. This post is not what Secular Pakistan normally posts and neither does the blog aim to focus on this area specifically. However, the report got my attention and I thought it necessitated a quick post.
Daily Times today published a report stating that ANP Secretary, Senator Zahid Khan submitted a report to the Senate Chairman yesterday that was written by the “ISI, Interior Ministry, IB, Sindh Police, Special Branch and Pakistan Rangers in May 2009″and it “asks questions” about the MQM. The newsreport states that the alleged report, which is 64 pages long, asks “Who are these deserting rats, what do they want, how do they treat places like Kashmir, Pakistan and Karachi, why do they kill, why do they promise to send dead bodies, whom do they serve by heightening linguistic feelings, why do they target transformers and leave people to roast in heat, why do they burn transport facilities, why do they target security personnel, why do they torture people and pump bullets into public servants”. It lays down a number of allegation and supposed questions about the MQM’s conduct and its agenda.
Frankly, I’m not a MQM fan and neither a sympathizer. I’m not saying Operation Clean-ups are fine but I’m not a fan by any margin. However, objectivity demands that everyone be given a fair trial. Reading the report, some of the words clicked me and a quick google search brought me to numerous “MQM exposing” blogs and posts, set up and posted by people opposed to the MQM and PTI fans (eg this and this). A link below the “fact sheet” states that it is written by one “Dr Q T Butt” from Faisalabad and was published on the website of the Federation of American Scientists (FAS).Some words have been omitted, others changed in the report as seen in the second paragraph published in the newsreport (eg “torn away life” replaced by “take away life”, etc). Moreover, one would not expect an intelligence report to ask questions but rather attempt at answering them and the way the questions are posed is moer like ranting on a blog (like this) than writing an official report.
The FAS link is dead, however, web archives are accessible and this “fact sheet” appears to have been published there for the first time sometime in the year 2000.
Jumping to the main point of this post. I can think of three scenarios.
1. The spooks plagiarized the fact-sheet verbatim and submitted it officially. This too has two sub-scenarios. One being that it was not a hidden agenda and was infact submitted in May 2009. The other being that it’s not from May 2009 but submitted recently (back dating is no problem) and aims to discredit the ANP, weaken the coalition and pressurize the PPP even further. Of course that requires somewhat of a scenario where the intelligence agencies and establishment are working in cahoots with the MQM – whatever little coordination there maybe.
2. Senator Zahid Khan presented a fake report and labeled it official. His aim was to discredit rival MQM with whom they’ve been running into problems in Karachi. Such a pathetic mistake – in the age of information – is not expected of rational, sane party however.
3. Somebody planted the report in the hands of the ANP. Meaning that a fake report was “leaked” to them, expecting that they would bring it forward, and therefore discredit themselves and shake the coalition – or atleast the ANP’s own standing. This requires that the MQM be playing a really big game and planning way ahead of others. A bigger game might just be settling scores with the ANP or maybe even going further with its recent de-stabilizing and bring-in-the-army stance.
4. Daily Times printed a fake report. This is impossible considering they’ve named Zahid Khan as submitting the report.
This is not mean to be a definitive exploration of the issue but just my random views on the issue. I do hope the reality comes forward and the reality isn’t as bad as I’m prone to imagining.
PS : PTI supposedly presented its own “white paper” on the MQM issue and guess what, it had plagiarized this “fact sheet” as well.