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17 June 2014 and 12 May 2007- Any Similarity?

Ever since the Model Town Tragedy took place, the incident of 12th May 2007 has been repeatedly quoted by the PML-N`s representatives not only for the sake of offsetting the on-going criticism, but also, in a way, to avoid the responsibility. The question is, does the 12th May incident have any resemblance with the 17th June`s tragedy?

It should be kept in mind that 12th May 2007 was the day when the deposed Chief Justice Iftekhar Choudhry had scheduled a visit to address bar associations as well as to participate in Sindh High Court anniversary celebrations. Not only the Bar Associations, but also almost all the political parties had announced their rallies on the same day including MQM. The opposition parties especially including PML-N, PPP, PTI, JI, ANP were to welcome the deposed Iftekhar Choudhry despite the fact that the lawyers` fraternity had asked the political groups through media to keep off their function. While MQM had announced to organize its public gathering in support of independent judiciary, but also against politicizing a constitutional matter of deposing the Chief Justice. In addition to them, then President Musharaf was also to address a public gathering to be held by PML-Q in Islamabad. Then, the violence erupted in Karachi as a result of which about 45 people lost their lives and over 80 got injured.

For whatever happened in Karachi on 12th May 2007, Pervez Musharaf and MQM were accused of being behind claiming that they did not want to let the deposed CJP enter Karachi. Logically speaking, if this was true, then why did the government not divert the CJP`s plane to Hyderabad or Nawabshah from Karachi in the same way as the Sharif government did with TUQ`s plane on 23rd June? In contrast to it, the Sindh government offered a helicopter to take him and his companions to their destination (Sindh High Court building) due to the violence going on the roads. But, Iftekhar Choudhry turned down that offer and insisted on going by road in form of a rally that, no doubt, was a political decision.

Similarly, the entire nation witnessed that the Punjab government imposed section 144, suspended mobile phone service and placed barriers and containers on roads with heavy deployment of Police. The purpose was clear that government did not want not to let TUQ as well as his welcoming rallies enter Islamabad. On the other hand, none of such measures taken by the Sindh`s coalition government on 12th May. Even the containers were placed on the demand of the representatives of the lawyers` associations in a meeting with the interior ministry. This clearly reveals who actually wanted to stop whom from entering which city? More importantly, the violence resulted on 12 May was not the state terrorism from the federal or provincial government of the time, but it was the outcome of clashes among pro and anti CJP political parties. In the other case, Karachi police could have been easily seen targeting the opposition parties the same way as the Punjab police in Model Town.

After the 17th June tragedy, PML-N government accused PAT and its workers of all those killings claiming that they opened fired at the police which caused loss of over 14 lives including women. However, it could not produce a single police man which might have been killed or injured with bullets, which proves the Punjab police guilty of killings.

In the same way, on 12th of May, MQM was accused of firing at the rallies of opposition which took people`s lives. However, none of these parties could produce any list of its workers and supporters who might have got injured or killed with the bullets allegedly fired from MQM`s workers. However, it was only MQM which presented the list of its 15 supporters who were shot dead and over 50 got injured by bullets that day. “Were our people killed with flowers, if not with bullets?”,Haider Abbas Rizvi`s question in response to rival`s claims of being empty handed, stands to reason. Surprisingly,none of the opposition parties could officially own the remaining 30 people killed that day. Then the question rises, were those victims just the passersby or, perhaps, “Gullu Butts” of the anti-Musharaf parties?

Regarding the 17th June tragedy, one of the tweets of a well-known anchorperson Talat Hussain is of much importance in which he said, “TUQ wanted dead-bodies to play the savior. Punjab govt`s stupidity gave him just that”. Frankly speaking, it is true that when a politician is running a protest campaign against a government and such unpleasant incidents take place, they surely help him achieve his political objectives.  So, if, as per Talat Hussain`s analysis-cum-allegation, TUQ needed the dead bodies, then who wanted the dead bodies for him as savior on 12 May 2007? Who got the political benefits of the bloodshed on that day? Was that Pervez Musharaf, MQM or Iftekhar Choudhry?

No matter who was guilty and who was not, the Supreme Court was supposed to independently inquire of what happened on 12 May? Was it merely a sudden violence that erupted due to political differences or it was a planned conspiracy? Even if it was a conspiracy, then who was behind it? But, very unfortunately, Iftekhar Choudhry despite having ruled as the most powerful CJP, could not provide answers to these questions.

We know that the PPP was severely criticized over not bringing the killers of Benazir Bhutto to justice despite its own government. Even some rivals directly and indirectly tried to accuse the former President Asif Ali Zardari to be behind her murder. All the criticism and allegations came up just due to the reason that Asif Ali Zardari, despite having had his party`s government and also himself having been the President of the country, could not arrest and punish the real killers. Consequently, do the similar criticism and allegations not come up to Iftekhar Choudhry also who, in spite of being the most powerful Chief Justice of the country who could even sack an elected Prime Minister, did not bring the real culprits of 12May`s violence to justice?

To tell the truth, the time has proved that the former CJP Iftekhar Choudhry tried to fight his purely constitutional and legal case on the roads like a politician. Unfortunately, all those political and religious parties which had announced not to support any PCO judge by signing the Charter of Democracy joined hands with him against Musharaf following “Enemy`s enemy is four friend”. Needless to mention that Nawaz Sharif`s Pakistan Muslim League was on the top of the list of those parties. Taking into account, do Sharif Bros deserve to blame Dr. Tahir-ul-Qadri of playing a political game against their government? Even if the allegation that TUQ`s PAT is trying to topple PML-N`s elected government under the cover of “Revolution” is assumed to be true, then is it exactly not what Sharif Bros did against the elected President Pervez Mushaarf under the veil of “Independence of Judiciary”?

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