propecia pregnancy

The Ostrich Syndrome

The ruling PPP seemed to strike a discordant note at the hierarchical level at the beginning of this week. It is true that the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the NA had been trying to establish their writ (in independence of their party position) by insisting on the sanctity of their ruling in bringing the arrested MNAs to the House. However, the surprising Presidential hint that he would not hesitate to use his Constitutional role if he had to in the face of the worsening law and order situation in Karachi as well as the need to bring in MQM from the cold was in direct contrast to the PM’s assertion that “MQM should rein in its terrorists.” Having been on the receiving end of foreign policy disasters one after the other since the beginning of her reign, PM Ms Benazir had put in all her well known potential for persuasion into the OIC at Casablanca and thereupon savoured the first foreign policy success of sorts in bringing Kashmir to world attention by getting the participants to adopt a resolution, though it may be said quite reluctantly, by the likes of our so-called friends, Hosni Mubarak, Yasser Arafat, etc. That the PM may have been waylaid by the misleading reports given to her by her aides is perhaps the only excuse one can have for her failure to acknowledge that disaster is facing us in the face at Karachi. Having her power-base in rural Sindh, Ms Benazir has to come to terms without any further delay with the urban majority MQM in a spirit of give and take.

Given the deteriorating circumstances, the launching of Operation Clean-Up in May 1992 was necessary. The situation in the Province was reaching anarchical proportions and the then military hierarchy surmised that the populace was fed up of the transgressions and would respond positively. In the initial stages Operation Clean-Up was extremely successful in both the rural and urban areas but the latter exercise became a victim of serving individuals in mufti (in contrast to their uniformed colleagues for the most part) misusing their authority to unleash ill-conceived vendetta targeted on the MQM (only) in trying to bring about political change by military means, a non-starter as any avid student of history can confirm. Fighting in built-up areas while keeping civilian casualties down is not an easy task, the planning of the Operation by the then Corps Commander Lt Gen Naseer Akhtar was outstanding and its execution by his Comd Corps Reserve, Maj Gen Malik Saleem Khan was brilliant. However, the joker in the pack was the ill-conceived organising of the MQM (H) into a potent anti-MQM weapon. The MQM(H) may have genuine grievances but these latter day Quislings have served only to create a backlash among the Mohajir community to absolute resuscitation of Altaf Hussain’s waning fortunes in self-imposed exile. The MQM(H) exists today as a tragic but sore bone of contention in the search for urban peace. Instead of allowing the law of nature to take its course in establishing detente between the warring parties, those who were sidelined, some even being subsequently forced into early retirement for various misdemeanours involving corruption, greed, misuse of authority, etc have re-surfaced. Having ruthlessly exploited the MQM(H) previously, they are now again engaged actively in promoting disorder and anarchy by remote control. What is their “connection” that they cannot be made to answer for their crimes against humanity? The PM gave a broad hint to this effect before she left for Casablanca and repeated it again in a party Parliamentary meeting, why is GOP not bringing them to book with the same alacrity they showed for Mian Muhammad Sharif?


Mission Impossible

Over the past week, the Pakistan Army has cordoned off three entire areas in Karachi in well-coordinated urban area operations, first the hotbed of Jacob Lines followed by sections of North Karachi and Korangi. During these operations which were kept a well guarded secret, the Army has netted in more illegal arms and ammunition than any single month of Operation Clean Up in the last 30 months. Furthermore, given that over a million people were affected (and discomfited for a day or so), public protest was almost non-existent (and muted at that). Other than weapons, over 200 criminals involved in various crimes were netted. During the whole operation, only one youth was killed resisting arrest in a shootout. Many of Karachi’s citizens have commented that more than two years after its launching, Operation Clean Up has now started in earnest.

After an uneven beginning Operation Clean Up succeeded in the rural areas mainly because a change of command from an atrocious General officer. In the urban areas after a good start it got bogged down, succeeding only in imposing an immediate peace in the city. While it took some time for the general public to clearly identify the reasons for the uneven performance of the Army, for military analysts the reasons were clear. In the rural areas, a clear-cut mission was given to eradicate criminals while in the urban areas, the mission given to the uniformed personnel was subverted by duality in aim, under the guise of eradicating criminal elements, the MQM were the only party so targeted. Though one dare says that MQM’s militants had gone past the fail-safe line, the fact remains that every political party had militant factions running riot. The uniformed Army was further frustrated by the men in mufti whose only mandate was to eradicate the MQM, an impossible task given that this party is representative of the urban majority in Karachi and the Province. All the initial gains made by the then GOC Karachi, Maj Gen Malik Saleem Khan, were compromised by the fact that whereas his was the command to exercise, instructions were issued directly by the Corps HQ and the DG ISI separately. In essence, the principle of military command was violated by the then Army leadership. If it were not for the unbending will of Malik Saleem in keeping the troops under his command restrained, the excesses of the intelligence agencies would have been surpassed by the bloodbath that would have ensued as frustration seeped into his command. This was accentuated by the fact that the civil administration had no socio-economic plan to follow the restoring of the immediate peace. To complicate it further, successive political governments had no political initiatives to offer. Instead of tarring and feathering MQM’s ultimate leader-in-exile Altaf Hussain, the duality of objectives succeeded only in solidifying Mohajir support behind him, including for the first time the community as a whole. Though some people were disenchanted with him they rallied behind him in the greater cause.