Dreaming of Kashmir? Worry about Karachi...

WASHINGTON: Police and Secret Service personnel had to intervene to physically separate Mohajir protesters and Pakistan military loyalists after a demonstration in front of the White House on Saturday by the Muttahida Quami Movement+(MQM), which mostly represents ethnic Pakistani migrants from India, turned into a fracas.

A large demonstration of MQM workers from all across US marched in front of the White House after a party convention held in Washington DC that was addressed via video link by MQM chief Altaf Hussain+ , who has been in exile in London for nearly two decades. Hussain and his followers exhorted the Obama administration to intervene to stop the "rampant killing" of Mohajirs+ in Karachi by the Punjabi-dominated Pakistani military. Hussain, who is completely blacked out in the Pakistani media and is considered a fugitive by the Pakisani establishment, urged the "mother of all democracies" to take note of the excesses of the Pakistani army that has resulted in the "cold-blooded murder" of thousands of party activists.

Maintaining that MQM was the only liberal, secular political party in Pakistan, he urged the Obama administration to send observers to Karachi to monitor the human rights violations+ , arguing if Washington can do it for other countries, it should do so for Pakistan too.

Hussain promised to visit the US in October after heightened MQM activity here, amid speculation that he might shift base after difficulties in London, where Pakistani establishment loyalists and his followers have clashed violently .

Key MQM leaders like Farooq Sattar and Babar Ghauri have been visiting the US lately to sensitise Pakistan experts in Washington (many of whom see the Army as a stabilising force) of the developments in Karachi.

But, supporters of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and Pakistan Tehrik-iInsaaf (Imran Khan's party) see Mohajirs as traitors and fifth columnists, and allege they are controlled by Indian intelligence agency RAW .
They forcefully countered the MQM protest, and slogans and counterslogans ensued as the two sides advanced towards each other before police intervened. The demonstrations were far larger than the ones by Khalistani activists and Kashmiri separatists, who Indian activists say are backed by Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI.

While India has had its share of embarrassment overseas arising from the situation in Kashmir, it appears Pakistan has even greater problems, with both Mohajirs and Baloch groups overseas indicating that all is not well in the fractious country .

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/Dreaming-of-Kashmir-Worry-about-Karachi-/articleshow/53389604.cms


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