Friday, January 1, 2010

Who burnt Boultan Market, Karachi

One of the most remarkable markets of Karachi, alas, is no more.

Did Shias burnt it to the ground, angry after their 43 members were blown up and distributed across M.A. Jinnah Road, Karachi? Did MQM did it to kick out the erstwhile Memons and Delhi Wallas from that place? Did India or Isreal or Blackwater did it? Aha, Blackwater.

My first and foremost view is that Shias, out of rush of blood and emotions, did the trick. They burned down the plastics market and the perfume market and all that and did not allow fire brigade to come in until very late in night when everything was ashes. CCTV footage, first shown by Mustafa Kamal on GEO, clearly shows that. These are the mourners, and as Mr. Kamal makes it abundantly clear to all and sundry, not the MQM jiyalas.

Shias, off course, deny charges. But cameras this time have proven beyond doubt that the crazy fire, which later caused losses into billions of rupees and thousands of shops burnt, were caused by Shia mourners. I also have first hand account of a friend whose friend was killed by the Shia mob. This mob was trying to set his building on fire. On resistance, Gilgiti Shia shot him dead and fled from the scene. Punjabi-dominated police, as is expected of them, did nothing to prevent the tragedy.

But Shias are telling us all that they don't carry all these chemicals needed to burn so many buildings. Well, fair enough.

You see, whenever something bad happens petty criminals and enemies of the state jump into the fray and do all sorts of nasty things. Their only purpose appears is to loot and run. That is not probably what happened as most of the property was burned and not looted. But the critical CCTV footage is being held back by MQM men. Not sure why. Perhaps because they are involved. Perhaps there is some other reason. Many from Boultan market have claimed openly that MQM wanted entire market to shift to Sohrab Goth to allow more breathing space to the city. This was off course not acceptable to thousands of shopkeepers, many of whom are some of the richest and oldest traders of this country. If that was what MQM wanted, they got more than their deal.

As far as India's involvement is concerned, no serious thinker is thinking about it. India has better things to do. It is focusing on how to break loose Baluchistan from Pakistan so that Pakistan becomes a weak state. It won't probably go about doing things in Boultan market.

What can I say about Israel. If a cockroach is found dead in Burewalla people claim that Israel's Mossad had killed it!

My cousin, Imran Kholia, explained his loss to Dawn paper, “My seven brothers and I used to sell wrist watches, cosmetic items, toys, optical frames and other items to support our families and 25 children. We had 22 warehouses located above our stores, which have been destroyed, except for an 80 sq foot area.”

“The tragedy is that my building wasn’t on fire when I had reached here at around 6:45 p.m. [on Monday]. We pleaded with the firemen to stop the fire raging close to our store, but they replied they had to refill their tanks. It took them more than two hours to get water. However, by 9:00 p.m., it was too late and the fire had spread,” explains Kohlia, who claims to have suffered a loss of Rs. 90 million, including property and goods.

“My biggest fear now is that I feel that the government may want to take over our property, which if you take into account the whole locality, is worth billions,” says Kohlia. “But come what may, we will resist any such attempt. We have been doing business here for generations and will continue to do so.”

I am probably thinking about Shias and MQM combined. They both have a track record of extreme level of violence and brutality. I call them Modern Yazeedis.


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