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February 9, 2015

Chances are that JIT issue will be dumped

Top Story

February 9, 2015

DUBAI: There are serious fears that the issue of the JIT report in Karachi, in which the MQM has been blamed by the Pakistan Rangers for an inferno, may spin into a nasty clash between the Rangers (read ISI) and the MQM.
The MQM decision to take this matter to the Supreme Court and seek a judicial commission is an indication that the party fears this report may be used to pressurise it for some other political concessions.
If the matter is not settled with some give and take, as normally happens when at critical times votes or support of any party is needed by the Establishment, the potential of the JIT issue getting out of hand can be explosive.
The MQM is to a degree right that if any of its members had started singing, under duress as they claim, why was the matter then put on the shelf and not pursued to follow up the leads and get to its bottom. Political expediency may have come in the way.
The full MQM leadership, present at a news conference minus Altaf Bhai, had a point when they alleged that this matter was kept for a rainy day to be used against their party. Has that rainy season arrived?
If seen using the same telescope, the sudden telephone call by Asif Ali Zardari to Altaf Bhai and the almost immediate PPP-MQM patch-up also appear to be linked to moves by parties to gain votes and take U-turns if needed, in a rainy voting season.
Likewise, at such times the Establishment also jumps into action and every closet is searched to bring parties, groups, individuals and governments under pressure. The ongoing Uzair Baloch episode may be linked to this as well, in a way. The decision to present the May 12 accused in a court by the Rangers could be a step further.
But the deep fear is that if the JIT report is used against the MQM, then the party will react and drag the Rangers, the head of Rangers of the time who is now the ISI boss and this could complicate matters a lot.
At a time when the army, the Rangers and the government,

plus some political parties are fully on board in the war against terror, such frictions in their ranks could cause diversions that could help the terrorists.
The Nawaz government will also get caught in the mess. If they reject the MQM’s demand for another judicial commission, that would be one scenario. But if it is set up, which is highly unlikely as the Aabpara boys may not like it, a Pandora’s box may open besides Imran Khan would feel more slighted, rather insulted.
So the most likely outcome appears to be that the JIT issue will be dumped, sooner than later as probably the political mileage that was to be extracted has already been done, at the cost of MQM’s anger and outrage, of course.Otherwise, the prospects look like a major eruption of events that could lead anywhere.

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